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Date: 2024-07-15 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00026006

Tipu Sultan fought the East India Company and very ferociously.

Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
My expectation is that a well educated child in the modern day has a good knowledge of the history of South Asia. I am old enough to know geography and history a little bit having grown up with the British education system ... but unfortunately I neglected to keep up with the big changes that have been taking place in the last several decades and which in my view will have important impact of world geopolitics as the years unfold.

It has been apparent for several decades that too many powerful people in leadership positions have far too little knowledge of history and what might be described as political geography, not to mention religion and culture!
Peter Burgess
By the way, it was Tipu Sultan who fought the British. On the other hand , the Hindu fundamentalist founders of RSS were always subservient to British and never took part in India's freedom struggle.

Your statements about Tipu Sultan and the RSS are indeed accurate.
True indeed that Tipu Sultan fought the East India Company and that too very ferociously. Also true is the fact that the RSS, not only refrained from participating in the freedom struggle but it also masterminded the killing of the principal architect of the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi.

But the problem with the study of history in post colonial India is that it glosses over the bloodthirsty aspects of Tipu's rule in Mysore. Tipu was the architect of the forcible conversions of Hindus and Christians to Islam, the destruction of temples and churches and an overall attempt to establish Islamic rule in South India. Indeed, Tipu's father Haidar Ali, who was a general in the Wodeyar dynasty, usurped the throne by deposing the Wodeyars. Upon Tipu's death, the Wodeyar dynasty was restored by the British.

Tipu's was mainly interested in propagating his rule. His wars with the East India Company - not Britain per se - reflected his ambitions and it is wrong to glorify him as the Indian left and Muslims do. It is equally wrong to vilify him as the BJP does in its attempts to rewrite history through a saffron lens. Nonetheless, Tipu Sultan's wars were in many ways the start of the resistance to the East India Company.

Clearly, the Muslim, especially the Pakistan version of history tends to glorify Islamic invaders who have wreaked havoc on Hindus. For instance, many Pakistani owned restaurants - even in the UK - are called Tipu Sultan; many Pakistani missiles are named after Islamic invaders such as Ghazni, Gori, Tipu etc. History texts in Pakistan eulogise bloodthirsty men who heaped terror on Hindus whilst history books in India have attempted to sanitise these events. And unless one views history without hagiographic references to tyrants merely because they belong to your religion, outfits like the RSS will fill in the gaps.

As Voltaire said:
History is only a register of crimes and misfortunes

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