The Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan will always be remembered as one of the most powerful rulers India ever had. From a very early age, he was exposed to politics and military by his father and that helped him to grow into the most influential leader of the country.
He has earned an equal amount of love and hatred from people. Love for being the greatest ruler, and hatred because many believe that he fought against foreign powers not for the love of his country, but for the selfish motive of establishing Islamic rule throughout.
His unkind treatment of non-Muslims is particularly controversial. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons for Tipu earning the nomenclature accredited to him by those who are aware of the real history: the ‘Tyrant’ Tipu Sultan.
Here are more lesser-known facts about Tipu Sultan that may help you know him better:
Famous Muslim historians such as Kirmani and Ghulam Muhammad, Tipu Sultan’s own son, revealed numerous shocking facts and realities associated with Tipu Sultan in their writings. Since he wanted to give most things around him a Muslim touch, he got several Hindu names of places replaced with Muslim names.
For example, Mangalore or Mangalapuri was changed to Jalalabad, Mysore to Nazarabad, Bepur to Sultanpatanam, Cannanore to Kusanabad, Gooty to Faiz-Hissar, Dharwar to Quarshed-Sawad, Dindigul to Khaliqabad, Ratnagiri to Mustafabad, Kozhikode to Islamabad, and Dindigul to Khaliqabad. The local residents of all these places could revert to old names only after Tipu Sultan’s death!
As per an official report by Colonel Fullarton, the then in-charge of British forces in Mangalore, Tipu Sultan committed the worst possible brutalities on Brahmin during his acquisition of Palghat Fort in the year 1783. His soldiers scared Hindus by exposing the heads of all innocent Brahmins that were brutally killed by them from the fort Zamorin. The Zamorin then decided to abandon the fort, so that he and his Hindu followers didn’t have to witness more such enormities.
Tipu continued to commit brutalities as he moved ahead fighting and annihilating the Hindus in Kerala. The Rajas who didn’t want to let him proceed with all this asked help from the British.
Many historical references to Tipu Sultan’s military operations portray him as a cruel and intolerant Muslim ruler, including “Malabar Manual” and “Voyage to East Indies” by William Logan and Fra Bartolomeo, respectively. On occasions, he converted lots of Hindus into Mohammedans against their will.
In such an event, he captured over one thousand Hindus in Coorg, forcibly converted them to Islam, and imprisoned them in the Sreerangapatanam fortress. All Coorgi Hindu prisoners successfully escaped during the last battle between the British and Tipu Sultan. Upon reaching their own kingdom, they became Hindus again.
Tipu sultan wanted to defeat the British with an intention to become a Padishah and rule India. Amusingly, he used to consult some Brahmin astrologers regarding his ambition. His longing intensified when astrologers predicted that he could become an emperor if some of rituals suggested by them were performed!
Encouraged, Tipu performed everything that was suggested in Sree Ranganatha Swami Temple and suitably rewarded the astrologers. Ultimately, when he was not able to achieve his cherished goal, those who were ignorant or misinformed about the reality interpreted all this as his respect and love for the Indian culture and tradition.
During his reign, one of the major goals of Tipu Sultan was to destroy ruin Hindu temples in Malabar, and let Islam establish and thrive. Historians like Lewis B. Boury have described Tipu’s violence against Hindus in and around Malabar as way more ferocious than atrocities committed by Mahmud of Ghazni, Nadir Shah and Alauddin Khalji against Hindus in Hindustan. William Logan has mentioned in the “Malabar Manual” that Thalipparampu and Thrichambaram temples of Chirackal Taluqa, Ponmeri Temple of Badakara, and Thiruvangatu of Tellicherry were among the major temples smashed by Tipu Sultan.
Since all such actions committed by Tipu Sultan were inspired by his hatred and difference for Hindus and Hinduism, he forced only his antagonists to accept Islam. The worse, countless women and children were included among his victims.