Tipu Sultan & the truth about 3,000 Brahmins

Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, has used the example of Tipu Sultan to illustrate the point that Hindu-Muslim relations suffer from the rewriting of history to project Muslim rulers as intolerant and bigoted, whereas there was ample evidence to show that the opposite was true.

From a news report in The Hindu:

“Justice Katju said the myth-making against Muslim rulers, which was a post-1857 British project, had been internalised in India over the years. Thus, Mahmud Ghazni‘s destruction of the Somnath temple was known but not the fact that Tipu Sultan gave an annual grant to 156 Hindu temples. The judge… buttressed his arguments with examples quoted from D.N. Pande‘s History in the Service of Imperialism.

“Dr Pande came upon the truth about Tipu Sultan in 1928 while verifying a contention — made in a history textbook authored by Dr Har Prashad Shastri, the then head of the Sanskrit Department in Calcutta University — that during Tipu’s rule 3,000 Brahmins had committed suicide to escape conversion to Islam.

“The only authentication Dr Shastri could provide was that the reference was contained in the Mysore Gazetteer. But the Gazetteer contained no such reference.

“Further research by Dr. Pande showed not only that Tipu paid annual grants to 156 temples, but that he enjoyed cordial relations with the Shankaracharya of Sringeri Math to whom he had addressed at least 30 letters. Dr. Shastri’s book, which was in use at the time in high schools across India, was later de-prescribed. But the unsubstantiated allegation continued to masquerade as a fact in history books written later.”

Read the full article: Muslim leaders deliberately projected as intolerant

Also read: ‘Tipu Sultan left his last meal unfinished’

Did the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ really tame tiger?

CHURUMURI POLL: Tipu Sultan vs Kempe Gowda?

External reading: Girish Karnad, S.L. Bhyrappa, Tipu Sultan and others