History of Indian Subcontinent
On the 4th of May 1799 the British army assembled around the fort of Seringapatnam, capital of the Kingdom of Mysore. The British army was supported by Nizam and Maratha infantry. The French intelligence, an ally of Tipu gave him a tip of ‘an eminent British attack’, they advised Tipu Sultan to escape the capital and live to fight for another day, Tipu replied, ‘Better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep’.
Tipu Sultan was not feeling well. He had severe pain in his lower leg due to injury he suffered during his previous expeditions. His court astrologers conveyed to him that omen is not good. Being a spiritual person, he called Hindu and Muslim priest and gave a generous donations to both Hindu temple and to Muslim. He was not expecting any attack during the day light. He took morning bath, when he was taking his meal his spy informed him, ‘Syed Ghafur (his commander) has been killed’. He ordered ‘Mohammed Qasim to take the command’, washed his hand and left the palace. He moved towards the most dangerous part of his fort. It was near one o’clock when the Sultan reached the Northern part of the fort. The English army was moving more closely to the weakest wall of the fort. Suddenly there was a breach of the wall. He was running high temperature however decided not to move to the safe place but to fight the enemy. Pitched battle started, Sultan was fighting with his sword and gun, he felt pain in his another leg. The Sultan having told his personal retainer Rajah Khan that he was wounded, this faithful servant proposed to him to reveal himself to the British; but the Sultan said, “Are you mad ? Be silent”. One English soldier without knowing Tipu Sultan’s status move forward to pull his beautiful gilded sword. The Sultan moved backward to protect himself and than forward to attack the enemy. He injured two British soldiers, another one from the distance opened his musket. Sultan of Mysore was fatally injured by two fire from the musket, which went through his temple. He received multiple wounds and passed away holding sword tight in his hand. It was only in the evening when English army found his body on the pile of dead. They gave him full honour and buried him next to his father.
Tipu Sultan son of a finest general Haider Ali, was a brave soldier. ‘The tiger’ was so dangerous for the British that they decided to finish him first. Because the Tiger was challenging the British lion. The tiger was the lone opponent of British hegemony in Indian Subcontinent but he was dangerous enough to bite, maul and kill the lion.