Monday, 23 March 2015

Tipu Sultan and his abduction of 12,000 children of Marata Kingdom of Thanjavur- 1773 (Tamil Nau), India

Thanjavur paintings Thanjavur Maratha rulers - 17th -19th
Thanjavur Marathas of the Bhonsle dynasty, were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th to the 19th century C.E. Their native language was Marathi They vastly enriched the cultural and artistic heritage of erstwhile delta district of Tanjore. Venkoji was the founder of the dynasty. In 1675, the Sultan of Bijapur sent a force commanded by the Maratha general Venkoji (alias Ekoji) to recapture the kingdom from the new invader. Venkoji defeated Alagiri,the local ruler  and occupied Thanjavur. He did not, however, place his protege on the throne as instructed by the Bijapur Sultan, but seized the kingdom and made himself king. Thus began the rule of the Marathas over Thanjavur.

Tipu Sultan (1750 – 1799) was born on 20 November 1750  at Devanahalli, about 33 km (21 mi) north of Bangalore city,
now in  Karnataka. He was named "Tipu Sultan" after the saint Tipu Mastan Aulia of Arcot. Tipu was also called "Fath Ali" after his grandfather Fatah Muhammad. He was a sworn enemy of the British rulers.

Tipu Sultan of
Map of Maratha kingdom of Tanjore(Thanjavur)
 Tipu's father, Hyder Ali, was a military officer in service to the Kingdom of Mysore; he rapidly rose in power, and became the de facto ruler of Mysore in 1761. Hyder's father, Fatah Muhammad, was born in Kolar, and served as a commander of 50 men in the bamboo rocket artillery (mainly used for signalling) in the army of the Nawab of Carnatic. Fatah Muhammad eventually entered the service of the Wodeyar Rajas of the Kingdom of Mysore.

The war expedition to Tanjore Marata kingdom
in 1773 is also remembered for alleged excesses committed by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. During the period of occupation which lasted six months, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan are believed to have impoverished the country, destroying standing crops, stored food grains and cattle. As late as 1785, the Dutch missionary and a friend of the Maratha rulers, Christian Friedrich Schwarz (1726–1798)  described Tipu's alleged abduction of 12,000 children from the region. It was suspected that he had a plan to take them back to his kingdom for religious conversion.    The throne was restored to the Maratha rulers  by the Directors of the British East India Company and thrrough the intervension of Fr. Schwartz. But this restoration came at a heavy price as it deprived the Maratha ruler of his independence. The economic output of Tanjore, a fertile delta area is estimated to have fallen by 90% between 1780 and 1782. In the wake of the ravages by Hyder and Tipu, there was yet another alleged  plunder launched by the local  Kallar community that aggravated the situation. The resultant  economic devastation  by these unprovoked attacks was so severe that the small Tanjore kingdom's economy did not show any semblance of recovery until the start of the 19th century; this period of economic devastation caused by the rulers of Mysore is often referred to, in local Tamil folklore, as the Hyderalikalam.