Contested legacy

Print edition : December 11, 2015

A portrait of Tipu Sultan at Dariya Daulat in Srirangapatnam, painted in 1792 by G.F. Cherry.

A stone plaque records the place where the body of Tipu Sultan was found in 1799, at Srirangapatanam. Photo: M.A. SRIRAM

The plaque that claims to mark the exact spot where Tipu was born, some 100 metres from the fort at Devanahalli. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Tipu’s fort at Srirangapatnam. Photo: M.A. SRIRAM

The fort at Devanahalli. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

One of the three surviving tiger-head finials that adorned Tipu’s throne, which lay for years in an English castle and was auctioned in London in March 2009. Photo: LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AP

The controversy in Karnataka surrounding “Tipu Jayanthi” becomes meaningless in the light of the fact that the legacy of Tipu Sultan cannot be understood through the lens of modernity and should be placed in the context of his times.

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