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Tipu Sultan Bicentenary celeberations at Srirangapatna

A grand celebration on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the martyrdom of Tipu Sultan was organised by Al-Ameen Movement on  near the premises of the Tipu Sultan Mausoleum at Srirangapatna on Friday  evening (7th of May) attended by many eminent personalities from Hindu, Christian and Muslim religions who paid rich tribute to Tipu Sultan whom they called "The Great Son of India", who fought the first war of independence against the British.

Sri Sri Sri Deshikendra Swamiji, President, Suttur Mutt, Mysore, paid his tribute to the multi-faceted genius of Tipu Sultan who gave his blood to serve his people and his country without any consideration of caste, creed, sex or colour. "To safeguard the country and its honour, Tipu mortgaged his sons to the British. In contrast, our present day leaders, do not hesitate to mortgage the country in the interest of their sons," said Swamiji highlighting the sacrifice of Tipu Sultan while fighting the British to defend the country in the Second Mysore War. He extolled his qualities of secularism, justice, dharma and humanity as a model for rulers and administrators for all time to come and he asked the national leaders to show proper respect to the great personality of Tipu Sultan in this year of his bicentenary.

"If Tipu was against the Christians, a Bishop will not attend this function," said Rt.Rev.Fr.Joseph Roy, Bishop of Mysore speaking on the occasion. He gave many examples of the secular character of Tipu Sultan and the help he gave to the Christians even inviting Christian Fathers from Goa to provide religious guidance to Christians in his state. He decried the false propaganda perpetrated by ill-informed people about Tipu's bigotry against the Christians. If any punishment has been meted out to anybody, it is on the grounds of crime or disloyalty and not on religious grounds" asserted Bishop Roy.

"Tipu and Hyder are the real Manninamaga (Sons of the soil) who came up from the lowest strata of the society in Karnataka and built a strong and prosperous state giving dignity and honour to the Kannadigas" asserted Mr.Veerappa Moily, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, speaking on the occasion. Quoting extensively from various authentic sources, Mr.Moily showed how much attached Tipu was to the people of Karnataka and how he spared no efforts to preserve the culture and traditions of the people and made innovative eforts to improve trade, industry and administrative efficiency of his state which became an envy of even the British who were fighting against him. "Of the 22 sketches of the leading builders of the nation included in the original edition of the Constitution by the founders of our constitution, Tipu's is the only sketch from Karnataka which appears in the original volume and brings honour and credit to the people of Karnataka" said Mr.Moily.
Mr.Moily asserted that he had found evidence for the secular approach of Tipu Sultan in the various records that he has perused and the monuments and artefacts he has seen and the statements he has heard from people during his visits to different parts of Karnataka. He had rarely come across anything to the contrary.

The celebration was also addressed by Moulana Abdul Karim Parekh, Treasurer, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, who spoke of Tipu Sultan as a just ruler with a secular approach in caring for his subjects in the true spirit of Islam and Quranic injunctions. He urged the people of all communities to draw inspiration from the example of Tipu Sultan and live like brothers to promote peace and harmony so that they can all contribute to the greatness, prosperity and progress of the nation with its immense heritage and culture.

At the outset, Mr.Mir Maqsood Ali Khan, a former Minister and Managing Editor of Daily Salar - an Urdu newspaper, welcomed the guests. The function ended with a vote of thanks by Mr.K.Rahman Khan, Member of Parliament - Rajya Sabha and President of the Al-Ameen Education Society.

On the occasion, a Website on Tipu Sultan developed by IndiaNexus for Al-Ameen Institute of Information Technology was launched by Mr. Veerappa Moily. A book written by Mr.Khazi Mohammed Shoukath Ali in Kannada entitled "Tiger Tipu Sultan" was released by Sri Sri Sri Deshikendra Swamiji on this occasion.

Saturday, May 8th, 1999.