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  3.0 Tipu Introduction Hindi | Urdu

n his father's death (1782), Tipu Sultan assumed power in Mysore. Feared and respected - a contemporary Scot, Major Dirom, described him as 'a brave and intrepid general' - Tipu's avowed aim was to banish the British from his kingdom. Progressive aspects of his rule included the development of sericulture; breeding the fine Seringapatam Ox; building dams to control monsoon flooding; the application of European military technology and a keen awareness of the politics of secularism.

The Battle of Pollilur: 10th September 1780
During the Second Mysore War, the young Tipu fought with his father. Tipu was dispatched to intercept British troops under Col. Baillie as they moved south to join the Company's main army under Sir Hector Munro at Conjeeveram (modern Kanchipuram), 40 miles south of Madras.

After Tipu's initial attack, Munro dispatched Col. Fletcher with reinforcements to Baillie, but made no advance himself. Tipu, whose forces vastly outnumbered his opponent's, again attacked Baillie's contingent, which included the 73rd Regiment and sepoy (Indian) marksmen and grenadiers. The British line eventually broke, but Baillie rallied his men, formed square and withstood a further 13 attacks before demanding quarter.Only the intervention of Lally and Pimorin, Haidar's French officers, halted the annihilation of the British. Any survivors, including Col. Baillie, Capt. David Baird, and Capt John Lindsay, were consigned to one of Haidar's prisons. At the peace of 1784, Baird was released and fifteen years later, he led the final attack on Seringapatam.

The French Allliance
Under Haidar Ali, French allies helped to construct Seringapatam's formidable defences against the British, although it was also the French who intervened to save the British from the victors' excesses after the Battle of Pollilur in 1780.

Tipu dispatched three ambassadors to Paris in 1788, and Mohammed Dervich Khan and Akbar Ali Khan and Mohammad Osman Khan attracted much public interest there. Louis XVI, who had commissioned a substantial diplomatic gift of Sevres porcelain for Tipu, eventually granted them an audience. He also persuaded one to sit for his portrait to Mme Vigee Lebrun.

In 1798, a Jacobin Club, extolling Republican principles, was founded at Seringapatam by Francois Ripaud, from the Īlle de France. (Mauritius). The 'citizens' saluted a Tree of Liberty and Cap of Equality, and French soldiers from the Īlle landed on the mainland. This, with the discovery of Tipu's correspondence with Napoleon, gave Richard Wellesley, the new Governor General, justification for declaring the fourth and final Mysore War in 1799.

The Third Mysore War: 1790-92
Following Haidar's death in 1782, Tipu continued his father's policy of territorial aggrandisement, and his attack on Tranvancore precipitated the Third Mysore War . Tipu's 'scorched earth' strategy, together with the daunting problems of maintaining long supply lines, forced Lord Cornwallis, the British Commander in Chief, to abandon the attack on Seringapatam in July 1791 and retreat to Bangalore. A renewed offensive resulted in Tipu's defeat in February 1792, with harsh retribution - loss of territory, payment of substantial reparation and the surrender of two of his sons, aged 5 and 8, as hostages.

The sons enjoyed the social scene at Madras for eighteen months, before being returned to their father. In 1799, it was Major General David Baird who received the surrender of Tipu's sons, following the Storming of Seringapatam.

The Storming of Seringapatam, 4th May 1799
The new Governor - General, Richard Wellesley was determined to eliminate the Mysorean threat to British ambitions in India. Within two months of declaring war, General Harris, British Commander in Chief, the Madras army and the Bombay army under General Stuart, were closing on Seringapatam. Two critical factors added urgency: near famine in the camp, and the appoaching monsoon, which would render the River Cauvery impassable.

Tipu gloomily viewed the breach effected in the north-west fortifications. Amidst suspicions of treachery and ill omens for 4th May, his fierce spirit seems to have deserted him. He was unprepared for the British attack at 1.0pm, led by Major-General Baird.

The British quickly gained the ramparts, divided into two columns and streamed north and south towards the palace. Within two hours, Tipu's family had surrendered, and eventually, about 5.0pm. Tipu's lifeless body was found, under a heap of the slain, by General Baird, Major Allan and Lt Col Close. He was accorded a full military funeral.


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