Bengaluru, November 10: The Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations have become a point of contention between the Karnataka government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Opposition in the state of Karnataka. This raises a question as to who was Tipu Sultan and why is his legacy a contested one? The answer lies in the facts about the ruler's life. Tipu Sultan Jayanti Row: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy to Skip Event, Section 144 Imposed in 9 Districts.
Tipu Sultan is hailed as a freedom fighter by some but the Hindu right wing groups have demanded that the state celebrations of Tipu Sultan's Jayanti or birth anniversary be stopped on the grounds that he was a cruel leader who destroyed temples and killed Hindus. Let us give you five facts about Tipu Sultan to cut through the rhetoric.
1. Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 to 1799. He is remembered by those who adore his acts of valour for saving Deccan India from the British for a long period of time.
2. Tipu Sultan's full name was Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Shahab. He was born to Hyder Ali and Fatima Fakhr Un Nisa. The name Tipu was added in his name by his parents after the local saint Tipu Mastan Aulia.
3. At only the age of 15, Tipu Sultan captured the family of the Malabar chief, and was proficient in several warfare acts like hooting, riding and swordsmanship.
4. Tipu is also credited with developing the first war rockets in India. Over 1,000 "war rockets" of the 18th-century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore state, Tipu Sultan, were found in an abandoned open well at Bidanooru Fort in Karnataka's Shivamogga district in July.
5. Tipu was killed in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 at Srirangapatna near Mysore after successive victories in battles against the British rulers. A pioneer in using rocket artillery, Tipu used to deploy the rockets to deter the advancing British forces from advancing into his territory.
It is said that, for developing the rockets, Tipu took the help of the French army, which used the British Congreve rockets in the wars its commander-in-chief Napoleon Bonaparte fought in Europe. However, the legacy of the former ruler of Mysore has become contested in the last few years, as Hindu right wing groups demand that Tipu Jayanti celebrations be stopped. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has decided to give the Tipu Sultan celebrations in the state a miss amid the political opposition.