In News: A controversy erupted in Karnataka over removal of Tipu Sultan from standard text books in schools. 

About Tipu:

  • 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 ) .
  • Tipu 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). 
  • Tipu reorganised his army along European lines, using new technology, including what is considered the first war rocket.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tipu defeated the East India Company in some wars, allied with the French to frustrate the attempts of the British to control the politics of the Deccan and Carnatic, and sought to challenge the vital trading interests of the Company.
  • Tipu allowed the plunder of temples and churches, imposed hefty taxes on locals, ordered religious conversions of those whom he subjugated, and disregarded local customs of upper-caste Hindu communities.
  • He also donated to temples at Nanjangud, Kanchi and Kalale, and patronised the Sringeri mutt. Tipu battled nearly all powers in the region, irrespective of the faith of his opponents.
  • He fought the forces of the Company four times during 1767-99 and died on the battlefield in the 4th Anglo Mysore war.