Tipu Sultan - A barbaric evil king who butchered thousands of unarmed civilians - an article by Mukkatira Mac Thimmaiah

The Blood Bath Of Kodavas

Tall, well built, brave, beautiful and courageous are just few words commonly used to describe Kodava race. Kodava tribe has come a long way to earn the title warrior popularly known in Indian army as Kodava Warriors. The history of Kodavas is definitely one of the most fascinating and the bloodiest among any other civilization in India. My article is based on facts that are documented by historians and based on books which have highlighted the bloodbath of Kodava warriors, The article concentrates on Tippu and his cold blooded killings.

If Kodava today is one of the second least populated race in this world, it’s because of a barbaric character from the history known to people as Tippu Sultan. There were repeated attempts to capture Kodagu by Tippu and his father Hyder Ali before him. Tippus barbarism reached its peak from 1760 to 1790 and this period is considered as one of the most gruesome era in the history of Kodavas. Tippu’s closest commander Mir Kirmani on his book reveals the incidence pertaining to Tippu’s brutality and religious conversion. During the year 1760 - 1780 Tippu destroyed more than 600 temples across Kodagu. His cruelty and self-obsession had reached its peak when his closest left him in the final war with British where Tippu died in stampede, He was not shot by Brits. When Tippu first invaded Kodagu with his well-equipped 15000 army men carrying French Cannon with a intention of conquering Kodagu overnight Kandanda Doddaiah and Appachira Mandanna with their trop of 5000 Kodavas retaliated against Tippu’s army near Suntikoppa only to defeat Tippu’s army and chase them out of Kodagu . This war with Tippu is documented in Hunsoor literature which states “Kari Kupasu totha Kodavaru Kari Dumbhi anthe tippuvinatha nugi, hodedhodisidharu” Historians say this was a war of bravery verse strength and by the time Tippu realized the courage of Kodava’s he was defeated. Tippu popularly known and projected today as Tiger of Mysore and pride of Karnataka was defeated by Kodava 31 times during 25 years of war and this humiliation forced Tippu to seek revenge on Kodava. Kodavas were the master of the guerrilla warfare hence they succeeded every time in ambushing Tippu.

In the year 1771, Tippu with a large army attacked Madikeri fort post which he captured Bhagamandala and converted the entire Bhagandeshwara temple and its premises to a fort. He had also chopped the elephants belonging to the temple, documents for the same is available in the temple even today. After capturing Bhagamandala as a tribute to himself Tippu placed a stone titled "Salam Kallu” which can be seen on the way to Talacavery, A evidence which even today tells the stories of brutality and bloodbath. After 15 years of war and retaliation with Kodavas, Tippu had understood he would not be able to capture the entire Kodagu which would provide him easy access to Mangalore port hence he wanted to try something different. Something, which resulted in one of the biggest genocide of human race.

Tippu sent a message to naal naad Kodavas inviting them for a negotiation stating his main enemies were Marathas and  British hence he would want to end the war with Kodava and head back to Srirangapatana. Learning about the invite Kodavas from naal naad gathered with their family on 13th of December 1785 at Devatiparambu located on banks of the river Cavery to negotiate and bid bye to the decade long war. As Sun set behind the mountains of Kodagu, Kodava came to Devatiparambu unarmed mean while half of Tippu’s army was deployed inside the forest waiting for Kodavas to gather as a part of his cowardly plan, once Tippu was sure he had unarmed men trapped he ordered his army to massacre all Kodava present at Devatiparambu, troops hiding behind the bushes pounded on unarmed men, women and kids slaughtering more than 70,000 and capturing about 90,000 Kodavas and were deported to Seringapatam. The captured women and children’s were subjected to immense physical and mental torture the young men were all forcibly circumcised and incorporated into the Ahmedy Corps (name of Tippu’s army). The captured were subjected to forcible conversions to Islam, death, and torture. It’s said scale of massacre was so huge that the water in the Cavery river turned red due to blood oozing out of the dead bodies and continued to flow red in color for 12 consecutive days. Many who were captured were converted to Islam and sent back to Kodagu called themselves as Kodava Mapilas. There are about 60 Kodava Mapilas family residing in Kodagu. They share same family names as that of Kodavas. in Devanageri village,  Puliyanda Kodava mapilas resides and in the regions surrounding Virajpet, there are Muslim family names like Kuvalera, Italtanda, Mitaltanda, Kuppodanda, Kappanjeera. Similarly, in the Madikeri taluk, there are Kalera, Chekkera, Charmakaranda, Maniyanda, Balasojikaranda, and Mandeyanda in the Hoddur village in Madikeri taluk.

Kodava mapilas also use Kodava Ornaments, Mandamada Kodava mapilas still use tookbolcha in their home, at the temples in Bshettigeri and Hudikeri,  Karthura and Mandamada Kodava mapilas are priests. At yemmemadu dargah festival even to this date Kodava mapilas start the festival proceedings by offering prayers and flinging rice, Chekkera and Kalera Kodava mapilas are takkanga at yemmemadu.

The existence of these Kodava Mapilas are another living evidence reflecting the barbarism of Tippu on Kodavas. Tippu believed in destroying temples in Kodagu, during his course of destruction he happened to destroy a bhagavadhi temple near Kotakeri and burnt Biddatanda ainmane where he captured 48 innocent people and took them along to Seringapatam among these 40 people Appanna managed to escape and returned to his village in Kodagu however Appanna was out casted since villagers thought he was converted to Islam. Appanna lived alone till death near a pond which is called Appannajjanda Kere. The pond can be found even today. The remains of the Biddatanda Ain-Mane which was burnt with people inside shouting for help tells the horrific mindset of Tippu and his brigade.

Tippu after capturing Madikeri fort set his eyes on removing Kalasa from the Omkareshwara temple and replaced it with the domb which is another architectural evidence for destruction Tippu carried out during his rule. Tippu also wanted to abolish Kannada completely and hence he introduced Persian language into his administration . The persian words like “Dhapan, Barcas and Jammabandi  ”still used in  our land documents at Kodagu shows Tippu at any cost wanted to eliminate Kannada from Karnataka. Its irony that government wants to celebrate Tippu’s birthday across Karnataka. The evidence not only indicates that he was not a conqueror but a religious fanatic and a dictator who believed in ethical cleansing of Kodavas and other community in south India.

The evidence for the bloodiest history of Kodagu and Kodava exist even today and is documented.  A history which is filled with inhumanness, violence and genocide a history which is today rewritten by politicians to lionize a mass murderer and efforts to project him as a hero is not only hurting the sentiments of Kodava but it’s also sending out a wrong message about our history to the future generation of this country. A man who lost the battle 31 times and killed the brave Kodava warriors by infidelity can never be a Hero. Tippu was an invader, a dictator a coward and a Murderer of human race and glorifying such inhuman personality is absolute shame and disgrace to humanity. The real history needs to be told to the next generation for them to know who the real warriors of the Kodava Land were.

Mukkatira Mac Thimmaiah

Article from FirstPost:

Karnataka govt's Tipu blunder: Was 10 Nov his birthday, or the day he hanged 700 Melkote Iyengars?

The tragic death of a Coorg man during a clash between pro and anti-Tipu Jayanti protesters was needless and avoidable. But, the question most people are asking is why, after 300 years, does a government insist on spending tax-payer money to celebrate the memory of a person who is disliked by entire communities within the state?

While Tipu’s legacy can be debated by historians, it all becomes clouded when politicians enter the picture. Nobody was demanding that Tipu be celebrated, so why did the government see it fit to thrust another “jayanti” on the state? The BJP regime did something similar when it introduced Valmiki and Kanakadasa jayantis as public holidays. Tipu Jayanti is probably the Congress reply; but there’s a difference. Valmiki and Kanakadasa were not known to have killed people. Nobody protested, very few even cared.

That Tipu Jayanti is a hurried and ill-informed decision is apparent from the fact that the government did not even get its dates right. Former Bangalore University Vice Chancellor Thimappa Manchale Suryanarayanarao called out the government’s ignorance on social media, “I just learnt from a historian that the tyrant Tipu’s birthday falls on November 20. November 10 is the day on which he hanged 700 Iyengars in Melkote.” As a result, the Melkote Iyengars do not celebrate Diwali even today. By cruel irony, that is the day the Karnataka government decided to celebrate its supposedly secular hero. How embarrassing can this get?

It’s difficult to imagine that the state government was unaware that entire communities within and outside the state bore a deep resentment towards Tipu Sultan. It’s not just the Melkote Iyengars, it’s the Coorgs, who he killed and converted, it’s the Mangalorean Catholics, whose churches he destroyed, and the Nairs of Wyanad and Malabar, who he tried to exterminate. Evidence for this comes from Tipu’s own letters and diaries. Instead, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah casually dismisses history by saying that the protests were by “communal forces”.

That’s not true, according to Coorgs. Says Coorg-born Gautham Machaiah, former executive vice-president, Zee Networks, “Coorgs are not opposed to Tipu Jayanti because he was a Muslim. He was a tyrant. He butchered thousands of Coorgs, mainly women and children, and forcibly converted innumerable people. We would have equally opposed Tipu Jayanti had he been a Hindu or a Christian.” The seething anger among Coorgs is ripe for exploitation, and that’s where the BJP has stepped in.

The call for a bandh on Thursday came from the BJP and its associated organisations. While the bandh call was political, what the district authorities seem to have failed to grasp is that the bandh was supported by the entire community. Being government-sponsored, there was never a question that the Tipu Jayanti celebrations would take place, but why did the police allow the celebrants to take out a procession? That was when the trouble started; stones were thrown, the crowd was caned, and a person died.

Coorg is a verdant paradise. The people are mostly peaceful; their biggest worries revolve around the rains, which are vital for the district’s coffee crops, and the shortage of labour. They work hard and are known for their hospitality. An unusually high number of homestays welcome visitors from all over the world. Coorgs are outgoing, cheerful, and it takes a lot to upset them. But, there is a tipping point for everyone, and the government should know what that is. While the Coorgs dislike Tipu Sultan, they also reserve equal hatred for the last Hindu king of Coorg, Chikkaveeraraja, who casually killed and raped Coorgs and their women. This is not about religion, as the state government or the likes of Girish Karnad would have us believe when they say Tipu would’ve been revered like Shivaji if he was a Hindu.

There’s little doubt that the BJP and its sister organizations are exploiting hurt sentiments. Tuesday’s violence occurred because some people, from both sides, came prepared for a fight. It should have been anticipated and prevented. Two ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet have their roots in Coorg, they did not see this coming?

The situation was further muddied by Girish Karnad, who, while addressing the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in front of the chief minister in Bangalore, made the bizarre suggestion that the Kempegowda International Airport should be named after Tipu Sultan. It was a suggestion that was applauded by the audience, but nobody else was amused. The chief minister, doing the right thing, quickly dissociated himself from Karnad, "We have nothing to do with Mr Karnad’s statement and there is no proposal before us to change the airport's name." That’s missing the point. It is the state’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti that gives intellectuals like Karnad the courage to air such ridiculous thoughts.

However, in an interview to CNN-IBN, Karnad said he was misquoted.
Former Director-General of Police Shankar Bidari was one of the first to react to Karnad. He said on social media that Karnad’s statement was totally unwarranted and irresponsible in the context of prevailing situation. Predictably, the BJP took out processions on Wednesday to protest Karnad’s statement. Kannada associations, who see Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore, as a hero, and Vokkaligas, to whose community Kempegowda belongs, were upset too. Karnad has since apologized.

Meanwhile, the BJP called for a second day of bandh in Coorg and there is talk of further protests. Congress spokesmen have been appearing on TV and putting out weak defenses, they seem either to lack any sense of history or they are in denial. That’s not surprising; they are representing a government that did not even get the date of Tipu’s birthday right. It’s a strong argument for governments to stick to the work they are elected to do. Leave history to the historians. Meanwhile, the people of Coorg need to move on. Is it worth losing lives over a tyrant who lived and died three centuries ago?

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