Mysore

ANGLO-MYSORE WARS

 

WAR & YearCourse of EventsGOVERNOR-GENERALRESULT

 

I (1766-69)Haider Ali broke the triple alliance of British, Nizam and Marathas and then declared war

on the British.

He won brilliant victories against British and reached the outskirts of Madras.

Robert CliveThe British were compelled to sign a defensive treaty;

Treaty of Madras

 

II (1780-82)Haider & Tipu

Mahe, a French settlement under Haider was captured by British.

• Haider formed triple alliance with Maratha and Nizam against British.

• Haider inflicted many defeats but Warren Hastings signed peace of Salbai with Marathas

and bribed Nizam with Guntur region and broke the triple alliance.

• In 1781, Eyre Coote defeated Haider at Porto Novo.

• A year later Haidar died and war was carried on by Tipu Sultan.

 

Warren Hastings

 

As war dragged on, both sides signed peace

Treaty of Mangalore

III (1790- 92)• Tipu was considered as most formidable rival by British in their quest for domination of south India.

• Tipu captured the territories of Travancore state, an ally of British.

• Triple alliance between British, Marathas and Nizam formed against Tipu.

 

CornwallisGovernor-general Cornwallis himself assumed the command and after heavy reverses, Tipu agreed to peace with treaty of

Seringapatnam (1792).

By this treaty, Tipu lost nearly half his

territories, which were distributed between

three allies

IV (1799)Tipu formed alliance with

revolutionary France and sent embassies to

Arabia and Turkey, Lord Wellesly was keen to

eliminate Mysore as last stumbling block in South.

• However, Tipu was defeated before the French help could reach him.

• He died defending his capital Seringapatnam.

His army remained loyal to him.

 

WellesleyWhile, Nearly half of Tipu’s dominions were divided

between British and Nizam.

• A small part was restored to Krishnaraja-III of

Wodeyar family from whom Haider had seized

power and subsidiary treaty signed with him

in 1799.

 

 

MYSORE & Tipu sultan

  • Tipu was the son of Haider Ali, a professional soldier who climbed the ranks in the army of the Wodeyar king of Mysore, and ultimately took power in 1761.
  • He was born in 1750 and, as a 17-year-old, fought in the first Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69) and subsequently, against the Marathas and in the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84).
  • Haider died while this war was on, and Tipu succeeded him in 1782.

 

Fought the British

  • Tipu mounted the most serious challenge the Company faced in India. He allied with the French to frustrate its attempts to control the politics of the Deccan and Carnatic, and challenged its vital trading interests.
  • He fought Company forces four times during 1767-99, and gave Governors-General Cornwallis and Wellesley bloody noses before he was killed defending his capital Srirangapatnam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
  • With Tipu gone, Wellesley imposed the Subsidiary Alliance on the reinstated Wodeyar king, and Mysore became the Company’s client state

 

Modernised army

  • Tipu has so far been seen as a man of imagination and courage, a brilliant military strategist who, in a short reign of 17 years,
  • Tipu reorganised his army along European lines, using new technology, including what is considered the first war rocket.

 

Agricultural reforms

  • He devised a land revenue system based on detailed surveys and classification, in which the tax was imposed directly on the peasant, and collected through salaried agents in cash, widening the state’s resource base.
  • He modernised agriculture, gave tax breaks for developing wasteland, built irrigation infrastructure and repaired old dams, and promoted agricultural manufacturing and sericulture.

 

Established trading posts

  • He built a navy to support trade, and commissioned a “state commercial corporation” to set up factories. As Mysore traded in sandalwood, silk, spices, rice and sulphur, some 30 trading outposts were established across Tipu’s dominions and overseas.

 

Annexations and religious persecutions

  • Haider and Tipu had strong territorial ambitions, and invaded and annexed territories outside Mysore.
  • Haider annexed Malabar and Kozhikode, and conquered Kodagu, Thrissur and Kochi.
  • Tipu raided Kodagu and Kochi.
  • In Kodagu, Mangaluru and Malabar today, Tipu is seen as a bloodthirsty tyrant who burnt down entire towns and villages, razed hundreds of temples and churches, and forcibly converted Hindus.
  • He was keen to subjugate Kodagu because it lay on the road from Mysore to Mangaluru, the port that Tipu wanted to control.
  • There is evidence that Tipu persecuted Hindus and Christians, but there is also evidence that he patronised Hindu temples and priests, and gave them grants and gifts. He donated to temples at Nanjangud, Kanchi and Kalale, and patronised the Sringeri mutt.
  • When linguistic states were formed in the 1950s, many regions that read their historical past differently were merged under a common linguistic identity. Kodagu, now part of Karnataka, has always seen Tipu as an invader, and the old Mysore state’s narrative of him as a moderniser would not be acceptable to Kodagu only because it is now the official state narrative.

Placing a personality in binary terms is neither rational nor progressive. Historical perspectives should be critically analysed only to study from the past so as to live in a better present and build a better tomorrow. Attempts to see such narratives in political,communal or religious lines to create divisions in society should be vehemently opposed.

Furthermore historical narratives are contextualised. Tipu is revered as builder of modern Karnataka in the partcular state whereas in areas like Malabar he is seen as tyrant who butchered masses.

It serves no purpose to view Tipu’s multilayered personality through the prism of morality or religion; it is not necessary that he be judged only in terms of either a hero or a tyrant.