woman in city talks on research on Tipu
the British, Tipu Sultan had another obsession - Tigers. And
a wooden tiger he got made became instrumental in kindling
the fire for research in a British woman. Anne Buddle who
is working with National Galleries of Scotland one day dusted
off an old wooden tiger sitting in the storeroom. She found
out that there is some mechanism through which the tiger performs
the act of eating a European soldier. There was also this
shriek of that soldier recorded an organ attached to the tiger.
"We call it automaton. It is a nice blend of Indian wooden
work and French technique. When I finally managed to make
it work my interest in Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, grew,"
she said. Since then she has been trying to find out all objects
associated with Tipu and understand the "great fighter who
found time to get tiger motifs prepared on many a thing."
Buddle has seen frowned looks, a bit of resentment and also
received wholesome cooperation from unexpected quarters because
her research focused on an "enemy of the British throne."
In the beginning of her research she thought she would not
get help in India, again, because sherepresented a "former
enemy." But Indian authorities opened their doors and extended
all possible help to her in organising the bicentennial exhibition
on Tipu in Scotland last year. "It was a huge success. Busloads
of people used to come from different parts of Britain and
Europe to observe the personality of Tipu Sultan through the
objects possessed by him or were related to him," she said.
The exhibition will soon be on the web for everybody to watch.
Buddle felt that Tipu Sultan was ahead of his times. He understood
the relevance of technology as none of his contemporary rulers
did. "Mind you, he also had an artistic bent of mind," she
said. Buddle is on a lecture-tour and research of India. She
has already given talks at Museum of Indology in Ahmedabad
and at Salar Jung Museum. Her tour includes, of course, Mysore.