Thursday, 21 February 2013

Patriots

                    
 Patriots of INDIA:-


                   Our India have the greatest heroes in real life who gave their lives for what we live today. They took the responsibility for building the future of our India. We do have to remember them and show our gratitude always till the end of our lives for their sacrifice. However we forget all of them under the shadow of our politicians. Still, I took the privilege of remembering few of our courageous Indians today. Hope they shall return one day to see us and say " what for we sacrificed?"




                          Among the many patriots from INDIA, Our Alluri Sita Rama raju has made a page in the history with his boldness and courage.Alluri Sita Rama Raju (born July 4, 1897 – died May 7, 1924) was anIndian revolutionary involved in the independence movement.





                          Raju led the ill-fated "Rampa Rebellion" of 1922–24, during which a band of tribal leaders and other sympathizers fought against the British Raj.. He was referred to as "Manyam Veerudu" ("Hero of the Jungles") by the local people.

                          Raju was born on July 4, 1897 in Pandrangi village in the visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh to a Telugu Kshatriya family.His mother was from Visakhapatnam and his father was a native of Mogallu near Bhimavaram and was an official photographer in the central jail at Rajamundry. The young Raju lived mainly in Mogallu and was educated in rajmundry at the Vullithota Bangarayya school, as well as in Kakinada, Tuni, Ramachandrapuram in the East Godavari district.

                           Raju's father died when he was in school and he grew up in the care of his uncle, Rama Chandra Raju, a tahsildar in Narsapur in the West Godavari district. He studied at Taylor High School in Narsapur then moved to Tuni along with his mother, brother and sister. While there, Alluri visited areas of the Visakhapatnam district and became familiar with the needs of the indigenous people.
When Raju turned 15, he moved to his mother's home town of Vishakhapatnam and enrolled at Mrs. A.V.N. College. He was dropped out of college after failing in the fourth form (Std. IX)
Raju led a protest movement in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by the patriotic zeal of revolutionaries in Bengal, Raju raided police stations in and around chintapalle and other agency areas near Annavaram.

                          Raju and his followers stole guns , ammunition and killed several British army officers, including Scott Coward near Dammanapalli.In December 1922, the British deployed a company of Assam Rifles,near Pedagapalle under the leadership of Saunders. Raju, who had by then gone underground, resurfaced after about four months and continued the fight, strengthened by tribal volunteers using bows and arrows under the leadership of Gam Mallu Dora and Gantam Dora.

                                   Following a raid led by Raju on the Annavaram police outpost on September 18, 1923, Gam Mallu Dora was arrested. The Government entrusted the task of containing Raju's activities to the District Collector of Visakhapatnam district, Rutherford, who fired the first salvo when his forces arrested Surya Narayana Raju Pericherla, popularly known as Aggiraju, a devoted follower of Raju.
The British campaign lasted for nearly a year from December 1922. Rama Raju was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli then tied to a tree and shot dead with a rifle in Mampa village. Following the martyrdom of Alluri, the tribal revolt lost its momentum and petered out by October 1923. Police officer Mr. N. Ganeswara Rao responsible for Raju's entrapment was awarded Rao Bahadur.

  A song written and dedicated to our great Alluri Sita Rama Raju by SRI SRI.




            A Revolutionary leader born to inspire every Indian to fight for his land is Bhagat Singh. Bhagat Singh was (born on September 27, 1907- Died on March 23,1931). His father was also a revolutionary, so patriotism flowed in his blood. By the time, he completed his secondary education, Bhagat Singh knew everything about the revolutionaries of his family. He decided himself to fight for the country at the- age of thirteen and left school, joined the freedom movement. He believed that only young Indians can change the fate of India.





                   At that time, there was a powerful anti-foreign cloth movement in the country. Bhagat Singh took part in this movement and wore only Khadi. He would collect foreign clothes and burn them. Bhagat Singh had no faith in non-violence and non-cooperation movement and believed that armed revolution was the only practical way of winning freedom. He went to Lahore and formed a group called 'Naujavan Bharat Sabha' which consisted of young Indians and was appointed its Secretary. Here he was introduced to Chandrasekhar Azad, another young revolutionary, with whom he formed a great bond. All these days he had been a hero of the Sikhs; he now became a national hero.
           
                   In February 1928, the Simon Commission, headed by Sir John Simon, came to India to decide how much freedom and responsibility could be given to the people of India. But there was no Indian on the committee, so people decided to boycott it. Wherever the committee went, people protested with black flags, shouting “Simon go back”. One such procession that was lathi charged was led by Lala Lajpat Rai. A British police officer hit Lalaji on the chest. Lalaji died after some days. To average Lalaji's death, Bhagat Singh and two other revolutionaries Sukhdev and Rajguru shot dead Saunders, the police officer responsible. The three were arrested later for throwing a bomb in the Delhi Assembly Hall and sentenced to death. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged a day before the appointed day on March 23rd, 1931. He has rightfully been given the title of Shaheed-e-Azam (King of Martyrs).




            Maharaj Shivaji, a name of the Maratha king still remembered by every Indian for the courage shown. He is the founder of  Maratha Empire in western India. He is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time and even today, stories of his exploits are narrated as a part of the folklore. King Shivaji used the guerrilla tactics to capture a part of, the then, dominant Mughal empire. It was told that the Goddess BHAVANI of Tuljapur blessed Shivaji to courage before he was crowned. He visited the temple many times during the wars also.



            Shivaji was born on 19th February 1630, to Sahaji and his wife, Jijabai, in the Shivneri Fort, situated almost 60 km to the north of Pune. He was named as Shiva, after the local Goddess Shivai, to whom his mother Jijabai had prayed for a son. After being defeated by the combined forces of the Mughals and Adil Shah, Sahaji was offered a jagir near the present-day Bangalore. However, he was allowed to keep his holdings in Pune. So, Sahaji left his son Shivaji to manage the Pune holdings, under the care of his mother Jijabai.

            With a small council of ministers, Shivaji began managing his estate. His ministers included Shamrao Nilkanth as Peshwa, Balkrishna Pant as Muzumdar, Raghunath Ballal as Sabnis and Sonopant as Dabir. At the same time, Kanhoji Jedhe and Baji Pasalkar were appointed to look after Shivaji's training. In the year 1644, Shivaji undertook full administrative responsibilities of his estate. Thus was started his career as an independent young prince of a small kingdom. His mother, Jijabai, was instrumental in instilling in Shivaji's mind a love for independence and distaste for external political domination.

            The first aggression in the life of Shivaji came at the age of sixteen, when he seized the Torna fort of Bijapur kingdom. By 1647, he had gained control over Kondana and Rajgad forts, with complete power of the Pune region. With time, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj secured the forts in the Western Ghats as well as those along the Konkan coast. Shivaji also fought against the army of Adilshah at Purandhar. In November 1659, he fought the battle of Pratapgarh and defeated Afzal Khan. Immediately after this success, King Shivaji occupied the area stretching upto the Panhala fort.

The battle of Kolhapur took place in December 1659. In the battle, Shivaji crushed the army of Bijapuri general, Rustemjaman. In 1660, Siddi Johar's huge and daunting army attacked him at Panhala fort. Shivaji managed to escape from the fort. However, he soon launched an attack on Siddi Johar. The result was the surrender of Panhala and a truce between Shivaji and Adilshah. After the death of Adilshah, Aurangzeb attacked Golconda and Bijapur. Shivaji used guerilla-style tactics and captured more and more of the Bijapuri and Mughal territories. However, by 1663, he had lost most of his conquests to the Mughal army.

In the next few years, Shivaji again started seizing forts belonging to both Mughals as well as those of Bijapur. Aurangzeb sent Jai Singh, his Hindu general, to capture Shivaji. Shivaji surrendered to Jai Singh at Purander in 1665 and agreed becoming a Mughal vassal. In 1666, he managed to escape form his house arrest in Agra and lay low for the next few years. However, in January 1670, Shivaji launched an attack on Mughal garrisons in Maharashtra. Within a period of six months, he won back most of his lost empire. The period of 1670 to 1674 was spent by Shivaji Maharaj in expanding his empire at the cost of the Mughals.

In 1670, Shivaji launched an assault, under his General - Tanaji Malusare, to capture Kondana fort on the outskirts of Pune. The battle was won but he lost Tanaji. In the honor of Tanaji, the Kondana fort was renamed as Sinhagad. Shivaji was formally crowned as Chatrapati (meaning the Chief, Head or King of Kshatriyas) in June 1674 at the Raigad fort. He was given the title of Kshatriya Kulavantas Simhasanadheeshwar Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The end of 1676 saw Shivaji commencing attacks in the southern parts of India.

Shivaji was an efficient ruler and administrator and ruled with a just and firm hand. His government had concepts that we know of now like the Cabinet known as Ashtapradhan Mandal, foreign affairs known as Dabir and also an internal intelligence wing. During Shivaji's reign the army was very efficient and dependable. Since Shivaji ruled a major part of the Western coast area, he also commanded a strong navy force. Shivaji is known for his protective and fatherly attitude towards his citizens. He is remembered till date as a hero who worked for the welfare of his subjects and state.

Shivaji breathed his last on 3rd April 1680 in the Raigad fort, the capital for Maratha Empire. He was succeeded by his elder son, Sambhaji.


            Mahatma Gandhi, a name which doesn’t need any sort of introduction to any of the Indian. He is the person who turned the evil foreigners to humans with a simple smile and strikes in peace. His full name is Mohandas karamchand Gandhi and born on Oct 2nd,1869 at Porbandar. His father Karamchand Gandhi was the Diwan (Prime Minister) of Porbandar. Gandhi's mother Putlibai was a pious lady and under her tutelage Gandhi imbibed various principles of Hinduism at an early age.


            In 1883, all of 13 and still in high school, Gandhi was married to Kasturbai as per the prevailing Hindu customs. For a person of such extraordinary visionary zeal and resilience, Mahatma Gandhi was by and large an average student in school and was of a shy disposition. After completing his college education, at his family's insistence Gandhi left for England on September 4, 1888 to study law at University College, London. During his tenure in London, Mohandas Gandhi strictly observed abstinence from meat and alcohol as per his mother's wishes.

            Upon completion of his law degree in 1891, Gandhi returned to India and tried to set up a legal practice but could not achieve any success. In 1893, when an Indian firm in South Africa offered him the post of legal adviser Gandhi was only too happy to oblige and he set sail for South Africa. This decision alone changed the life of Gandhi, and with that, the destiny of an entire nation. As he descended in South Africa, Gandhi was left appalled at the rampant racial discrimination against Indians and blacks by the European whites.

            Soon Gandhi found himself at the receiving end of such abuse and he vowed to take up the cudgels on behalf of the Indian community. He organized the expatriate Indians and protested against the injustices meted out by the African government. After years of disobedience and non-violent protests, the South African government finally conceded to Gandhi's demands and an agreement to this effect was signed in 1914. A battle was won, but Gandhi realized the war that was to be waged against the British awaits his arrival in India. He returned to India the next year.

            After reaching India, Gandhi traveled across the length and breadth of the country to witness first hand the atrocities of the British regime. He soon founded the Satyagraha Ashram and successfully employed the principles of Satyagraha in uniting the peasants of Kheda and Champaran against the government. After this victory Gandhi was bestowed the title of Bapu and Mahatma and his fame spread far and wide.

            In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi called for the non-cooperation movement against the British Government with the sole object of attaining Swaraj or independence for India. Even though the movement achieved roaring success all over the country, the incident of mob violence in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh forced Gandhi to call off the mass disobedience movement. Consequent to this, Mahatma Gandhi took a hiatus from active politics and instead indulged in social reforms.

            The year 1930 saw Gandhi's return to the fore of Indian freedom movement and on March 12, 1930 he launched the historic Dandi March to protest against the tax on salt. The Dandi March soon metamorphosed into a huge civil disobedience movement. The Second World War broke out in 1939 and as the British might began to wane, Gandhi called for the Quit India movement on August 8, 1942. Post World War, the Labour Party came to power in England and the new government assured the Indian leadership of imminent independence.

            The Cabinet Mission sent by the British government proposed for the bifurcation of India along communal lines which Gandhi vehemently protested. But eventually he had to relent and on the eve of independence thousands lost their lives in communal riots. Gandhi urged for communal harmony and worked tirelessly to promote unity among the Hindus and Muslims. But Mahatma's act of benevolence angered Hindu fundamentalists and on January 13, 1948 he was assassinated by Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse. 


            Rana Pratap Singh(Born: May 9, 1540- January 29, 1597), a Rajput king who fought for his mother land against the mughals for a long time. He protested the occupation of Mewar and never surrendered to the greatest armies of Mughals. He used to fight with a spear in his hand and he is famous for it.



            In 1567, when Crown Prince Pratap Singh was only 27, Chittor was surrounded by the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar. Maharana Udai Singh II, father of Rana Pratap singh decided to leave Chittor and move his family to Gogunda, rather than capitulate to the Mughals. The young Pratap Singh wanted to stay back and fight the Mughals but the elders intervened and convinced him to leave Chittor, oblivious of the fact that this move from Chittor was going to create history for all times to come. 

            In Gogunda, Maharana Udai Singh II and his nobles set up a temporary government of the kindom of Mewar. In 1572, the Maharana passed away, leaving the way for Crown Prince Pratap Singh to become the Maharana. However, in his later years, the late Maharana Udai Singh II had fallen under the influence of his favorite queen, Rani Bhatiyani, and had willed that her son Jagmal should ascend to the throne. As the late Maharana's body was being taken to the cremation grounds, Pratap Singh, the Crown Prince decided to accompany the dead body of the Maharana. This was a departure from tradition as the Crown Prince did not accompany the body of the departed Maharana but instead prepared to ascend the throne, such that the line of succession remained unbroken. Pratap Singh, in deference to his father's wishes, decided to let his half-brother Jagmal become the next king. However, knowing this to be disastrous for Mewar, the late Maharana's nobles, especially the Chundawat Rajputs, forced Jagmal to leave the throne to Pratap Singh. Unlike Bharat, Jagmal did not willingly give up the throne. He swore revenge and left for Ajmer, to join the armies of Akbar, where he was offered a jagir - the town of Jahazpur - in return for his help. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Pratap Singh became Maha Rana Pratap Singh I, 54th ruler of Mewar in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs. 

            In the year 1572, Pratap Singh had just become the Maharana of Mewar and he had not been back in Chittor since 1567. His old fort and his home beckoned to him. The pain of his father's death, and the fact that his father had not been able to see Chittor again, troubled the young Maharana deeply. But he was not the only one troubled at this time. Akbar had control of Chittor but not the kingdom of Mewar. So long as the people of Mewar swore by their Maharana, Akbar could not realize his ambition of being the Jahanpanah of Hindustan. He had sent several emissaries to Mewar to get Rana Pratap to agree to sign a treaty but the letter was only willing to sign a peace treaty whereby the sovereignty of Mewar would be intact. In the course of the year 1573, Akbar sent six diplomatic missions to Mewar to get Rana Pratap to agree to the former's suzerainty but Rana Pratap turned down each one of them. The last of these missions was headed by Raja Man Singh, the brother-in-law of Akbar himself. Maharana Pratap, angered that his fellow Rajput was aligned with someone who had forced the submission of all Rajputs, refused to sup with Raja Man Singh. The lines were completely drawn now - Akbar understood that Maharana Pratap would never submit and he would have to use his troops against Mewar. 



          With the failure of efforts to negotiate a peace treaty in 1573, Akbar blockaded Mewar from the rest of the world and alienated Mewar's traditional allies, some of whom were Maharana Pratap's own kith and kin. Akbar then tried to turn the people of the all-important Chittor district against their king so they would not help Pratap. He appointed Kunwar Sagar Singh, a younger brother of Pratap, to rule the conquered territory, However, Sagar, regretting his own treachery, soon returned from Chittor, and committed suicide with a dagger in the Mughal Court. Shakti Singh, Pratap's younger brother now with the Mughal army, is said to have fled the Mughal court temporarily and warned his brother of Akbar's actions. 

            In preparation for the inevitable war with the Mughals, Maharana Pratap altered his administration. He moved his capital to Kumbhalgarh, where he was born. He commanded his subjects to leave for the Aravali mountains and leave behind nothing for the approaching enemy - the war would be fought in a mountain terrain which the Mewar army was used to but not the Mughals. In his self-inflicted state of penury, the Maharana lived in mud-huts made from mud and bamboo. 

            In 1576, the famous battle of Haldighati was fought with 20,000 Rajputs against a Mughal army of 80,000 men commanded by Raja Man Singh. The battle was fierce though indecisive, to the Mughal army's astonishment. Maharana Pratap's army was not defeated but Maharana Pratap was surrounded by Mughal soldiers. It is said that at this point, his estranged brother, Shakti Singh, appeared and saved the Rana's life. Another casualty of this war was Maharana Pratap's famous, and loyal, horse Chetak, who gave up his life trying to save his Maharana. 

            After this war, Akbar tried several times to take over Mewar, failing each time. Maharana Pratap himself was keeping up his quest for taking Chittor back. However, the relentless attacks of the Mughal army had left his army weaker, and he barely had enough money to keep it going. It is said that at this time, one of his ministers, Bhama Shah, came and offered him all this wealth - a sum enabling Maharana Pratap to support an army of 25,000 for 12 years. It is said that before this generous gift from Bhama Shah, Maharana Pratap, anguished at the state of his subjects, was beginning to lose his spirit in fighting Akbar. 

            After 1587, Akbar relinquished his obsessive pursuit of Maharana Pratap and took his battles into Punjab and India's Northwest Frontier. Thus for the last ten years of his life, Maharana Pratap ruled in relative peace and eventually freed most of Mewar, including Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh, but not Chittor. " Maharana Pratap became a patron of the Arts. During his reign Padmavat Charita and the poems of Dursa Ahada were written. Palaces at Ubheshwar, Kamal Nath and Chavand bear testimony to his love of architecture. These buildings, built in the dense hilly forest have walls adorned with military-style architecture. But Pratap's broken spirit overpowered him in the twilight of his years. His last moments were an appropriate commentary on his life, when he swore his successor, Crown Prince Amar Singh to eternal conflict against the foes of his country's independence. Maharana Pratap was never able to win back Chittor but he never gave up fighting to win it back.

             In January 1597, Rana Pratap Singh I, Mewar's greatest hero, was seriously injured in a hunting accident. He left his body at Chavand, aged 56, on January 29, 1597. He died fighting for his nation, for his people, and most importantly for his honor.



            It happened only in our mother land India, where a woman has proved the world that what she is really capable of. The perception of the history of the past has often been primarily from male point of view.The activities of men are mostly projected while that of women were  ignored and were almost neglected. Here I present the life of a Medieval Queen of Deccan, her Highness - Rani Rudrama Devi.



            Rani Rudrama Devi (1259 to 1289 AD) was one of the most prominent rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty on the Deccan Plateau, being one of the few ruling queens in Indian history. She shines gloriously in the medieval history of South India. She was the only child of King Ganapathi Dava who ruled at Warangal the capital of Kakateeya Dynasty that had sway over entire Telangana and most of the Andhra provinces during 13 th century.

            Kakatiyas of Warangal are one of the major dynasties that ruled over Andhra and shaped its history and civilization. The foundation of kakatiya empire was laid in land lying between Godavari and Krishan on a hillock called Hanumakonda. The Story of the builders of the empire goes back to the eight and ninth centuries of Christian Era. With Orugallu(now known as Warangal) as their capital the kaktiyas ruled over the Telugu country from about  1150 AD to 1323 AD.
            Rudrama Devi was born, as Rudramba, to King Ganapathideva (or Ganapatideva, or Ganapathi Devudu). As Ganapathideva had no sons, Rudramma was formally designated as a son through the ancient Putrika ceremony and given the male name of Rudradeva. Rudramadevi was married to Veerabhadra, Eastern Chalukyan prince of Nidadavolu.

            Ganapati Deva after taking advice from the illustrious Prime Minister Sivadevayya nominated Rudrama Devi as his successor in his last days. When she was only fourteen years old, Rani Rudramma Devi succeeded her father. In the first two or three years of her conjoint rule with her father, the kingdom was thrown into confusion and disorder due to Jatavarma Sundara Pandya,  Invasion and the disastrous defeat of the Kakatiyas along with their allies on the battle. On the battle field of Muttukur near Nellore. Though Ganapati was ultimately successful in turning back the tide of invasion, yet he suffered loss of territory end prestige and his hold over his feudatories and nobles was shaken. Under these circumstances, he retired from active politics. So the real power vested with Rani Rudrama Devi. She used to look after all the administrative matters. From various inscriptions it seems that she started ruling independently from 1261.



            She lost both her husband and father in 1266-1267 and from a deep depression she changed herself for the sake of kingdom and finally she was coroneted in 1269 AD.

            A lady being made a king of vast Empire was no doubt resented by some nobles and her cousins who later raised banner of revolt. Even Veera Bhadra(Her Husband) also was jealous of Rudrmadevi ruling the land.  She wore male attire and sat on the throne and with iron hand ruled the kingdom keeping the enemies at bay. Pandyas and Cholas from the south Indian peninsula were also great threat and she kept them at bay with great vigour. After her accession she had to fight Harihara deva and Murarideva the cousins who revolted against the lady ruler. She had some efficient nobles like Jaganni deva and Gona Ganna reddy who helped her greatly in suppressing revolts.

            But the biggest threat came from the West in the form of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri. Rudramadevi defeated Mahadeva Raja the Seuna Yadava Ruler of Devagiri ( Daulatabad in Aurangabad District at present in Maharashtra state)who invaded Warangal ( earlier known as Orugallu or Ekasilanagaramu) fort, the capital of Kakateeya empire and chased him away. Mahadeva was desirous to take the advantage of internal unrest in the kakateya Empire coupled by a Lady at the top. But little was known to him of her valor and administrative capabilities. She crossed Godavari chasing the yadava ruler right into his territories and forced him to make peace. The Devagiri King had to pay great amount of ransom to the queen and made peace. Although such treasures gained after victory belonged to the royal house she magnanimously she distributed the wealth among her troops most graciously.

            Rudramadevi faced a kayastha revolt from a king of her counsil Ambadeva. She  could not tolerate the headstrong and disloyal Ambadeva. By that time Prataprudra her Grandson become old enough to share the responsibilities of the administration. He was of great valor and extraordinary war planner. He planned a three prong attack on the Ambadeva . The intention is to weaken all his support systems so that he don’t have enough strength. Of the three , the first was led by the Old Queen Rudrama Devi and her general Mallikarjuna. However, as the recently discovered Chandupatla (Nalgonda district) grant dated 1283 A.D. indicates, Ambadeva seems to have killed Rudrama along with Mallikarjuna Nayaka in battle in that year. However the Army of Rudrama Devi was victorious and later Prataparudra II, successor of Rudrama succeeded in completely suppressing the Kayastha revolt . Ambadeva was left with no shape and size to rethink of attacking Kakateeya Empire.

             Among Rani Rudramma Devi's accomplishments during her reign was the completion of Warangal Fort, begun by her father, in the Kakatiya capital of Warangal (one stone hill). Parts of the fort are still standing, including examples of distinctive Kakatiya sculpture. She worshipped goddesses. Bhadrakali, Ekaveera and Padmakshi. She captured important forts like Mulikinadu, Renadu, Eruva,Mutthapi nadu, Satti.

            Legend has it that due to her upbringing as a boy, Rani Rudrama was not much a connoisseur of music and art, but she was quite taken by a form of Shiva Tandavam - Perini which was extinct and it was brought back by Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna. She found this dance more of an exercise to the soldiers and had it made part of the training of the royal force.

            After the death of Rudramadevi most probably in a battle, Prataparudradeva II ( 1296-1323) son of her daughter Mummadamma succeeded to the throne. In fact Ganapathideva announced Prataparudra as crown prince in his last days. The Muslim invasions on South India started during his reign and finally the Kakateeya Empire came to an end.

            Rudrama Devi was one of the most outstanding queens in Indian History from Kakateeya dynasty and people still cherish her memories. Her Gender did not come on her way in discharging the duties of her exalted office. She took an active part in governing the country and strove hard to promote the best interests of the state. In spite of the wars which frequently disturbed the country, her people remained contented and happy under her rule.

            She had also a deep moat dug around it Marcopolo. the Venetian traveller who paid a visit to the kingdom probably a little later, speaks highly of her administrative qualities, benign rule and greatness. She is one among the valiant and distinguished queens such as Durgavathi of Gondwana ( During Akbars times), Rani Chinnamma of Kittur ( During East India Company’s rule), of Maharashtra ( Aurangzebs times), Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi ( During East India Company’s rule), Razia sultana ( Early period of Sultanate at Delhi) and her memory is immortal..



            Tippu Sultan(1750-1799), Tiger of Mysore is the first freedom fighter who resisted the Eat India Company’s conquest of southern India. Tipu was vigorous, forceful, brave, warlike and cruel; a devout Muslim ruling a mainly Hindu population. He had inherited the throne from his father Haidar Ali, who had driven out the previous Hindu dynasty.



            On coming to power Tipu realised that a new political development had taken place in the  country, and it had completely upset the traditional balance of power in the land, and if that balance was not restored, the National identity would be lost. He realized that the true intention of the British was to crush the Independence of Indian ruler, and reduce him to the position of a pensioned Nawab or Raja.Long before the events of 1857, when a spirited reprising attempted to throw of the English, and before the formation of the Indian National Congress which set the pace for National Movement, Tipu struggled hard to rouse a consciousness of his neighbours to the impending danger to Indian Independence from the English.

            Tipu used to say it was better to live for two days like a tiger than drag out an existence like a sheep for two hundred years. He had a special reverence for tigers. He kept six in his fortress-city of Seringapatam (now Sriringapatna), 200 miles west of Madras, where his throne was shaped and striped like a tiger. His elite troops wore tiger badges, the hilt of his sword was in the form of a snarling tiger, and his favourite toy was a mechanical tiger straddling a British officer while the victim squealed in terror (it is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum). Tipu was determined to build a rich and powerful state and he was feared with reason by his subjects, his neighbours and other Indian princes, who joined forces with the British against him. He tried to build up an alliance to drive the British – ‘those oppressors of the human race’ – out of India and intrigued with the French in Paris and Mauritius. In dealings with them Tipu improbably donned a cap of liberty and expressed his sympathy with French Revolutionary ideals.

            The British feared an invasion of India by Napoleon, and Lord Mornington, arriving in Calcutta as British Governor-General in 1798, decided to settle accounts with Citoyen Tipu. An army of East India Company sepoys and cavalry was assembled in Madras under General Harris with a contingent from the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the British Thirty-Third Regiment of Foot under Mornington’s younger brother, Colonel Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington). In February 1799 the order to invade Mysore came, and the motley array toiled across the border accompanied by elephants and camels, thousands of baggage bullocks and flocks of sheep and goats to provide meat for the officers, as well as hordes of camp followers and a travelling market selling food and drink for the soldiery. Officers took along cooks, grooms, laundrymen and cleaning wallahs, and senior officers like Wellesley, who brought his silver-plated tableware with him, had thirty or more servants in their train. Moving ponderously in the burning heat, the army covered an area of eighteen square miles and on a good day managed to advance ten miles.

            Tipu’s initial resistance was pushed aside and the British army sat down around the limewashed walls of Seringapatam which bristled with cannon. Soldiers captured by the sultan’s men were taken into the fortress and killed. Nails were driven into their heads or they were strangled by Tipu’s jettis, professional strongmen–executioners. Tipu sent placatory messages to the enemy commanders, hoping to delay matters until the monsoon arrived, but they continued with their siege works and cannonades.

            When the morning of May 4th came, Tipu was told that the omens were not propitious. He tried to ward off misfortune by presenting the Hindu priests and Brahmins with a purse of gold, an elephant, a black bullock and two buffalo, a black nanny goat and a black coat and hat, but in vain.

            The assault was launched soon after one o’clock by troops equipped with bamboo ladders for scaling the walls. Within minutes a British flag was planted in the breach as the defenders fled. Tipu himself fought bravely, dressed in his finest, loading and firing muskets handed him by his servants as if he was at a sporting shoot, but the odds were too great. He was wounded and his staff tried to hurry him away in a palanquin, but he was killed for his jewellery by an unidentified British soldier. As night was falling a British party found the sultan’s body under a heap of corpses. He was given honourable burial in his family mausoleum in the city.

           The news of Tipu’s defeat and death caused excitement in England and his treasure-hoard provided ample prize money for the British senior officers. Harris was given a peerage and Mornington was made Marquess Wellesley. Arthur Wellesley was put in charge in Mysore and moved into Tipu’s palace, while the throne was bestowed on an infant member of the previous Hindu dynasty. The tigers were shot.



            The sword of the Tippu sultan is still in the mysore palace remembering us the bravery shown by him against the britishers in those days.



0 comments:

Post a Comment