Raging controversy over Tippu Sultan
There is no doubt that Tippu Sultan fought against the British and died in battle in his fort at Srirangapattanna and became a hero to his people. But, it should be mentioned here and now that he took the help of the French (a foreign power like the British) to build his army. The French were one of his most important allies that supplied him with arms, ammunition and horses and trained his army in the European manner. He invited Napoleon Bonaparte to invade India against the British during Napoleon's expeditions in Egypt. Besides, the Indian sub continent in 1799 and before was not an Indian nation as it is now. It was fragmented into so many princely states, of which Mysore was one. There were the Peshwas in Pune and Nizams in Hyderabad and the State of Travancore in the South. Hyder Ali conquered the rich Hindu kingdom of Bednore (the present Malanad and Shimoga district, Western Ghats, coastal Karnataka,Malabar and parts of northern Kerala) in 1763 after defeating the last Keladi queen Virammaji at Bedanore and transferred all her wealth to his kingdom in Mysore. The Bedanore rani had hoarded all her wealth got from the trade in Pepper and rice with Europeans and others. Instead of building a strong army like the Mahrattas or Hyder Ali with guns and horses she accumulated gold and jewels and her the happiness of people through peace. She made many interesting and far reaching treaties with the Peshwa Madhavrao, the Portuguesee and many other small and big powers with whom she had trade relations. She believed in peace and treaties which eventually bring prosperity to any nation. Wars brings destruction and death. Asoka the great realized it after the Kalinga war. His remorse led him to embrace Buddhism and spread it in his vast kingdom. But, in this context, history will tell you what Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan did to to the defeated people of Bedanore, of Mangalore, Nayars of Kerala and the Coorgs of the Coorg Kingdom. Read the history of Mysore by Shastry and Mark Wilks. To these people Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan were as much foreigners and of a different religion as the British. The people of Bedanore, Mangalore and the Nayars of Kerala have horrific stories to tell about Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan. Want to know more?