Facts of history bring out gems for our memory glands. Mysore along with Morocco were one of the first two states to recognize the USA as an independent republic.Tipu Sultan, also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Sultanate of Mysore. He was the son of Hyder Ali, at that time an officer in the Mysorean army, and his wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa.
He had recognized the United States of America as in independent nation that came into being on July 4th, 1776. For the next two years, the 4th of July was celberated in Srirangapatna in reverence to the Americans who had defeated the British in the new world.
Tipu Sultan was famous for being one of the last guns of South Asia who faught the British tooth and nail. Were it not for the consiparicies of the Marhattas and the Nizam, South Asia would have been free of the machnitions of the British Crown, and colonialism would not have been able to get a foothold from which the Union Jack could rule the world.
Lord Cornwallis defeated in the American War of Independence was sent to Ireland and then ended up conducting the war against Tipu Sultan in Mysore. Lord Mornington was Governor-General of “India” from 1797 to 1805, succeeding Lord Cornwallis. Lord Cornwallis had acted in the light of Pitt’s India Act and wanted to follow the vision of Lord Warren Hastings.
Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 reverberated to India. Lord Wellesley recognized the threat from Napoleon and saw India, as a vital theatre in the war with France. The French Wars reopened trouble in India and threatened British colonialism, and her trade routes to the East. In 1798, To save the Subcontinent from imminent French conquest, 4,000 British troops were sent to India and the Persian Gulf was policed by the Royal Navy.
The “Divide and conquer” scheme was used from the British playbook.
Tipu Sultan, a brave Muslim patriot was allied with the French and was ready to overwhelm his rival Marhattas who were in bed with the British. Tipu’s policies were similar to those of the other patriot across the oceans, where General Washington allied with the French General LaFayette defeated British colonialism in America. On 4th of July 1776 Mysore along with Washington celebrated the American independence. Tipu Sultan famous saying is “One day in the life of a [free] lion is better than 1000 years in the life of an [enslaved] lamb“.
Lord Wellesley planned the destruction of Mysore to prevent a Tipu victory. Tipu Sultan was the epitome of “Give me Liberty or give me death“.one of the last flag careers of the flag of freedom. The French forces never arrived, and in 1799, he was killed in battle. Unable to unify all other Indian states against, the British he died fighting them. His martyrdom, along with the failed war of independence (“mutiny”) led to 50 years of East India Company rule and 100 years of direct British imperialism and loot in the Subcontinent. Wellesley’s expanded British rule made India pay for East India Company adventures in China by opening up the trade to interests outside the East India Company. He extended British control in India. To measure the scope of Indian wealth in the 18th century can be judged by the institutions, architecture, science and technology that is still apparent in the runs of the roads, hospitals, schools and buildings built by Shah Jehan and Jehangir. Bengal at the time was the richest part of the Subcontinent and never quite recovered the destruction of it’s centuries old silk making industry.
A military tactic developed by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan was the use of mass attacks with rocket artillery brigades on the enemy. Hethrto the British did not have this technology and Hyder and Tipu used it to devastate the British attacks in the 2nd, 3th and 4th battle of Mysore. Tipu Sultan learned rocketry from the French the Americans and the Chinese and used it to military purpose, somehting that had never been done before in South Asia or anywhere else. He wrote a military manual called Fathul Mujahidin in which 200 rocket men were allocated to each Mysorean rocket artillery brigade known as Cushoon. Mysore had 16 to 24 cushoons of infantry. By attaching these blades (swords) to rockets they became very unstable towards the end of their flight causing the blades to spin around like flying scythes, cutting down all in their path. The areas of town where rockets and fireworks were manufactured were known as Taramandal Pet (“Galaxy Market”).
The “rocket-men” were trained to launch their rockets with ref. to height and distance. He also had mobile rocket launchers. His Rockets could be of various sizes, and had multiple warheads. Rockets in Europe, not being iron cased, could not take large chamber pressures and as a consequence were not capable of reaching distances anywhere near as great.
If Tipu Sultan had been successful, the richest part of the world would have continued to prosper and affalunce and education would never have departed the Himalayas and the riverinas of the Gangels, Brahmaputra and the Indus.
Lord Corniwallis after being defeated in the the Americas, took his tail between his legs and went on to brutalize the Irish. He was then sent to Britain to complete the conquest, which to that time had remained in Bengal (the most prosperous part of South Asia in 1773).
Tipu Sultan died at Srirangapatnam in the battle agsint the joint military force of British, Nizam and Marathas. He became martyr for India. His primary aim was the expulsion of the British from India and for this purpose he sought assistance wherever he could. But the two other important powers of southern India, namely, the Mahrattas and the Nizam, had shut their eyes to the impending danger of foreign domination and the British used them as tools to achieve their objects.
In utter disregard of the treaty concluded after the third Mysore War, Lord Wellesley attacked Mysore. It is a matter of record that General Harris marched from Vellore On February 3rd, 1799. The Mahrathas and the Nizam too moved their forces into Mysore territory. Lord Arthur Wellesley was in command of an army from Hyderabad.
High dignitaries of the Mysore Government had already been pruchased the British promises of god and crown. The traitors included Dewan Purnia, Prime Minister Mir Sadiq, and Mir Ghulam Ali. The final assault on the city was to happen on the 4th of May. The conniving Mir Sadiq started distributing salaries to the army. The soldiers left their posts and hurried to receive their pay. At that exact moment the British troops in conjunction with the treacherous elements in the fort, crossed the Kaveri, stormed the opening guarded by Syed Abdul Ghaffar together with a British soldiers, and entered the fort.
“After some time all the corpses were checked.When they saw the body of Sultan Tipu they weresilent. Sultans dress was full of bloodstains but hisface was full of grandeur and grace. In his handwas handle of his broken sword and his dress wassame like his other army officers but his turbanwas different from others. Sultans turban fell downfrom his corpse. Badar-uz-Zaman had taken thatturban. One English officer asked him, Is this TipuSultan? Mir Qamar-ud-Din replied in low voice,Yes, congratulations for the victory. One Englishsoldier cried, He is alive. So some persons pointedtheir guns towards the body of Tipu Sultan. OneEnglish officer came forward, checked the pulse of Sultan, put his hand on the chest of Sultan andsaid, He is dead. Badar-uz-Zaman looked at the Sultans turban, touched it to his eyes with greatrespect and said, We are his murders and not all of you. We had murdered him and our cominggenerations will put flowers of respect on hisgrave”.