Context: As elections in Karnataka approach, the 18th-century king Tipu Sultan is once more at the centre of a debate. By supporting claims that Tipu Sultan was assassinated by two Vokkaliga leaders rather than the British and Maratha army, an effort is being made to appeal to the politically influential Vokkaliga population.
About Mysore Kingdom
- An Independent state that was created as a result of the Mughal Empire’s fall. The destabilisation of the Mughal power over the provinces was a major factor in the emergence of these states.
- A significant state that emerged in the eighteenth century was Mysore. The Wodeyars were in charge of this region, which was situated near the meeting point of the Eastern and Western Ghats.
- The region became a never-ending battleground as a result of several powers’ interest in this land. In the end, Haider Ali gained control over the state.
- Nanjaraj (the sarvadhikari) and Devaraj (the Dulwai), had reduced Chikka Krishnaraja Wodeyar to the status of a puppet in the early eighteenth century. Under the leadership of the ministers Nanjaraj and Devaraj, Haidar Ali began his career in the Mysore army.
- In addition to introducing Western training techniques for his army, Haidar Ali enlisted the assistance of the French to establish a weapons factory in Dindigul (now in Tamil Nadu).
- Due to his involvement in the First and Second Carnatic Wars in South India, Haider Ali witnessed the military superiority of European troops. Mysore sided with the French in the Carnatic Wars.
- The Nizam of Hyderabad, the Marathas, and the English formed an alliance against Haider Ali, the king of Mysore, in the first Anglo-Mysore war (1767–69). In the end the English had to sign the humiliating Treaty of Madras in 1769.
- The Treaty of Mangalore, which was signed in 1784, brought an end to the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780–1784). Tipu Sultan succeeded his father Haider Ali after his death.
- Tipu Sultan was the last Muslim ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, before the taking over by Wodeyar Dynasty.
- Navy: Defeat in Third Anglo-Mysore War convinced Tipu to take measures to build a navy. He issued a Hukmnanah (ordinance) in 1796 for a strong naval force with 40 ships to be built at speed. The navy was put under command of 11 Mir Yam (Lords of Admiralty), with headquarters at Seringapatam. The naval divisions or Kachehris at Jamalabad (Mangalore), Wajidabad and Majidabad. Timber for ships was to be procured from state forests.
- Ammunitions: Established munitions industry in Nagar, which were regarded as equal in quality to those produced in Europe.
- Rocket technology: Pioneer of rocket technology and expanded iron cased Mysorean rockets and commissioned a military manual Fathul Mujahidin
- Economy: Attempted to revive commerce and forged commercial linkages with other parts of India and West Asia and build a public sector company with state finance. Introduced sericulture and an was a member of the Jacobin club. He also planted a liberty tree at Seringapatam.
- Agriculture and Revenue Settlement:
- Tipu modified land revenue management.
- Rules were laid down for distribution of arable land among old and new ryots, preference was given to hereditary ownership of land and rent was fixed.
- Tipu’s measures were the basis for Ryotwari Settlement introduced by East India Company in South India.
- Captain Alexander Read first introduced Ryotwari Settlement in Baramahal district surrendered by Tipu after his defeat in 1792.
- Calendar: Introduced a new calendar in 1784. This calendar was known as Mauludi Era and had 354 days. It counted its first year from the year of birth of Prophet Muhammad. The calendar’s name was derived from Arabic phrase ‘Maulud-i-Muhammad’, Birth of Muhammad.
- Introduced several administrative innovations such as a new coinage system.
- Deployed rockets against advances of British forces and their allies during Anglo-Mysore Wars, including the Battle of Pollilur and Siege of Srirangapatnam.
- Third Anglo Mysore war (1790-92): Tipu Sultan was defeated by EIC and the Treaty of Seringapatam was concluded. Under this treaty, Tipu lost half of Mysore’s territory.
- Fourth Anglo-Mysore war (1799): This conclusive war led to falling of Seringapatam. English chose a Hindu boy from the earlier ruling royal family i.e., Wodeyars, as the Maharaja and imposed subsidiary alliance on him.