Strategic Studies Centre at AMU to be named after Tipu Sultan

Aligarh: Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Zameer Uddin Shah announced here on 4 May that the proposed Centre for Strategic Studies will be named after Tipu Sultan. He was delivering the presidential address at a seminar on the life and work of Tipu Sultan to mark the 214th death anniversary of the great ruler of Mysore. The seminar was organized by Sir Syed Awareness Forum (SAF).

Shah said military men had a great sense of history and he was a great admirer of Tipu Sultan. He said that Tipu sacrificed his life for the sake of the country. He was a true secular ruler of distinguished character. He was a right statesman and right soldier who donated huge amounts of money for the construction of temples.

Chief guest Yusuf Ansari, senior journalist, said that communal forces have always tried to malign the image of Tipu Sultan by calling him a bigot and fanatic. They say that Sultan forcibly converted Hindus to Islam but historical facts have proved that he was a true secular ruler and provided grants to about 150 Hindu temples. He said that the sacrifice of Tipu Sultan paved the way for the freedom of the country. Ansari expressed his unhappiness over the role of media which turned its eyes from Tipu’s sacrifices and contributions.

Director of the UGC Academic Staff College at AMU, Prof A.R. Kidwai said that Tipu was a great Indian freedom fighter and Sir Syed Awareness Forum should be congratulated for this achievement.

President of the Sir Syed Awareness Forum, Dr. Shakeel Samdani said that the personality of Tipu Sultan did not need any introduction. However, due to the negative portrayal of Tipu in media and propaganda by communal forces, people had become biased towards his contributions. He said that the younger generation is unaware of his achievements and extra-ordinary contributions towards the country. Dr. Samdani stressed that Tipu Sultan was not only the ‘Sher-e-Mysore’ and ‘Sher-e-Hind’ but in fact was ‘Sher-e-Mashriq’ (Lion of the East). He said that one cannot compare Tipu Sultan with Napoleon Bonaparte, as Napoleon reconciled with the English people but Tipu Sultan happily sacrificed his life for the sake of his country.

He urged the central government to name the Mysore airport after Tipu Sultan and a chapter on Tipu should be included in NCERT books. He said that Bhagwan S. Gidwani put the record straight by writing ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ and Sanjay Khan worked hard to wipe out the negative dirt on the character of Tipu Sultan by airing a serial on him.

Prof. Ali Athar of the Department of History said that it was a pity that Tipu Sultan’s descendants were living in misery in Kolkata and other places and were running dhabas or pulling rickshaws. He said that the government of West Bengal has confiscated land holdings allotted to the family members of Tipu Sultan and has not even given compensation to them. He said that Prof. Muhibul Hasan and Prof. B. Sheikh Ali have written wonderful books on Tipu Sultan. He urged the students to go through them as the detailed description of Tipu’s administration and his warfare techniques will provide them with ample knowledge of that period.

Prof N.A.K Durrani, former Chairman, Department of Mass Communication, said that he belongs to the land of Tipu Sultan and has seen his palaces and other monuments which are in a very bad condition now. He said that Tipu Sultan was a highly educated and knowledgeable person. He established a well-equipped library and developed an excellent dam system.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 10

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