Tipu Sultan: Making a Hero out of a Barbarian
Kiran Kumar S
On January 26 Republic Day parade in 2014, Karnataka Government sent a tableau of Tipu Sultan, with his sword held high. This was supposedly the cultural and historic identity of the State, as per the presently ruling Congress Government.
There was a huge uproar on the social media. People started questioning the very basis of making a hero out of a mass murdering barbarian called Tipu Sultan. Of course, as expected some folks in the so-called secular mindset started justifying the tableau.
Was Tipu really a proud freedom fighter fighting against the British as the communist historians make us believe? Or was he a horrendous mass murdering, human rights violating, anti Hindu, anti Kannada ruler, who should never be an icon to be paraded in 21st century?
Firstly, let’s start with exactly what’s written on Tipu Sultan’s much celebrated sword. When we were in school, a Doordarshan serial called The Sword of Tipu Sultan was broadcast, glorifying this so-called freedom fighter. I have compiled the information using authentic sources here on what’s actually on his sword. Majority of those speaking for Tipu, would not have tried to find out what’s written on his sword.
It should be fairly clear with just what’s written on his sword, that he is not a person worth glorifying. If he is a freedom fighter just because he fought to save his kingdom (that was stolen from Wodeyars), then even the French and Portuguese were freedom fighters, as they also fought against British in India.
Francois Gautier, a renowned researcher and historian published an article in the Outlook magazine titled The Tyrant Diaries, providing authentic details of Tipu’s atrocities in Kerala and Karnataka, using a Portuguese traveler, Father Bartholomew.
Noted blogger Sandeep Balakrishna has very recently written a book Tipu Sultan- The Tyrant of Mysore, chronicling the analysis of Tipu Sultan by some famous people of today’s India.
While some politicians like K Rahman Khan of Congress (Amanath Bank and Wakf scam accused) are in the fore front to glorify Tipu Sultan, there are literally 100s of eminent historians, writers and activists in Karnataka and Kerala, fully opposing this unwanted glorification. The most famous among them is Dr M Chidananda Murthy, a researcher in his 80s.
Among those who have suffered extensively at the hands of Tipu are the people Kodagu district in Karnataka, and the Malabar coastal area of Kerala. Some pro-Tipu people ignore these and just focus on Melukote and Sringeri areas where Tipu did not do much damage. They cite that Tipu in fact gave grants to some of the temples in Mysore kingdom. It was because, Muslims were less than 5 per cent of the population in his kingdom. Late PCN Raja has written on the temple destruction fury of Tipu in Voice of Dharma. Some of the famous temples that religious fanatic Tipu destroyed are:- Thali, Thiruvannur, Varackal, Puthur, Govindapuram, Thalikkunnu and other important temples in Kozhikode.
Tipu Sultan not only was a fanatical anti-Hindu, he was also an anti-Christian in Karnataka. Some months back, TJ Abraham, a famous anti-corruption crusader in Karnataka, listed out a list of churches destroyed by Tipu Sultan.You would not likely find speeches or books condemning Hyder Ali. This must confirm that anti-Tipu Sultan outrage is mainly because of his barbarian anti-Hindu and anti-Christian actions, rather than him being a Muslim.
Unless actions like sending Tipu Sultan to Republic Day parade is condemned in no uncertain terms, we might soon see an Aurangzeb’s tableau showing the destruction of Kashi Vishwanath mandir. There is no limit to so-called seculars glorifying religious fanatic Kings.
At last the additional session court has issued the verdict concerning the TP Chandrasekharan murder case. Eleven CPM leaders and workers got life imprisonment and one got 3 years’ rigorous imprisonment. Some of them have to deposit Rs 1 lakh and R 50,000, etc. before the court as part of the punishment. Out of these moneys, Rs 3 lakhs will be given to TP’s widow KK Rema and his son Abhinand. When their prominent leader Mohanan was acquitted last week CPM shouted from the roof tops that their party’s stand was vindicated. When TP Chandrasekharan, a rebel CPM, leader was killed in cold blood two years back, CPM took every tricks out from their book to play the blame game. First they blamed NDF , an Islamic fundamentalist outfit. Then they told it was RSS. A last their Polit bureau appointed a committee to enquire into the incident. And, the CPM leaders admit that the enquiry report is not yet ready.
As soon as the very murder took place allegations were floating in the atmosphere that it was engineered by the CPM leaders. Circumstantial evidences were more than enough to establish this theory. Some of the accused were junior CPM functionaries in Kannur district. It was unlikely for them to have personal contacts with TP, a leader in Kozhikode district, and it was impossible for them to know each other hence there was no room for personal animosity. Still they are involved in the case along with their comrades in Kozhikode district. If junior party workers from two different districts have to get together for executing such a sensational murder, it was obvious that they were coordinated by some senior leaders. This is the conspiracy theory state has been discussing since the last couple of years.
The judgment clearly says that murder took place due to political vendetta. TP was a local leader coming up to the limelight. The people involved in the heinous murder were the tools of the people with political vendetta. This part of the judgment itself vindicates the conspiracy theory. Since Mohanan was acquitted last week, CPM has been trying to neutralise the conspiracy theory. Because, Mohanan was an Area Secretary of the party and husband of CPM MLA KK Lathika. But, since Kunjananthan, the prominent CPM leader, is one among the 11 convicted, their argument turns weak and pale. The same time they are keeping mum when the media and opposition people ask them if party is not involved in the murder, why did they engage veteran and expensive lawyers for the sake of the accused.
And, couple of days before, channels did telecast the CCTV camera visuals of the CPM accused using mobile phones and smoking cigarettes inside the jail cells. One of them looked like drunken when he walked. This is significant in the wake of major allegations came on channels last month that TP murder accused were using mobile phones and operating Facebook account inside the jail. CPM opposed the allegation tooth and nail. And, the then jail ADGP Dr Alexander Jacob had alleged that the above news was politically motivated; the TP murder case was about to reach its logical conclusion and the accused were likely to be acquitted. So, some vested interests were working behind this allegation of mobile phone and Facebook. He went to the extent of telling the media that since CCTV cameras had been removed as per the instructions of the Human Rights Commission it was impossible to retrieve any visuals for conducting enquiry into it. But, immediately Commission Chairman Justice JB Koshy disagreed with the ADGP and said that they had not asked to remove any camera. At that point of time there were allegations that ADGP was a CPM supporter and the Congress-led Government was not strict in the case of TP murder accused. The then home minister Thiruvanchoor Radha-krishnan naturally invited the wrath of the people and the media in this regard. At last ADGP was removed from the position and Radhakrishnan saved own skin for the time being.
Now, the latest verdict has come when TP’s widow was all set to stage an indefinite hunger strike in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram demanding the CBI probe into TP murder case. VM Sudheeran, senior Congress leader and bête noir of both CM Oommen Chandy and Home minister and KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala, has shot a letter to the CM supporting KK Rema’s demand. It is noteworthy that there were allegations against the nexus between the top brasses of the ruling Congress and opposition CPM in this regard hence all the accused could lead a ‘free-for-all-life’ in the jail and weak case was framed against Mohanan so that the conspiracy case would not hit the judgment document. It was also alleged that the quid pro quo was CPM’s dilution in their agitation plan against Solargate. This theory is acceptable for common men since they have watched CPM packing up from the much propagated secretariat siege, blockade of CM’s programmes and at last the siege of Cliff House, CM’s official residence.
But, now as few hard core CPM leaders are convicted at last, CPM finds it too tough to establish that the conspiracy theory was totally baseless.