Tipu Sultan's Search for Legitimacy: Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain
Focusing upon the methods adopted by Tipu Sultan to establish his legitimacy as a parvenu ruler, this revisionary study takes an `nnovative approach to the analysis of kingship in eighteenth-century south India.
"Clearly written and is made more accessible by the inclusion of a good glossary of Persian words as well as those of various Indian languages....All levels."--Choice
About the Author
Kate Brittlebank, Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow, School of History, University of New South Wales.
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Response to the author
By Dr. Veena Shekar
Dear Kate Brittlebank,
I once again repeat that i am not commenting on the book. So there is no need for me to read it. I am a research scholar and my thesis is on historical paintings of Karnataka, Particularly the paintings that belong to Tipu Sultan's period.
The picture you have chosen is in a small temple at a place called Sibi. The owner of the temple, Nallappa, served under Haidar Ali, Tipu Sultan and later Krishnaraja Wodeyar. To show his allegiance to the three rulers he got them painted on the walls of the temple.
This painting shows Haidar ali in front of whom the three brothers of Nallappa fly are seated, on top is Krishnaraja wodeyar in his usual pose, that is popularly known and recognised. According to history, when Tipu died in 1799, krishnaraja wodeyar was still a young boy. here in this picture he is already a king. So it is not Tipu standing in front of wodeyar under any circumstances. there are other pictures of Tipu in the temple which are easily identifiable.
I hope you got the point without misunderstanding me.
Dr. Veena Shekar
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
comment on the subject
By Z. Yang
On a recent trip to southern India I visited Mysore and Srirangapatna, and came to learn Tipu Sultan's name for the first time. While touring the 2 thousand years old Hindu temple and the Muslim mosque with an active madrasa in it, I couldn't help being struck by the seemingly peaceful coexistence of both within the confines of the Srirangapatna fortress wall. Later on while visiting the summer palace and museum of Tipu Sultan, a more nuanced and glorious picture unfolded itself to me, bring such familiar names as Lord Cornwallis, Duke of Wellington. The tomb of Hyder Ali, his wife Fatima and Tipu Sultan further struck me with a picture of strong historical and current Muslim presence in a country nurturing Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity as well. I couldn't help googling on Tipu Sultan and Srirangapatna the first chance I could, and read through Prof Sheik Ali's tipusuntan.org with much interest. The site, compiled obviously by a modern day muslim scholar, is a glowing review depicting a national hero and freedom fighter against the British colonists, enlightened ruler with Hindu officials in high court, great diplomat skilled in building alliances with Napoleon, the Afghan rulers; and great military man familiar with the latest technology and military strategy who used advanced(by 1790 standard) rockets in the 2nd Mysore war to totally humiliate the British army. I haven't seen mentionings of Tipu the Lionheart, but the title of Tiger of Mysore is more than appropriate.
Not surprisingly, my quick research also came across views from a different angle([...] which pointed to Tipu Sultan as a merciless and ruthless ruler, slaughtering the Hindus and Christians on his way to conquer Kerala and Mangalore, 'honoring' Hindus with Islam. In letter dated January 18, 1790, to Syed Abdul Dulai: " ...almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. I consider this as Jehad." Fanatical jihaddist it looks like, which is more familiar and understandable to a modern day western observer. It would seem to me 'Legitimacy' would never be a question to Tipu Sultan or anybody with deep religious faith, or national fervor, or emotional confiction, just as we never question the legitimacy of democracy and capitalism as 'our way of life'.
I also read on today's Wall Street Journal about the Zoroastrians' more passive way of surviving as yet another religion in the subcontinent, "Because Zoroastrianism doesn't seek converts, a small band of the faithful were able to live peacefully among Hindus, Muslims and Christians." And the Zoroastrians' way leads to a shrinking population, prompting efforts to employ modern day help such as internet dating, fertility treatment, makes some amazing reading for me today. Islam doesn't seem to face this kind of challenge it would seem to me.
I look forward to read this book and learn more about 'Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain', and perhaps visit Mysore and Srirangapatna again, before development turn those dusty emblems of amazing history into yet another Disney theme park...
Rated 5 stars based only on the striking title of the book :)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
A very thought provoking book
By Kindle Customer
I recently watched a documentary on TV about the life and times of Tipu Sultan and was thoroughly engrossed for the couple of hours or so that the programme was on. As a result of my fascination for this heroic and brave individual I felt I really needed to research into him further. Thus, I came across this book and read it from cover to cover in a matter of days. I found it as interesting, if not more so, as the programme. It confirmed alot of what was discussed in the programme so I can at least say that it is authentic and very well researched and written. Well done to the author. It cant be easy writing historic fiction with all the research involved and the need to make sure all the information is authentic and accurate...Ms Brittlebank has done exceptionally well. Long live the memory of Tipu the Lionheart!