Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 1

Famous French historian March Bloch quoted: “History is neither watch making nor cabinet construction. It is an endeavor towards better understanding. The very names we use to describe ancient ideas or vanished-forms of social organization would be quite meaningless if we had not known living men”.

While researching for my forthcoming book about Kodagu and Haleri dynasty, I came across one of the strangest and disgusting claims one can ever grasp. Sadly no one has the time to read, that too Kannada books and hence I took the liberty to translate few pages for the younger generation to know the truth. This five part article traces one of the ugliest steps in the history of humanity and can quell many misconceptions about the real history of Kodagu and Mysore.

Though I had taken a break from blogging to concentrate on my book, the content was too valuable to be ignored. As I read sitting in the sun room, thousands of miles away, my late father’s words echoed at the back of my head… darveshi nai sulemova tipu kodavada samanramele samrajya kettechi… my father knew it but I was too naïve to understand then! Tippu–British–French–ugly Karnataka politicians, naked danced around me…. the ugliest sight one can ever see and bile was rising. Born and raised in Kodagu with values, it took a while for me to digest the utterly disgusting reality.

A step by step, day to day bullock cart journey leading to the grand finale of action is described meticulously by historian Mr. D. N. Krishnaiah. Buckle up, take a deep breath and experience the ugly side of maniac Tipu’s manipulative journey first hand on the rugged path of Western Ghats..…. …. Though the famous historian has given clear step by step pictures of the horrendous journey, luckily has spared the unpalatable and gruesome details on Devati Parmbu massacre and the painful journey of prisoners to Srirangapatna {it is mentioned elsewhere}.

On the other hand, ironically while Tipu was busy fulfilling his Tiger quest, by piling the manhood of Kodavas strand by strand, without his knowledge the British Empire was meticulously carving out their own “Poster Boy”, a hero larger than life in flesh and blood with an artificial aura of supremacy to save their own self-image from Tippoo. Tipu, armed with only good strategic capacity of a mere cunning tiger-salamander was promoted shamefully as a real magnificent Tiger known for its grace, strength, agility and enormous power, the pride of India. This allowed them to use this aura as an excuse for their own shortcomings against him

Sri Krishna says “Dharma only will protect Dharma” and I think Adharma only exposes Adharma.

It is said that everything happens for a reason and it’s for a good reason. Thanks to the manipulative vote monger Tipu-Jayanthi celebrations, glorious past of Great Britain’s “Poster boy’s” bravery is a household name not only in India but around the world. Hence the read would fascinate more people than before. However, it is time to do the postmortem of Tippu Satan’s Tiger Fallacy, clear the air and restore the peace, dignity and honour of not only Kodava Ancestors, but also scores of other innocent souls from many other communities within and around Kodagu, e.g., Catholics of Mangalore, Nairs of Kerala, etc., etc., to have their own moment of peace. I realized that it was the reason that I had found it and had to offer “pinda” to each and everyone. I couldn’t have asked for more blessing from the Creator than such a noble deed.

Blogger’s Note: The word Kodava is used rather than Kodagu warriors as the highest majority of them were from the Kodava clans and included families. Secondly, sorry about the language used… but after four years of research, I believe that one has to be bold and brash to tell the truth. The comments in {} is not part of translation and is instead my own insertions used for better understanding.

If there ever is a question…. who had the most prized “Foreskin” on earth, the answer would be definitely “the men from Kodagu”!! Am I kidding? Not really.
Tippu rose to power on it, British extended their friendly hand to Kodavas but portrayed Tippu as a hero to boost their Self-Image, like leeches French lived rather sucked on it and politicians still continue to suck on it for votes. When our own people could conveniently pull wool over our eyes with treason, it was not difficult for the white men. No wonder Truth is always bitter…

Beaten again & again by the ill equipped, self taught Kodava/Kodagu warriors, Tipu’s ego was tired of both the insults mooted out on him & his dead father as well as their inability to expand. The French, one of the European suckers shared the same sentiments too. Haider had the collaboration of more than 3,000 French soldiers and weapons at his disposal. Later numerous proposals of alliances were made by Tipu, leading to the dispatch of a French mercenary fleet of volunteers to help him. Infamous French man Lally was transporting metal cannon balls which can be still found in Kodagu.

Kodavas had a secret of their own for winning the wars and taking up the arms again and again without fear. They were raised under the warmth and love of an undivided family tree called Ainmane, their prospect of wealth was different. For that matter their ideology was different and miles apart than the mercenaries, traders or anyone who ever fought with them. They were the guardian of the boarder….Safety, Sanctity and Security of Motherland was their dharma which connected them with their past and their heritage, and a reason to live. They deemed it as their proud duty and fought for the safety and honour of their beloved Motherland and their family, often even without remuneration.

This is unlike the story of Tipu, who was the descendant of a mercenary from the deserts of Middle East, follower of an unknown strange sect, who spent first thirteen years of his life on the back streets of Devanahalli fort, perhaps radicalized, once even abandoned by father when Haider ran away, life was all about wealth and power. Coming from the streets of Devanahalli fort, with an absentee father, Tipu did not know the value of a true family or what a real family is.

True to the say: culture is caught not taught, living in an Ainmane, for a Kodava, the treasure “Kodavame” or the Kodava way of life passed on by generation to generation through watching their predecessors was/is a natural inborn instinct. It was/is the foundation of his courage coupled with love and reverence for his land, culture and family, becomes his passion. It was inculcated in their blood, their very DNA. River Kaveri was the strength behind them, the very umbilical cord which connected them to Kodagu.

  1. Fighting for the protection of mother land was inborn and came naturally to Kodavas and when necessary they could blend with each other like milk and sugar from all the four corners of Coorg Proper without any hitch as they were fighting for a single cause and not for wealth or power. That is what made them different, stronger and selfless.
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