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Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby brihaspati » 04 Apr 2010 18:10

Samay ji,
Very interesting take on Tipu Sultan. Really reading an excellent piece of speculative history after a very long time!

What if we become a bit more realistic and scale down from projecting ideas of later period on to earlier periods? Can we consider the following:

Ground realities :
(1) Tipu's legitimacy to "rule" derived from his father, who however did not gain his "rulership" through hereditary appointment. Remember Hyder's basic function as an employee of the Mysore kingdom, and hence the necessity for him to get himself appointed to a "Nawabi" - a hereditary position of rulership? As such Tipu was a de-facto ruler but still a servant of the Mysore empire technically. In the medieval Indian political world, legitimacy through hereditary rulership would have been important. Even from a pragmatic viewpoint the other hereditary rulers could not afford to be seen as allied or dependent on someone who had essentially derived his authority from brilliant generalship but who did not have "class" by birth. Tipu had to work with a majority of Hindu officials of court because the Mysore court was actually a "Hindu" king's court.
(2) Tipu's primary contestant was the Nizam - another Muslim, and with closer formal and traditional links to Mughal authority. They were both contesting fro influence in the same area. Nizam had early skirmishes with the Europeans and began to modernize his armies with European help. This would have naturally forced Tipu to seek alliances among the Europeans who would be able to cancel Nizam's European advantages. This need not be extended to supposition of a modern republican/nationalist programme, but pure real-politik as the most reasonable one?
(3) The earlier struggle with Nizam from his father's time led through a complicated process to confrontation with the Brits whom he held responsible for the death of Hyder. A feeling of revenge and vendetta would also be a legitimate part of Tipu's motivation.

Tipu's correspondence with the French show interesting grasp of European political ideas. But I do not remember having seen even a germ of "Republicanism" in what survives and in translation. Can you please quote relevant portions?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 04 Apr 2010 18:11

Chiron wrote: And logic says, seducing marathas is more profitable than seducing Tipu.

And no matter how much you train them, divided India would have always fallen prey to an incomer

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 04 Apr 2010 18:18

brihaspati wrote:Samay ji,


Tipu's correspondence with the French show interesting grasp of European political ideas. But I do not remember having seen even a germ of "Republicanism" in what survives and in translation. Can you please quote relevant portions?

Neither do I see that, but some reading suggests that he indeed wanted to drive british out of India, that was his sole discretion ,rather than busy fighting each other, isnt it futuristic?
we know what the future turned out, India enslaved by the brits, wasnt he visionary?
The earlier struggle with Nizam from his father's time led through a complicated process to confrontation with the Brits whom he held responsible for the death of Hyder. A feeling of revenge and vendetta would also be a legitimate part of Tipu's motivation.
but he realized the correct solution of the problem and didnt channeled his force towards fighting locals(nizam),but the real enemy who could do anything to divide ,.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby brihaspati » 04 Apr 2010 18:32

In correspondence with the French it would be obvious that he would try to present himself as an opponent of the British. This could simply again be a piece of real-politik and not ncecessarily his entire motivation.

In the domestic scenario, again, he is facing British arms and military effectiveness/supply routes/control over the seas as the primary swingers in his internal struggles with local powers. So he could have found dealing with the Brits or neutralizing their military presence as a pre-condition to effectively win against his domestic competitors. This again in itself does not necessarily show "futurism".

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 04 Apr 2010 18:40

samay, I'm get to get a reply to my questions. :wink:

not doing so implies that you were speaking out of thin air, which I'm sure you know is verboten on BR.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby brihaspati » 04 Apr 2010 19:34

Page 187-188 "Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan and the struggle with the Musalman powers of the South"
Tipu, on the i6th of the same month, replied to the Sublime Porte in a grandiloquent despatch, full of professions of unbounded devotion for the head of his faith, winding up the strange epistle by saying : ' As the French nation are estranged from, and are become the opponents of the Sublime Porte, they may be said to have rendered themselves the enemy of all the followers of the faith. All Musalmans should renounce friendship with them.'

The above, however, was really only a pretended answer, intended to be forwarded through the Governor-General. In a separate communication, which Tipu forwarded by special means to Constantinople, he virulently attacked the English, as well as the French.

' All Hindustan,' he wrote, ' is overrun with Infidels and Polytheists, except the dominions of the Khudadad Sirkar (the God-given State), which, like the ark of Noah, are safe under the protection and bounteous aid of God.'

He proceeds to say that the English Governor- General (Lord Teignmouth) had caused Asaf-ud-
daulah. the Nawab Vazir of Oudh, to be poisoned, had violated the chastity of his widow, and plundered his house of money and jewels to the amount of twenty crores of rupees. The wives and daughters of men of science and rank had been forcibly carried away by the English, and youthful descendants of the Prophet were compelled to eat the flesh of swine. He thus ended his tirade :

'May the victorious banners of Islam ever prevail, and every trace of heresy and infidelity be swept away.'


We are reading too much into Tipu's letters : he played up to whatever power he thought would be in his interests - which were perfectly feudal in nature for the time and region.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 04 Apr 2010 20:33

"He was futuristic" ? how ?
Read my earlier post

tipu too backed the french, another colonial power, how does that make him better ?
you mean french invaded India,?. Tipu was simply using every possible method in the book to crush the brits,
if he was wrong in doing that ,then by your analogy SC Bose also did wrong in ww2?there was a war going on in europe tipu wanted to use it in his benefit, wasnt he visonary?better than congress ,which send Indian men to die in britain's (invaders) wars?

numerous anglo-maratha wars at the same time (you claim) when they were submitting to the british.
wiki:First Anglo-Maratha War 1775-1782,brits intervened in a feudal matter,,
fourth mysore war: 1799
check your facts sir
there is a difference of more than a decade , marathas were not fighting brits at the same time(2nd anglo maratha war=1803–1805,after they invade mysore,now is the turn of marathas)
if in a decade or so, taliban can switch sides against americans, marathas switched towards brits?
.
for good reasons. did his past record inspire confidence ?
if pervez kayanai comes and appeals to all Indians to help him root out the 'evil taliban', I doubt many of us would be in a hurry to comply. he asked for help when he was in dire straits from the very people against whom he had committed atrocities.

hehe,that's interesting
Indian history is full of inter-quarrels, I dont think there was any visionary amongst those tribal lords to fight in unity and help tipu .they never learnt from history

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 04 Apr 2010 20:48

samay, you are avoiding the question. I've already said that I didn't find an answer in your "earlier post", neither have you answered on what basis you come to the conclusion that tipu was going to set up a republic.

this is the last time I'm going to ask.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 04 Apr 2010 20:56

quoting my post
I think if they had combined forces, we could have achieved an Indian republic much earlier, tipu was taking inspiration from napoleon .
I have said that a front will automatically form a nation,I think which could have concluded as a free nation and republic later on but much earlier than 1947,
didnt meant that tipu was planning a republic,..
I see that other feudal lords werent ready to do so,hence any strong force(say marathas) cannot achieve 'India -a nation' without inclusion of all (sikhs,rajputs,deccan,etc) and would have kept on fighting each other by this day,..
I think tipu had the leadership qualities,thats why brits feared him so much ,had learnt their lessons from the european history, that he could be a bounaparte of India,so better rise a front before than he becomes powerful enough
ultimately it was us who decided to form a republic in 1947 ,not the british decided it,
so by that analogy of a free united nation a republic was possible earlier or not?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Carl_T » 04 Apr 2010 21:26

If Marathas had not been defeated at Panipat, we wouldn't have to hear irritating Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu dialogues in Hindi films. Actually Hindi films would be Marathi films, and our official language would be Marathi. The PM would be called "Peshwa". Indian restaurants worldwide would serve Puran Polis instead of Tandoori Chicken. We would be calling ourselves Marathi Manoooooos instead of this "Indian" business.

Just saying.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virupaksha » 04 Apr 2010 22:05

Carl_T,

The above post of yours is a strawman and a flamebait, nothing more.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 05 Apr 2010 12:29

@ Samay, Here the big-picture.

1766-1769 - Anglo-Mysore War : Hyder Ali looses his fleet/forts and offers peace to British; On rejection, fights and prevails over siege. Kingdom of Mysore and BEIC sign for mutual aid and alliance in defensive war (1769)

So, Mysore kingdom bonds with the British a lot earlier than what you accuse Marathas of.

1769-1772 - Mysore-Maratha War : Three wars were fought between 1764 and 1772 by Madhavrao Peshwa against Hyder Ali, in which Hyder Ali lost. Last one was probably 1769-1772.

Hyder Ali asked for British assistance during this battle but none was forthcoming and Hyder Ali lost to the Marathas.
"Stung by what he considered a British breach of faith during an earlier war against the Marathas (three wars he fought and lost between 1764-1772 against Madhavrao Peshwa), Haider Ali committed himself to a French alliance to seek revenge against the British"

AND

this breach of faith stung him to fury, and thenceforward he and his son did not cease to thirst for vengeance. His time came when in 1778 the British, on the declaration of war with France, resolved to drive the French out of India. The capture of Mahé on the Malabar coast in 1779, followed by the annexation of lands belonging to a dependant of his own, gave him the needed pretext for the Second Anglo-Mysore War."


- Hyder signed a treaty with one "foreign divisive power", British.
- Sought its help against another a strong Indian power (Marathas)
- British did not come to aid and Mysore losses territory to Marathas.
- This event and not some noble mission to get rid of Brits was reason for hatred of British.
- Instead of seeking alliance with Marathas (Marathas wanted their lost territory back from Mysore), Hyder sought to align with French.
- Tipu would later try to align with French, Constantinople and Kabul (who defeated Marathas in Panipat)

After death of Madhavrao Peshwa in 1772, Hyder won some Maratha territory which became bone of contention between them and allowed British a wiggle room.

1775-1782 - First Anglo-Maratha War
By the end of the next day (1779), the British were ready to discuss surrender terms, and on 16 January signed the Treaty of Wadgaon that forced the Bombay government to relinquish all territories acquired by the Bombay office of the East India Company since 1773.


This is best a native power got, though Marathas lost the initiative in next 3 years.

1780-1784 - Second Anglo-Mysore War This was act of self-defense at best and in turn a pawn of greater struggle between the French and British.
After the British took the French-controlled port of Mahé in 1779, Hyder, who had been receiving military supplies through that port and had placed it under his protection, opened the Second Anglo-Mysore War.


1782 Hyder Ali dies.

Tipu also defeated Colonel Braithwaite at Annagudi near Tanjore on 18 Feb 1782. This army consisted of 100 Europeans, 300 cavalry, 1400 sepoys and 10 field pieces. Tipu seized all the guns and took the entire detachment as prisoners. In December 1781 Tipu had successfully seized Chittur from British hands. These operations gave Tipu valuable military experience, that became more important after Haider died in December 1782.
.....
The British captured Coimbatore in 1783, but neither they nor Mysore were able to obtain a clear overall victory. The war was ended on 11 March 1784 with the signing of the Treaty of Mangalore,


While Hyder saw mixed results, Tipu made gains. In the end, even if it was stalement, it was a victory of sorts for Tipu. Still, compare this with the terms extracted by Marathas in 1779 from British (see First Anglo-Maratha war above).

But worse, Hyder/Tipu launch a brutal campaign on another Indian territory (Thanjavur)

The Second Mysore War broke out in 1780 between Hyder Ali and the Company. The very next year, along with his son Tipu Sultan he invaded Thanjavur. The Mysore army was in occupation of the kingdom for 6 months. The region was plundered and the people carried away. The missionary Schwartz records the abduction of 20,000 children from Thanjavur by Tipu Sultan in the year 1784 alone. The produce fell and a calamity ensued. Thanjavur did not recover from the impact of Tipu's invasion till the beginning of the 19th century.


I don't see a visionary you are in love with unfortunately, just another ambitious ruler. The ruler of Thanjavur was a Maratha, btw.

Tipu, who gained control of Mysore after his father's death in December 1782, maintained an implacable hatred of the British, and declared not long after signing the 1784 treaty that he intended to continue battle with them given the opportunity. He refused to free British prisoners taken during the war, one of the conditions of the treaty.


1789-1792 - Third Anglo-Mysore War Again Third war was not some grand nationalist emotion, but a manifestation of an expansionist and growingly fundamentalist Islamist mindset.
The kingdom of Travancore had been a target of Tipu for acquisition or conquest since the end of the previous war. Indirect attempts to take over the kingdom had failed in 1788, and Archibald Campbell, the Madras president at the time, had warned Tipu that an attack on Travancore would be treated as a declaration of war on the company. The rajah of Travancore also angered Tipu by extending fortifications along the border with Mysore into territory claimed by Mysore, and by purchasing from the Dutch East India Company two forts in the Kingdom of Cochin, a state paying tribute to Tipu.

In 1789 Tipu sent forces onto the Malabar Coast to put down a rebellion. Many people fled to Travancore and Cochin, a state paying tribute to Tipu, in the wake of his advance.


On the highlighted, you are probably thinking "Bad Raja" for harboring Tipu's enemies. Well, "Dear Samay" what is hiding behind that "rebellion" tag is what everybody refers to massacre/genocide/conversion-spree by Tipu with his "cap or sword" policy. Refer to information of Raja of Travencore

Hyder Ali had usurped the throne of the Mysore and was keen to invade and bring the little kingdoms of Malabar and Travancore under his sway. As early as 1756, he had invaded Malabar at the instance of the ruler of Palghat to help him regain his territories captured by Zamorin, ruler of Calicut kingdom.
....
In 1766, Hyder invaded Malabar a second time.
....
In 1788, Tipu Sultan, son and successor of Hyder Ali, took up his father's idea of subjugating Malabar and Travancore. He laid waste Malabar, enforced the rule of "cap or sword" giving the conquered people the choice of converting to Islam or facing immediate execution, forcing the royal families and large numbers of Hindu and Christian families to flee to Travancore, where they were received and treated hospitably by the Maharajah, who now came to be known as Dharma Raja on account of his protecting the refugees and the Hindu faith.

...

Finally in 1789, taking the pretext that the 'Nedumkotta' passed illegally through the terriotories of Cochin, his vassal state, Tipu Sultan gathered his entire force in Malabar and marched to invade Travancore.
Tippu sent a letter on January 19, 1790 to Budruz Zuman Khan. It says:

"Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now".


After this, it got easy for Tipu's neighbors to go against him.

samay wrote:I see that other feudal lords werent ready to do so,hence any strong force(say marathas) cannot achieve 'India -a nation' without inclusion of all (sikhs,rajputs,deccan,etc) and would have kept on fighting each other by this day,..
I think tipu had the leadership qualities,thats why brits feared him so much ,had learnt their lessons from the european history, that he could be a bounaparte of India,so better rise a front before than he becomes powerful enough

Good way to build a "Indian national front".

1798-1799 - Fourth Anglo-Mysore War Tipu dies in battle.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 05 Apr 2010 12:32

samay wrote:(1)Tipu was not a foreigner ,but a better general, we all know he defeated brits at many battles with or without larger armies,while others were not capable hence defeated..

(2) some reading suggests that he indeed wanted to drive british out of India, that was his sole discretion ,rather than busy fighting each other, isnt it futuristic?

(3) but he realized the correct solution of the problem and didnt channeled his force towards fighting locals(nizam),but the real enemy who could do anything to divide

(4) Tipu was simply using every possible method in the book to crush the brits

Bullcr@p meter on my PC is overheating! :eek: :eek:

(1) He had successes in "battles" in Second Ango-Mysore War which led to stalemate. It was a considerable feat, but that is in no way out of the world victory like you make it sound.

(2) & (3) Maybe you should expand on "your reading" because your rhetoric is surely hallow. He was on no mission to drive british out of India. He was protecting his interests, tried to expand his territory by occupying neighbouring kingdoms (like any ambitious ruler), converting Hindus (Aurangazeb style) and hated British. He fought British wherever the paths crossed. When he did realize that British was larger power, instead of aligning with native powers, he raided and pillaged them and appealed to French, Turks and Afghans.

(4) More Bullcr@p. The 20,000 children he abducted were not british, nor were the 4 lakhs he converted British. He pillaged a neighbouring state and the families had to take shelter under Raja of Travencore. (Refer to how Third Anglo-Mysore war started). Good Strategist. yes. To make him sound like possible Bonaparte or George Washington of the subcontinent is disgusting & preposterous :shock:

samay wrote:He did asked all the religious leaders and kingdoms to help him root out the british, none came forward..


You make it sound like Tipu worked hard to form a anti-british confederation, but evil Marathas and Nizam didn't bite. But such a pact was in the works during the the reign of Hyder Ali.

"My reading" tells me Tipu on the other hand was looking at becoming part of a larger alliance (either French or Islamic) against the British, instead of seeking ties with Indian rulers next door who had far greater reach than him (Marathas). And you compare him with Bose who had no native power center to align with in his fight for this country... what gall!

Here is the only website that went gaga over Tipu, from talking about his relations to Napolean to suggesting "Republic" IslamicVoice". Good read otherwise.

There is a book I stumbled on : "Anglo-Maratha relations, 1785-1796" that has interesting perspective.

Few interesting snippets from it
- Marathas have kept British hanging for quite a bit instead of committing to an alliance against Tipu, which frustrated the British a lot.. Things changed after Tipu invaded Malabar, committed atrocities and then directed his attention to Travencore (refer to above post).
- British officials refer to Tipu as "despot/bigot/tyrrant" in communication to each other, and also in communication with Marathas, as if its widely accepted fact at that time.
- During the last Anglo-Mysore war, Marathas were busy dealing with Kabul (Tipu's tried to form an alliance with them) to even think about siding with British or Mysore.

Wars of Raj
The Maratha chieftains stayed aloof from the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War despite desperate attempts by both sides to bring them into the conflict. Maratha intelligence had detected a movement they considered far more dangerous: Zaman Shah, king of Afghanistan, had finally united the northwestern peoples under his banner. The Afghan king planned to re-create the Muslim conquest of India, setting himself on the throne of the Mughals in Delhi.

The Marathas took this development very seriously, setting aside factional strife to unite their forces under the French mercenary general Pierre Cullier, better known under his nom de guerre, Perron. Over 100,000 Maratha soldiers gathered, and the chiefs authorized Perron to recuit as many Europeans as he could to expand the cadre of Western-style infantry that formed the core of the Maratha armies.

Maratha reports appear to have been rather accurate; Zaman Shah did indeed have the alliances he sought and he began his march on Delhi. But soon after his armies left Kabul, an attempted palace coup broke out and he returned quickly to deal with this threat. By the time he had his own house in order, the moment had passed and the grand Muslim alliance could not be re-created.


samay wrote:moreover it was in british interest to demonize tipu and to elaborate too much of any harms done to malaya during his conquests ,and some locals were interested to create stories .

:rotfl: Wow!! And Aurangazeb was an angel in your view?

Refer to last part of above post.

More on what distracted Marathas during final Ango-Mysore war.
From Islamic Voice
Accordingly, Zaman Shah moved towards India in December 1798 and came as far as Lahore, when in January 1799 he was compelled to beat a hasty retreat to Kabul, because the English meanwhile had engineered a rearguard action on his western frontier by inducing the Persians to seize the opportunity of his absence to attack Afghanistan. Wellesley had despatched Shia from Moradabad to Iran who had excited Shia-Sunni differences, and had thus successfully warded off the impending danger. Otherwise, as Wellesley put it, “... the glare of victory, the influence of religion and the allurement of plunder will draw to his standard numbers probably greater than have appeared united in one cause since the days of Aurangzeb.” Here too Tipu was frustrated in his efforts to organise a grand {ISLAMIC} confederacy against the English.


Well, can't say English actions hurt India.

samay wrote:I think if they had combined forces, we could have achieved an Indian republic much earlier, tipu was taking inspiration from napoleon

Somehow, I don't see a republic but each of us IEDing the other.

samay wrote:You may call him a jihadi,a hardliner,but he was in fact the Napoleon of subcontinent, and would have crushed foriegn powers

By inviting Afghans and Turks? How Tantalizing!!

Lets call him a good warrior, strategist and tactician and leave it at that.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 05 Apr 2010 16:03

Nice post akumar,
still I cant absorb that tipu was too radical,I think stories were fabricated to demonize the tiger,,and I wont discuss that part further because neither it proves nor disproves that he could have defeated the birtish (still not the biggest power in India),neither I love him, Im saying he was better than others in doing things.
Btw your own reference suggests that he was doing every bit of effort to somehow defeat the british.
AFAIk I am not considering aurangzeb,peshwa,etc to be good enough to lead India ,neither they were holy cows,
you yourself have put this thing that they were not able to deal with the british on their own, neither was tipu, but neither afghans,nor french invaded India on tipu's request, this is really what happened,, .
Whatever tipu was doing was to divert and blunt the british power in the subcontinent,,

IMV ,tipu's startegy looks good,
use afghans/french against the britis, weaken both
then tackle nizam ,
marathas will take care of north keeping afghans in their hills,
and tipu will take care of the rest of the british tail ,,
isnt it ingenious?

what happened is that marathas pi$$ed when they heard of afghans coming ,and hurriedly forged an alliance with the british and helped them in their on going assault on mysore ,,
british were happy ,, they flamed shia-sunni hatred(although tipu tried to console them) ,dfeated tipu ,and afghans never returned because tipu was not there..
Well, can't say English actions hurt India.

throughout your post ,it seems as if brits were the right white man, and whatever they did was in India's interests,we know what happened later.....

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Mahendra » 05 Apr 2010 16:15

IMV ,tipu's startegy looks good,
use afghans/french against the britis, weaken both
then tackle nizam ,
marathas will take care of north keeping afghans in their hills,
and tipu will take care of the rest of the british tail ,,
isnt it ingenious?


Very ingenious indeed apart from the fact that it is You making those assertions on behalf of Tipu

and afghans never returned because tipu was not there..


Incorrect, the Afghans never returned because the flag of Khalsa was flying at Kandahar

Indian history is replete with tragedies, firstly Prithviraj Chauhan did not finish off Ghauri, then Hemu was struck in the eye by a wild arrow and finally the Marathas lost a winning battle in Panipat. Tipu is not the Eisenhower you make him to be.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 05 Apr 2010 20:55

Mahendra wrote:Indian history is replete with tragedies, firstly Prithviraj Chauhan did not finish off Ghauri, then Hemu was struck in the eye by a wild arrow and finally the Marathas lost a winning battle in Panipat.


My 2 cents.
- We rarely have a strong pool of leaders who can take reigns when the leader has to be replaced.
- When there is a strong pool of leaders in waiting, it unfortunately weakens us because of infighting.

Somehow a right balance between personal glory and national interest has eluded us more often than not.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Carl_T » 05 Apr 2010 21:06

a_kumar wrote:My 2 cents.
- We rarely have a strong pool of leaders who can take reigns when the leader has to be replaced.
- When there is a strong pool of leaders in waiting, it unfortunately weakens us because of infighting.

Somehow a right balance between personal glory and national interest has eluded us more often than not.


Basically, you're saying we are like the Paki cricket team. :D

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 05 Apr 2010 22:44

ADDED MORE LATER

Samay wrote:still I cant absorb that tipu was too radical,I think stories were fabricated to demonize the tiger,,and I wont discuss that part further because neither it proves nor disproves that he could have defeated the birtish (still not the biggest power in India),neither I love him


There is a certain interesting trait I bump into once in a while. When given a hypothetical situation

Q : "What will you do if somebody is hurt on the street.?"
Ans : Oh.. since I am a kind and noble person, I will definitely go this his/her aid.

You see, that person is not going by past behavior, but infact going by a pre-set notion of their nobleness and is trying to shoehorn every situation to suit that notion. For all you know, last time they have faced a similar situation, they could have fainted or had a more pressing need to attend to something more important. Nevertheless, they confidently say with utmost clarity that "they will definitely go to his/her rescue".

There is one source that you questioned in earlier page. I have given you another source that was referring to the same in a completely different context based on a completely different source. Why was Raja of Travencore called "Dharma Raja".

You trash one source, fine. I give you another and you say fabrication. What does that say about your intentions?

samay wrote:Im saying he was better than others in doing things.

Again, pre-set notion. You talk like you have seen him in flesh and saw his brilliance in person or have probably heard so much from grandmother that any other literature doesn't matter to you. I would be very curious to know more about it.

samay wrote:Btw your own reference suggests that he was doing every bit of effort to somehow defeat the british.

It also suggests he was trying to devouring neighboring lands/kingdoms and committing atrocities (its disgusting to call these fabrications) and he was reaching out to more foriegn powers . Nothing different from most kings, except with an added fundamentalist intentions.

samay wrote:AFAIk I am not considering aurangzeb,peshwa,etc to be good enough to lead India ,neither they were holy cows,

You are putting Aurangazeb in the same sentence as peshwa?? :eek: Last time you compared Tipu to SC Bose.
Dude.. Are you all right?
If you want to talk about Akbar I am with you, but tell me you don't adore likes of Aurangazeb.

samay wrote:you yourself have put this thing that they were not able to deal with the british on their own, neither was tipu, but neither afghans,nor french invaded India on tipu's request, this is really what happened,, .


In 1788, British signed peace treaty with France and Holland. That pretty much killed any hopes Tipu could have had. He still kept in touch though since nothing is really permanent. He really did understand the dynamics in Europe, but at the cost of allies at home.

In the end, thats what worked against him. The power centers of Europe signed on a treaty and Frnace dismissed Tipu's overtures politely (compare that with Tipu's relations with Marathas). This left Tipu without an ally. He pillaged/massacred neighbours south (Malabar), didn't want to allign with neighbors north (Marathas wanted their territories back). Infact, French even took away whatever small contingent they had.

I do believe Tipu wanted to work French and British against each other. But even Maratha's were looking at that. Infact, Marathas already had a limited pact with the French prior to Tipu, and French in direct violation of it, signed an alliance with Mysore. They continued to deny it and kept Maratha's engaged and Marathas knew it.

The British were shit-scared of Maratha-French alliance than Mysore-French alliance and tried hard to keep them from it. At the same time, they did not want to form an alliance because they did not want to encourage Mysore-French alliance.

Mysore first and later on Maratha's fought with British and had pacts with them. Who was playing who is a very tricky question in the complex chessboard. I would recommend reading the book "Ango-Maratha Relations".

In any case, French lost interest in fighting British in India after the peace pact in 1788 between Britain, France and Holland. So, the strategy of working European powers against each other fell flat. Ottoman empire was busy fighting the Russians. Afghans were busy with Persians. Tipu's strength would have been to form an alliance with native powers (Marathas and neighbours south), even if he was engaging with outsiders. Same goes with Marathas and Nizam.

When I look at all this, overall the complicated moves and countermoves of diplomacy and war maintained a relative balance of power in South India between Maratha-Nizam-Mysore. British were waiting because they were forbidden by British parliament (during that period of time) from signing on any offensive treaties or actions. The local British governments were only allowed to form defensive alliances.

All this was changed by Tipu by his actions of 1788-1791, which ended up giving everything on a platter to the British. Tipu committed his acts in Malabar and 2 years later moved on to invade Travencore, which had a defense pact with British. Tipu would have won (since British were complacent and weren't expecting it), but for the Nedumkatta Link, a 48Km long, 20-ft wide and 12 feet high fortification. It was like great wall of China built by Dharma Raja in anticipation of such an threat from Hyder Ali.

Since you are so fond of Napolean, you may understand this. Nedumkotta was Tipu's waterloo.

samay wrote:IMV ,tipu's startegy looks good,
use afghans/french against the britis, weaken both
then tackle nizam ,
marathas will take care of north keeping afghans in their hills,
and tipu will take care of the rest of the british tail ,,
isnt it ingenious?


I see some of them yes. But that was not specific to Tipu alone.

Beyond that, in your "Meera" complex, you are using hindsight to attribute things to Tipu. If you have source, awesome.. point me to it.

samay wrote:what happened is that marathas pi$$ed when they heard of afghans coming ,and hurriedly forged an alliance with the british and helped them in their on going assault on mysore ,,


You are mixing timelines.

Marathas helped the Nizam and British during Third Anglo-Mysore war. If you remember, it was started by Tipu with genocide and conversion of Hindus/Christians in Malabar. They took refuge under Raja of Travencore (Dharma Raja), so he invaded Travencore and failed to cross Nedumkatta. British already had a pact and waiting for pretext. But that itself was not enough, they needed support from Marathas that was eluding them. I think Tipu's actions in Malabar and attack on Travencore, galvanized everybody.

Marathas were unavailable during the Fourth Ango-Mysore war because of conditions up north.

Sounds like you would rather have more Mughal and Afghan rule in India.

samay wrote:british were happy ,, they flamed shia-sunni hatred(although tipu tried to console them) ,dfeated tipu ,and afghans never returned because tipu was not there..


You sound disspaointed that Zaman Shah (Afghan) never returned. My sympathies with you!

samay wrote:throughout your post ,it seems as if brits were the right white man, and whatever they did was in India's interests,we know what happened later.....


One 6-word line in 2000-word post and its "throughout my post"? Where is the objectivity buddy? I am no fan of British Raj, but I am also no fan of despots either. Can't say the same about you, unfortunately.

And when you talk about what British did to India's interests, you should also add what Ghori/Ghaznavi or ShahJahan/Aurangazeb did to India as well?
Last edited by a_kumar on 06 Apr 2010 00:16, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Prem » 06 Apr 2010 00:10

From real Indian point of view , both Brit and Islamist powers are/were alien hence to be rightfully subjected to annihilation in India. Looking back at the history and taking cursory look at current national secuirty issues, it looks and stink same as in past as very little has changed . Question we should ask is can we tolerate,justify Tipoo or Brit kind power play or behaviour in India today?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Prem » 06 Apr 2010 00:17

a_kumar wrote:
Mahendra wrote:Indian history is replete with tragedies, firstly Prithviraj Chauhan did not finish off Ghauri, then Hemu was struck in the eye by a wild arrow and finally the Marathas lost a winning battle in Panipat.

y 2 cents.
- We rarely have a strong pool of leaders who can take reigns when the leader has to be replaced.
- When there is a strong pool of leaders in waiting, it unfortunately weakens us because of infighting.
Somehow a right balance between personal glory and national interest has eluded us more often than not.


Not a whine but we still has not leared this art of complete victory over evil e.g 1971. Showing compassion on 90k rapist, mass murderers is no way to proove magmanimity. Most of the so called international community consists of past or present grand head hunters and understand each others well and all we have is onlee one Bahraich.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 06 Apr 2010 00:20

But for the Anglo-Mysore wars, the Wodeyar dynasty would not have been restored. Wodeyar dynasty restoration was very crucial to modern India. So Tippu Sultan also served by being defeated in the A-M wars.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 06 Apr 2010 00:41

Carl_T wrote:Basically, you're saying we are like the Paki cricket team. :D


Going OT here

We had our share when there were just 11 slots for 1 Billion people, though it pales in comparision.

Finally, we stumbled on a creative solution for such a problem : IPL/ICL

We now have probably 100 opportunities and a market that keeps all the ambitious players busy and relatively satisfied. And personal "glory of players" is replaced by "glory of teams" (or the team owners)! Way to go!

This is pretty much the same succesful formula behind most of the successful players.

-Europe figured their markets were saturated and went on to create new sources and markets to fulfill their ambitions (colonization)
-China does it the same way now (export the hell out to international markets)
-America/UK do the same through their MNCs and Oil companies
-Europe does the same through weapons sales, create markets worldwide and make money.
-Korea/China are feeding their ambitions by becoming leading suppliers of chips and wireless devices

So create opportunities and go conquer the world!

That is why Telangana issue gets my goat so bad. We are going backwards.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby brihaspati » 06 Apr 2010 02:01

Prem wrote
Not a whine but we still has not leared this art of complete victory over evil e.g 1971. Showing compassion on 90k rapist, mass murderers is no way to proove magmanimity. Most of the so called international community consists of past or present grand head hunters and understand each others well and all we have is onlee one Bahraich.

Prem ji, when I studied the known reconstructions of historically important battles in India, my impression has been
(1) on the Indian side [which has not converted lock-stock-barrel into Islamist doctrine or even say early European behaviour] the concept of a total-war was never really adopted, maybe for ideological or religious reasons
(2) a gradual erosion of expansionist vision, if necessary to be supported by military planning and implementation
(3) a lack of viewing war as a means to completely destroy the regenerative capacity of the enemy, something the Islamists and the Brits always recognized. They saw war as an extension of complete aggression at all levels, including following victory up with destruction of intellectual leadership, educational apparatus, cultural centres of resistance and identity, and to secure power - destruction of as much of adult male population with potential to get military skills - as possible.

This for me is the lesson to be learned from historical battles in India. If we do engage in wars in the future, all three points should be reversed from the historical practice.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Arunkumar » 06 Apr 2010 07:00

a_kumar wrote:......
All this was changed by Tipu by his actions of 1788-1791, which ended up giving everything on a platter to the British. Tipu committed his acts in Malabar and 2 years later moved on to invade Travencore, which had a defense pact with British. Tipu would have won (since British were complacent and weren't expecting it), but for the Nedumkatta Link, a 48Km long, 20-ft wide and 12 feet high fortification. It was like great wall of China built by Dharma Raja in anticipation of such an threat from Hyder Ali.
......


Thanks a_kumar for the excellent post. I read that the attack was repulsed, but did not know the role of nedumkatta wall. That wall should atleast have a memorial for it.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby csharma » 06 Apr 2010 07:36

a_kumar, great posts.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby svinayak » 06 Apr 2010 07:42

a_kumar wrote:
When I look at all this, overall the complicated moves and countermoves of diplomacy and war maintained a relative balance of power in South India between Maratha-Nizam-Mysore. British were waiting because they were forbidden by British parliament (during that period of time) from signing on any offensive treaties or actions. The local British governments were only allowed to form defensive alliances.

Law of diminishing return caught up on Tipu
English did what they had to do once they had all the Europeans behind them. They did no realize the large economic potential until 1835.
The fragmentation of Indian rulers between themselves created opportunities for the British to consolidate.
Geo-political acumen was lacking in that period

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Atri » 06 Apr 2010 07:44

Excellant Rebuttal, A_kumar ji.. :)

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Prem » 06 Apr 2010 07:54

(3) a lack of viewing war as a means to completely destroy the regenerative capacity of the enemy, something the Islamists and the Brits always recognized. They saw war as an extension of complete aggression at all levels, including following victory up with destruction of intellectual leadership, educational apparatus, cultural centres of resistance and identity, and to secure power - destruction of as much of adult male population with potential to get military skills - as possible.
This for me is the lesson to be learned from historical battles in India. If we do engage in wars in the future, all three points should be reversed from the historical practice.
[/quote]
Jai ho, this weakness should not afflict us any more. IMHO, Pakjabis saw the trailor of this total war in 47 but our soft political approach have make these guys forget the lesson.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby SwamyG » 06 Apr 2010 08:00

Circa 1788, Mahadji Scindia (a.k.a Mahadaji Shinde) sought alliance with Tipu to resist the British. Tipu refused to unite. Later in the 4th Mysore war against the British, Tipu wanted Nizam to come to his rescue, and Nizam just did not come to his aid.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 06 Apr 2010 08:17

Samay wrote:still I cant absorb that tipu was too radical,I think stories were fabricated to demonize the tiger,,and I wont discuss that part further because neither it proves nor disproves that he could have defeated the birtish (still not the biggest power in India),neither I love him

you just 'think' ?! :-? no proof or evidence required ? since when are "I think" kind of statements considered as valid arguments ?

just for the record

Tipu sent a letter on January 19, 1790 to Budruz Zuman Khan. It says:

Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now.[29]
so tipu was busy demonising himself ? :eek: how does that work ?

samay dear, what more gems will you come up with next ?
Btw your own reference suggests that he was doing every bit of effort to somehow defeat the british.
does it ? or does it show that he was making every effort to save his throne and fighting the british was just a part of it ?

how does it matter to a common Indian if one bunch of bigoted tyrants is replaced by another ?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 06 Apr 2010 08:26

Samay wrote:quoting my post
I think if they had combined forces, we could have achieved an Indian republic much earlier, tipu was taking inspiration from napoleon .
I have said that a front will automatically form a nation,I think which could have concluded as a free nation and republic later on but much earlier than 1947,
didnt meant that tipu was planning a republic,..
I see that other feudal lords werent ready to do so,hence any strong force(say marathas) cannot achieve 'India -a nation' without inclusion of all (sikhs,rajputs,deccan,etc) and would have kept on fighting each other by this day,..
I think tipu had the leadership qualities,thats why brits feared him so much ,had learnt their lessons from the european history, that he could be a bounaparte of India,so better rise a front before than he becomes powerful enough
ultimately it was us who decided to form a republic in 1947 ,not the british decided it,
so by that analogy of a free united nation a republic was possible earlier or not?

what analogy ? I don't see any analogy here. you say we formed a republic in 1947 (it's 1950 actually, one would expect someone who argues so vehemently as you do to know such school level stuff) without british help and therefore tipu would have formed a republic earlier ? :rotfl:
what lahori logic is this ?

why doesn't this lahori logic apply to one even more 'forward-looking' islamic ruler, akbar ? why didn't his reign lead to the formation of a republic ?

did tipu even know what a republic was, let alone think of creating one ? is there any evidence, anywhere that says he contemplated creating anything other than an islamist empire ?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Atri » 06 Apr 2010 08:58

One great example of Total war by Indians is "Battle of Rajasthan" fought between Gurjara-Pratiharas and Arabs in first half of 8th century. Its epitome was the reign of Bappa Rawal (a Guhilot king).

With disintegration of Gupta Empire, the region of North India was consolidated by Pratihara dynasty (Except for Magadh and Deccan which was consolidated by Palas and Rashtrakutas respectively). Arabs have been invading Sindh since 630 AD although were continuously repulsed. Until 710, they had conquered and converted Makran region of Baluchistan thoroughly which acted as their base.

With defeat of Dahir in 711 AD, Arabs were firmly rooted in India. Their attempts to win over Frontier Indic kingdoms of Kabul, Zabul were repulsed meanwhile. After defeat of Dahir, Qasim was trying to conquer regions of Punjab and Sindh but was thoroughly defeated by Raja Lalitaditya of Kashmir and Yashovarma of Kannauj.

Junaid subdued resistance in Sindh and invaded Rajasthan and Punjab region again. The two fronts of army, according to arab sources, looted, acquired wealth, slaughtered infidels and returned. They are silent on why did they "return". Indian sources mention defeats of small kings. However in 738, the southern arab army was defeated by Solankis in "Battle of Navsari" in Gujarat. His eastern army was defeated at Ujjain by Nagabhatta-1 in same year. Junaid died in battle of Ujjain.

Junaid's successor Tamin planned to invade again. This time however, Nagabhatta-1 with his Guhilot feudatory Bappa Rawal invaded Arabs in Sindh before they could enter Rajasthan. This was final battle in series of battle of Rajasthan. According to Gwalior inscription of the Gurajara kings, it is mentioned that Nagabhatta defeated a power army of a Mlenchha king. The army, according to estimates, comprised of "20-25,000 cavalry, 10000 infantry, and 2000 camels." Rajputs had a cavalry of 5000 horses.

Out of these 5000, Guhilots and Chauhans contributed 2000 horses each. The battle is especially significant for following effects on geo-polity of India.

1. India was consolidated under the rule of Imperial Gurjar Prathihara dynasty after this victory.
2. Arabs were defeated thoroughly and there were no foreign invasions on India (to the east of Sindhu) for next 300 years. There hasn't been an invasion from Sindh on India after 9th century when Arabs again tried to invade India, but were prematurely defeated by Nagabhatta-2. Till today !!! (of course if we discount 1965 war. are pakis Arabs OR Indians? :P)
3. The repeated Naval expeditions of Arabs were defeated by Saindhava rajputs of Kathiawaad.

However one of the most important factor which makes battle of Rajasthan special is not only its military victory, but also a social, cultural and religious one. For the first time in history of India, the concept of "religion" was acknowledged. There were formal and state-sponsored efforts to reconvert and purify the forcible converts. The doctrine which was implemented in this time is known as "Deval Smriti" which was enunciated for the Shuddhi of the converted people.

Converts in the region up to Navsari and Ujjain were taken back. This was also implemented in Sindh, but not as successfully as in Pratihara lands, primarily because although Arabs were thrown out of Sindh by Sumer Rajputs, they were themselves Muslims. However, all lands in Sindh to the east of Sindhu experienced the effects of this doctrine. Even today, for sindhis (hindus or muslims), Dahir is a hero and bin-qasim is a villain.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 06 Apr 2010 10:35

Arunkumar wrote:
a_kumar wrote:......
All this was changed by Tipu by his actions of 1788-1791, which ended up giving everything on a platter to the British. Tipu committed his acts in Malabar and 2 years later moved on to invade Travencore, which had a defense pact with British. Tipu would have won (since British were complacent and weren't expecting it), but for the Nedumkatta Link, a 48Km long, 20-ft wide and 12 feet high fortification. It was like great wall of China built by Dharma Raja in anticipation of such an threat from Hyder Ali.
......


Thanks a_kumar for the excellent post. I read that the attack was repulsed, but did not know the role of nedumkatta wall. That wall should atleast have a memorial for it.


I was surprised how much his campaign and attrocities into Malabar (1788) and attack on Nedumkotta (1789) are underreported in history. Here is why I called Nedumkotta Tipu's waterloo.

(1) 29th Dec 1789. Tipu launched attack on Nedumkotta lines. This attack by a 14,000 was apparently repulsed after initial breach by a small contingent. One reference says that a small group of guards (20 Nairs) created severe confusion and killed many of Tipu's soldiers. (speculation: this probably further contributed to Tipu's hatred of Nair community). If he had succeeded, it would have made Tipu very powerful and in control of considerable area.

(2) But, this defeat enraged Tipu and put him in a death-spiral. He called in reinforcements and waited for 3 months before launching another attack on Nedumkatta, giving his enemies valuable time to regroup.

(3) In the meantime, local Governor of Madras Government (Holland) looked the other way even though he had mandate and troops in place to help Travencore (Tipu bribed Holland). When the Calcutta council found out, it enraged them on two counts (Holland's corrupt inaction and their misreading Tipu). They did not waste anytime, signed treaties with Marathas and Nizam terms friends to Marathas/Nizam. Holland was booted.

(4) Tipu resumed his assault after getting reinforcements. After a month of artillery barrage, it was breached and Tipu's troops enter Travencore. But things were stacking against him as other local Rajas previously sacked by Tipu begin to organize against him.

(5) Tipu destroys the northern Travencore and unleashes a brutal campaign (like any invader), but gets defeated in another battle (good use of terrain by Travencore - basically broke dam upstream and flooded riverbed that had Tipu's troops). Tipu looses and takes his troops back as he learns about impending action of British/Nizam/Marathas.

(6) Overall in this campaign, Tipu looses his sword and other personal belongings and is injured in a fall. Looses considerable troops and pushes other Rajas to galvanize against him (who were previously paying tribute to Tipu). He effectively stuck out like a sore thumb in south-indian power politics.

(7) Gets boxed between Marathas/Nizam from North and British from East. Faces a humiliating defeat and ends handing his two minor sons as hostages as guarantee for execution of terms.

(8) The British intentionally left Tipu in control with half of his territories. Since the territories won would have to be equally split between British/Marathas/Nizam, they wanted to limit how much Maratha's could gain in this war.
He (Cornwallis) later wrote, "If we had taken Seringapatam and killed Tippoo, [...] we must either have given that capital to the Marattas (a dangerous boon) or have set up some miserable pageant of our own, to be supported by the Company's troops and treasures, and to be plundered by its servants."


Allows British complete control of the southern tip and pepper trade from Cochin/Malabar.

(9) From then on, it was matter of time before Tipu would be dislodged.

As for what happened to Nedumkotta.. there is apparently little to notrace of it now and neither is there a memorial sadly.
Later, when he (Tipu) was forced to return to safeguard his country from a possible British attack, he gratified his vanity by destroying the Lines. "The Sultan, placed on an eminence, set the example of striking the first stroke with a pick axe; the ceremony was repeated by the courtiers and chiefs and followers of every description. The whole Line was destroyed in six days".

The most portions of the wall was destroyed during war, later eroded away due to heavy rains and trenches were filled up. The most of the ruins whatever left have also been lost due ignorance about the historical structure among the locals. Unfortunately, there are no memorials erected anywhere in Kodungallur, or Trichur, or Alwaye to honour Dharma Raja who gave shelter in his state to thousands of Hindus escaping from the Islamic brutalities of the fanatic Tipu Sultan; or Ayyappan Marthanda Pillai who was the architect of the historic Nedumkotta; or Raja Keshavadas under whose direct command a comparatively small army humbled and defeated the invading army of Tipu Sultan.
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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 06 Apr 2010 10:40

source for the last two paragraphs ?
TIA.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 06 Apr 2010 11:01

^
Dharma Raja of Travencore (Initial Career)

Nedumkotta (Wiki)

Would be interested to know more from local sources, if any.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Arunkumar » 06 Apr 2010 13:03

a_kumar wrote:......
As for what happened to Nedumkotta.. there is apparently little to notrace of it now and neither is there a memorial sadly.
......


A sad testimony to 'secularism' where the tomb of the bigot is a tourist attraction.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 06 Apr 2010 19:43

He had also changed the names Mysore and other places with muslim names like Moradabad etc. I have seen the Sri Ramga Pattanam and we can see all the fort and surrondings were destroyed in that war. The Guide was telling other than the temple every construction there was destroyed by british. Big construction was newly made and shown as his tomb which I did not visited. No one in the bus did. But all the people went to the temple. I think the civilisational memories of what has really happend is still there.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 06 Apr 2010 20:09

A-Kumar, please write an essay including a few maps and describe the role of Tippu's Malabar campaign in his final defeat. Please do this as a favor.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby a_kumar » 07 Apr 2010 01:51

^ Ramana ji, will do. It will take a little time though.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Pulikeshi » 09 Apr 2010 10:55

Has anyone done a thread or compendium of historic military inventions from India?

I can think of urmi, chakr, steel (ukku/wootz swords), elephants in war, etc.


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