It’s not to Hate Tipu but to Know the Truth


This is a translation of Pratap Simha’s Kannada Prabha column titled Tippuvannu dweshisabekendalla, satya tiliyali endu, published on 9 March 2013. Comments and criticism welcome as always.

Image courtesy: Kannada Prabha

“I’ll give you a fresh sample of a lie uttered by a writer. In light of the opposition to the proposal to establish a University in Srirangapatana named after Tipu, this writer has falsely claimed that Tipu was a hater of Hindus, and that he had forcibly converted 71,000 Hindus to Islam. When I heard this, I immediately suspected whether the total population of Coorg was indeed 71,000. I checked the Coorg Gazetteer published by the Government. There were only 1,68,312 people in Coorg in 1871. The 1981 Census records the total population of Coorg as 3,22,829. Thus, when we compute the population of Coorg for the 1782-99 period, it’s clear that it couldn’t have been more than a lakh. In that hundred thousand number, if 71,000 people had been converted to Islam, Coorg should have had a Muslim population of at least 2,00,000 in the intervening 210 years. Today, the total Muslim population in Coorg stands at just 14,730. Can this writer-researcher utter such barefaced lies?”

This is the substance of the attack by K. Chennabasappa, President of the 79th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Kannada Literary Meet), against the renowned historian-researcher, Dr. Chidananda Murthy.

The kind of number jugglery displayed by the veteran K. Chennabasappa is enough to sway even the illiterate. But on calm reflection, it’s evident that Chennabasappa has taken some lessons from Darrell Huff’s How to Lie with Statistics. It’s said that when wisdom abandons us, so does our brains. However, those with impure intent will consciously use their brains in the service of folly. We need to say this in the case of K. Chennabasappa because according to the 2011 Census, the total population of Coorg was 5.48 lakhs comprising 1.25 lakh Muslims. And so, Mr. Chennabasappa, there are three times the number of Muslims in Virajpet alone—three times your figure of 14730 Muslims that you claim live in the entire Coorg district! I guess only God will be pleased with your “logic” of “if 71,000 people had been converted to Islam, Coorg should have had a Muslim population of at least 2,00,000 in the intervening 210 years.” Is Mr. Chennabasappa even aware of the population growth rate of Muslims? Even Wikipedia says that "Kodagu is home to a sizeable population of Muslims.”

Further, here’s how I.M. Muthanna, author of Tipu Sultan X-Rayed describes Tipu’s raid on Coorg: “Tipu fell upon Coorg in the manner of a stealthy cat. His raid wasn’t that of an emperor intent on expanding his empire. It was a cultural and religious invasion. This tactic of Tipu won there. Tipu fell upon the villages and towns of Coorg just like he fell upon the cities. He followed the policy of Islam or death. This barbarism weakened the strength of the Coorg people and their army. Having realized that he could not win them in direct confrontation, Tipu targeted and assaulted temples. Thus, having secured political victories using religious fanaticism, Tipu easily entered the Malabar region. Remnants of the cruelties he inflicted upon the Coorg people are surviving even today. Some historians claim that he killed about 40000 Coorgis and converted an equal number. We cannot dispute the fact that there might be exaggeration in these numbers. However, there is no dispute to the fact that he converted the original Kodavas who were since known as Kodava Mapilas. Equally, there were hundreds of converted Kodavas in Tipu’s Ahamadiya army. These are indisputable witnesses to historical truth.”

Today, we have Mapilas (Muslims) whose family names are Kodava names. We have Alira, Cheeranda, Chimma Cheera (this surname is shared by non-Muslim Kodavas), Duddiyanda, Kaddadiyanda, and Kolumanda in Virajpet. In the Devanageri village, we have Muslim family names like Puliyanda and in the regions surrounding Virajpet, we have Muslim family names like Kuvalera, Italtanda, Mitaltanda, Kuppodanda, Kappanjeera. Similarly, in the Madikeri taluk, we have Kalera, Chekkera, Charmakaranda, Maniyanda, Balasojikaranda, and Mandeyanda. Intriguingly, in the Hoddur village in Madikeri taluk, there is a Muslim family with the surname of Harishchandra!

The then king of Coorg replaced the shrine (or pinnacle) of the Omkareshwara temple with a Gumbaz fearing Tipu. This was to give an impression that it was a mosque when seen from afar. Even today, the Omkareshwara temple looks like a Gumbaz.

What does all this indicate?

Do you know what’s funny? Dr. Chidananda Murthy has nowhere said that Tipu Sultan forcibly converted 71000 Hindus to Islam. Here’s what he actually said: “Tipu forcibly converted 70000 Christians and a lakh Hindus in the Malabar, Coorg, and the Coastal regions of Karnataka.” Despite this, what motivated K. Chennabasappa to intentionally twist Dr. Murthy’s words?  And then, M.M. Kalburgi who delivered the valedictory speech of the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana launched yet another attack on Dr. Chidananda Murthy. What does it augur for us when the dais of something as well-intentioned as the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana is misused by such people to display their pettiness against an honest scholar like Dr. Chidananda Murthy? This selfsame Kalburgi wrote a book titled Kannada Arasara Akannada Prajne (The anti-Kannada Feeling of Kannada Kings). Does he have the guts to write about the openly anti-Kannada attitude of the same Tipu Sultan who erased Kannada, the administrative language of the Mysore kingdom, and replaced it with Farsi?

There’s a reason for mentioning all this. The aforementioned people are in responsible and influential positions in public life. As such, they get platforms on a platter. And once they ascend the platform, they begin to spew venom and lies. What kind of impact does it have when people who’re supposed to guide the society misguide it? There’s a proverb which says that those who don’t learn from history cannot create history. And here we have these worthies who openly dissuade us from reading, writing, and speaking historical truths, and who ask us to parrot their bunch of lies. Should we tolerate this?

Besides, why should we name the proposed university at Srirangapatana after Tipu instead of genuine Muslim leaders like Abdul Kalam and Abdul Nazir Saab? From what angle does Tipu Sultan appear like a freedom fighter to these lying worthies? Who is a freedom fighter? Indeed, what are the qualifications to call someone a freedom fighter?

Whether a person can be called a freedom fighter or no will be clear when we examine the historical timeline. Thus, when we look at this timeline, we cannot call anybody who fought in the 1857 war as a freedom fighter. After Ashoka’s death, the whole of India was never united under a single empire/emperor. Indeed, until the 1857 war, there was no concept of India as a single, unified nation. Various kings used to fight one another to either defend or extend their own territories. The Nawab of Arcot and the Nairs of Malabar fought against Tipu in the same way as Tipu fought against the Marathas and the Kodavas. The Marathas hated Hyder-Tipu  as much as the latter hated the British. The Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore whose empire Hyder had usurped through deceit, too didn’t particularly like the father-son duo.

The Marathas who had invited Hyder Ali to fight against the British as early as 1771 hated the British with greater intensity than Hyder-Tipu hated the British. But then, the same Marathas allied with the British in the Third and Fourth Anglo-Mysore wars. And it’s not just that. The Mughals fought against the Rajputs, the Marathas fought against the Mughals and the Bahamani sultans. And thus, until all of these Indian kings lost their kingdoms one after the other, and until the British took over most of India, there was no common enemy, and thus, there was no period of organized resistance.


By 1857, all emperors, kings, feudatories, sultans, nizams, nawabs, and dynasties had been completely subjugated by the British, who then emerged as the common enemy. Apart from Ashoka, the only other king who had—barring a few regions—the whole of India under his control was Akbar. The British were the only empire who managed to surpass both Ashoka and Akbar in this respect. Thus, only after this common enemy emerged that the people of India started a movement to reclaim their country from this alien ruler. Only this phenomenon can reasonably be called as the freedom struggle in the sense we understand it.

The British tried to give a name and form to the war of 1857 by calling it the Sepoy Mutiny. It was variously called the Sepoy Mutiny and the Indian Mutiny. However, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who wrote the “The History of the War of Indian Independence” termed the Sepoy Mutiny as the First War of Independence, a terminology that came into widespread usage. But the Sikhs were unhappy with this terminology. They insisted that the First Anglo-Sikh war of 1845-56 be called the First War of Independence.

What does all this indicate?

The wars and conflicts prior to the 1857 war weren’t freedom struggles. Therefore, none of the people who fought in them can be called freedom fighters. They were just conflicts and battles fought to defend and preserve specific territories. Aren’t our literary and academic eminences aware of this simple truth? How does Tipu Sultan, who fought against the British, Marathas, Kodavas, Nairs, et al to either defend his territory or to conquer that of other kings, become a freedom fighter? How can one fight for the freedom of a country at a time when there was no concept of a single nation and a single, united Government?


Why can’t we call Siraj-ud-Daula, who fought in 1757 in Plassey against the British, a freedom fighter? If the act of Tipu Sultan—who came to power in 1782—taking the help of the French to root out the British from India, is termed as freedom struggle, how is it different from that of Siraj-ud-Daula who took French help 25 years prior to Tipu? By this token, doesn’t Tipu’s own father, Hyder Ali who fought the British also become a freedom fighter?

Oh! and can we call the Raja of Travancore, the Marathas, and the Nizam of Hyderabad as traitors because they took the help of the British to fight Tipu’s atrocities? The Nizam of Hyderabad sent a contingent of 10 Battalions, which included 16,000 horsemen in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore in which Tipu was killed. It is true that Tipu had sought the assistance of the French to fight against the British. But the Nizam’s aforementioned force—sent to aid the British against Tipu—also comprised 3600 French soldiers. What do we say to this?

The day I heard how the likes of K. Chennabasappa and M.M. Kalburgi twisted the words of Dr. Chidanandamurthy to suit their dirty little agendas at the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in order to spew venom against the scholar was the day I decided to show and tell the public, the true story of Tipu Sultan backed by complete, firsthand evidence and facts. That was also when I sat down to expose the true colours of these intellectual eunuchs who indulge in lickspittle writing about historical figures. The result is a new book entitled Tipu Sultan: Swatantra Veeranaa? (Tipu Sultan: Was he a Freedom Fighter?). Nobody needs to hate Tipu Sultan but everybody needs to know the truth. And the lies.

The book is now in stores. Read. Decide for yourself. Debate!

32 comments for “It’s not to Hate Tipu but to Know the Truth

  1. Aritra Ghosh
    March 15, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    I show my gratitude to those two great kings of Mysore for killing the people who infuse the dirty caste system at the time of a grave danger also.

  2. Anu
    December 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    all hindus in kerala hate tippu

  3. Sunil
    December 12, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    Tipu is not a freedom fighter, these congress men for vote banking they want to project him as a hero. Also Muslims need a iconic image they choose tipu for that. Tipu had fought many wars only for the personal gains. While he was expanding his kingdom he had to fight with many other kingdom. He choose to eliminate British first thinking that easy win against foreign army. That’s all he did fight for united india or some good cause. So he is not a freedom fighter. other than that if he has done achievements like KR wodiyar 4 you can regard him. He was not man of ethics like Akbar. He is neither educated nor Philanthro.. He encouraged Persian language, Converted lakhs of hindus. He did not feel like a Indian, he felt as a persian who has come to expand islam.

  4. Dr Saradindu Mukherji
    May 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Responding to Mr P.K. Bal’s query on the Navaratnas among the public sector intellectuals, a clarification first. Navaratnas in the public sector are actually doing a constructive job and helping the national economy. Hence the comparison is not apt. Public sector intellectuals(mainly social science, literature. language depts)_ are those who have been flourishing on sarkari expense and in many cases it is a family network of some parasitic historian-propagandists. There are two to three generations of one family, husband-wife, sister-sister, father-mother-son-daughter, live-in partners are all there. It is a club of cheap propagandists and belong to what is called a mutual-admiration club of the low-life,

  5. May 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Is there an English translation of this book available?

  6. April 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I got 2 sites, where it is written on Tipu’s atrocities on Hindus.



    Pls read them, and if found some content, do share your response as well.


    Amit Sharma

  7. Ratan
    April 9, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Hey Sandeep where are you?
    Please update your blog.

  8. akash
    March 31, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Iqbal on the contrary, Sandeep speaks the truth, and it irks holocaust deniers like you who deify the mini Hitlers spawned by their precious Mughals, Tipus etc in the guise of secularism. In any other nation, history books would have been open about the shame that is Indian Islamic history when it comes to religious tolerance, and it is only in India that despite your dark behaviour even at Independence such as Direct Action Day, vested interests have towed your line to get your votes. As an Indian, I am appalled that I share my country with people such as you, who instead of taking the path of honesty and admitting the truth, continue to peddle lies and try to tar those who speak the truth as xenophobic or illiterate. It is the reason why most of your ilk remain ghettoized despite sucking up resources of everyday Indians.

  9. Nitin
    March 30, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Where are you Sandeepji?Hope everything is alright.Waiting for your new post.

  10. Pakistan the Impure
    March 30, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Just another example of the filthy reality of the “pure” land of Pakistan

  11. g
    March 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    @iqbal: Xenophobia, functional illiteracy? You need to back up your characterizations with reasoning and clearly explain your usage of these ambiguous terms. Of course, if your name is any indication you might be suffering from a serious case of Muhmmad-itis, i.e. expecting everyone in the whole world to take what comes from your mouth as god-given truth simply because you are saying it.

  12. Iqbal
    March 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Dear Sandeep,
    Your typical blog consists of rants against one or the other group of people whose views diverge from yours. You clearly cater to the lowest common denominator: the paranoid, functionally illiterate and xenophobic Indian who needs reassurances like yours to possess any sort of patriotism and pride. Why else would you elaborate about “no freedom struggle before 1857″? Anyone who managed to stay awake through a History class in school would know.

    You are a superb writer, however, and I urge you to rethink the issues you write about.

  13. Krishna
    March 23, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    sandeep. Are you on vanavaasa.. eagerly waiting for your next blog man…

  14. March 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    This is a superb article. It is about time, Indians start demolishing historical myths, especially the anti-Hindu myths!

  15. Nidheesh
    March 21, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    The invasion of Hyder and Tipu were the ones that destroyed the social and secular fabric of Malabar. They laid to waste centuries of peace and harmony among people, destroyed the local rulers and created a sense of fear among Hindus which exist even today. In my place, Tipu is a name which people spit at even today. It has been 2 centuries after the invasion, yet the hatred towards the invader is imprinted in our genes. Hyder and Tipu were the only reason that British got to have Malabar. Before the invasion, it was (almost) peaceful trade and commerce between Kolathiri, Samuthiri and the British (and other Europeans), but after the invaders left, British took over.

  16. March 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    I wonder why there has been no noise regarding this finding by J. Gopikrishnan(the man who first exposed wrong-doings in 2G scam).

    Or, maybe Moily is not a big fish enough to be hectored by our media.

  17. ItAcHi
    March 19, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    I would like to know one thing. Suppose NaMo announces that if he becomes PM, first thing he will do is to give Bihar special status. Now the congress too will jump in and announce the same within a matter of days not to lose out. In the meantime, WTF will Nitish Kumar do? Will he decline saying he doesnt wasnt special status from communal forces, or will he accept it? Either way, its a screwed up situation for Mr.Secular
    Has anyone seen Modi’s speech at India today conclave? UNBELIEVABLE. FREAKING AWESOME. If it werent for the last 5 minutes creating some unpleasantness during Q&A, for 2 hrs its plain music flowing from Modi.

  18. Pralay Kumar Bal
    March 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    @ Dr. Saradindu Mukherji
    ‘Public Sector Intellectuals’ ! It makes sense. But I request Mukherji to identify “Navratnas”, like the government declaring navratnas in PSU !!

  19. March 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    This link on the BBC site tells a lot of story about the ongoing SECULAR SHAHBAG MOVEMENT in Bangladesh. And, the HINDUS are bearing the brunt of scularisation of Bangladesh.

  20. March 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Tipu Sultan’s brazen bigotry has been concealed for fartoo long.
    Thankfully, it is now coming out in the open, owing to the presence of Alternate Media.
    I hope the number of persons exposing the lies of Tipu being secular, will only proliferate.

  21. Escapee
    March 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    There may be more than meets the eye when it comes to the criticism of Dr. Murthy. Was it because of his background (Brahmin) and the hatred of the speakers towards Brahmins, some of whose hatred for Brahmins is well-known. They will even ignore the fact that Coorg was ruled by Lingayat rulers when Hyder Ali and Tipu carried out their atrocities. It is sad that Hindus’ hatred for each other overrides the larger danger militant Islam poses to our collective existence. It is the endorsement of such individuals that makes a majority of Muslims feel dreadfully wronged and make some of them gravitate towards militant Islam. I am sure that these criticisms of Dr. Murthy will be part of Hafeez Syed’s compulsory reading in his militant training school. God save India!

  22. Raj
    March 16, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Can there be any clearer sign that adharmic and asuric forces are prevailing than the lionizing of this bigot and the simultaneous institution of this policy:

    Wake up!

  23. Dr Saradindu Mukherji
    March 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Tipu was a bigot who massacred Hindus and Christians. Amar Chitra Katha series unfortunately had brought out a publication on this zealot who wanted an Islamic empire in India. But in “secular” India, with the public sector intellectuals being jihad-friendly “progressive” and “liberal” , this Jihadi usurper is being projected as an earlier version of Pandit Nehru. This is a shame on India and weakens our national resolve to fight the menace of Islamic terror. The ousted CM of Karnataka, Yedurappa had also made a statement projecting Tipu as a symbol of Kannadiga pride. The liquor king had also talked about his legacy in a positive light. All such cravenness must stop if India has to survive.
    By the way, 1857 uprising despite the participation of many spirited leaders here and there was basically an Islamic uprising to restore the Mughals to power. Let’s not confuse Lakshmi Bai’s heroic role and Kuer Singh’s struggle with the the Wahabi narrative.

  24. raghu
    March 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    It was Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan who were responsible for the destruction of various chiefs belonging to Lingayat and Vokkaliga community in Karnataka like the Keladi Chiefs (Lingayats), Coorgis (Lingayats), Devanahalli (Vokkaliga), Chitradurga (Naik Community, now claiming S.T.tag), Chikkaballapura (Vokkaliga) and they usurped power from the Wodeyars (Urs community). But it is strange that none of the members of these communities (except of course Dr.Chidananda Murthy) are speaking against these usurpers and instead backing them. Of course all this is for publicity. There is one Talakadu Chikkarange Gowda who was earlier a Kannada activist working with one R.N.S.Gowda who had formed Kannada Ranadheerara Pade. (R.N.S.Gowda was intelligent and a gentleman who for unknown reason left politics). One day Talakadu Chikkarange Gowda had formed an organization called Tippu Prachara Samithi or something like that and with the backing of Muslims started glorifying Tipu and in one speech even said that in his next birth he would like to be born a Muslim. He recently was seen in a program being telecasted in Janashri TV channel on their weekly program on Bangalore and had become Dr. Talakadu Chikkarange Gowda, an authority on Tipu. In our country there are people who are so publicity hungry and if it means that they will get publicity, they will even foul mouth their mother.

  25. prakash
    March 12, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Hi Sandeep,
    Nice one…..
    Have you see this article…on TIPU
    please let me know ur experience in reading it

  26. Badari Narayanan
    March 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Please share details of the book, publisher

  27. shree
    March 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Thanks Sandeep and Pratap, very insightful one. Especially explaining how Independence struggle came to existence only at around 1857.

  28. Proud Kafir
    March 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Dear Sandeep,

    The real shame of past 500 years have been that even though at a point of time the Marathas had conquered Delhi, the idea of Hindu unity was not utilised or encashed to built a pan India Hindu state. The Sikhs, Rajputs, Marathas, Gorkhas, Nairs, Kodavas never unite against outsiders. It was a historic opportunity we lost which caused us our Independence & partition of India.

  29. March 12, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    The truth should be known because that will decide whether people like Akbar and Tipu should be our models. And history shows both these were the villains of their times. Question is not about hate, question is about the who is given what place in public discourse, and what it leads to.

  30. Mishra
    March 12, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    The ROP appeasement is going to take the world to a living hell. ROP has issues with all state laws, civi & criminal in every country of the world; as they have some unmodifiable GOD law Shariah.

    In ROP the worst you can do is not genocide, child rape, treachery but its questioning anything from Hadith and Quran. The ROP critic Ali Sina says ” … The reason I am against Islam is not because it is a religion, but because it is a political ideology of imperialism and domination in the guise of religion….”. Hence in this ROP you can and may do anything you want in the name of it with impunity. One must go through and to understand fully this sword of Democles which is hanging on the neck of the human civilization in general and Hindus in perticular.

    But the most worrying thing to me that this appeasement is not just an Indian-weak-Hindu phenomenon but also a global one. The signs of which are visible with the recent University College of London (ULB) incident of which the greak R Dawkins gave a commentary, the capitulation of UK Govt to give in to Shariah law for Muslim civil affairs. That Denmark has started secured schools for Jews with armed personnel and barb wired institutions.

    Finally one must check the Anjem Choudary videos on You tube and “shariah for hind” uprising planned by him to make India a Muslim land. I am sure, we shall either see a total change in secularism and current civil laws in our country or see the decline of Hindu populace to single digits in 3 decades or so.

    May god help the last surviving polytheists of the world, having been wiped out from the rest of it.

  31. rr
    March 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    wow! just wow

  32. March 11, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I hate tipu because he massacred 700 or more people of my community and Gotra on one Deepavali day. For this we celebrate Deepavali only on Balipadhyami and give Naraka Chaturdashi a miss.

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