Tipu Sultan: The Tyrant Diaries

This was published in Outlook.

The Tyrant Diaries
From the memoirs of a French adventurer who served at Tipu’s court
Francois Gautier

In December 8, 1988, an old trunk was discovered in the attic of the house of Elaine de la Taille Tretinville, who died at 91 in her 14th arrondissement flat in Paris.  She was a descendant of the family of Les Ripaud Montaudeverts. Among the contents was a manuscript in the hand of the most famous of the Montaudeverts—Francois Fidele Ripaud de Montaudevert. It starts with these words (in old French): “I, Francois Ripaud, am old today, but I want to tell you the true story of Tipu Sultan.”

Born in Saffre, northwestern France, in a middle-class family, Ripaud enrolled as a sailor, aged 11, on the Le Palmier. After many adventures, he settled in Mauritius, where he married and had two children. In 1797, hearing of Le Grand Tipu Sultan, he sailed from Mauritius (then called Ile de France) to Mangalore and sought a meeting with the sultan, promising “to raise a large force in Mau­ritius and put it at Tipu’s disposal”. Tipu, who had an early connection with the French, having been instructed in warfare by French officers in the employ of his father, jumped at the idea and gave Ripaud letters of credential. On August 19, 1798, Ripaud came back to Mauritius and made a proclamation seeking volunteers for an “expedition to travel to Mysore to assist Tipu in his resistance to British encroachment in south India”. It must be noted that, two months earlier, Napoleon had invaded Egypt and dreamt of establishing a junction with India against the British, so the governor of Mauritius received instructions to collaborate and Ripaud was able to sail to Mangalore with a shipload of French soldiers who were welcomed there like heroes.

Life at Tipu’s court was a dream for our hardy adventurer, but he began to have some misgivings. In his diary entry of January 14, 1799, he writes: “I’m disturbed by Tipu Sultan’s treatment of these most gentle souls, the Hindus. During the siege of Mangalore, Tipu’s soldiers daily exposed the heads of many innocent Brahmins within sight from the fort for the Zamorin and his Hindu followers to see.” Even so, he cast his doubts aside and put up for Tipu’s benefit a dem­onstration of the egalitarian political ideas of France: in 1799, a French paper entitled ‘Proceedings of a Jacobin Club formed at Seringapatnam by the French Soldiers in the Corps Commanded by Francois Ripaud’ was found in Tipu’s palace. It listed 59 Frenchmen in the pay of “citizen Tipu” and described a “primary assembly” of May 5, 1797, to elect a president (Ripaud) and other office-bearers. The ‘Rights of Man’ were proclaimed and the sultan formally received a small delegation from the club.

After this interval, we find another diary entry in which Ripaud is appalled at what he witnessed in Calicut (Kozhikode): “Most of the Hindu men and women were hanged…first mothers were hanged with their children tied to their necks. That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied the naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants move around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces.  Temples and churches were ordered to be burned down, desecrated and des­troyed. Christian and Hindu women were forced to marry Mohammedans, and similarly, their men (after conversion to Islam) were forced to marry Moha­mm­edan women. Christians who refused to be honoured with Islam were ordered to be killed by hanging immediately.” These events were corroborated by Father Bartholomew, a famous Portu­guese traveller, in his memoir, Voyage to East Indies.

Another diary entry of Ripaud says: “To show his ardent devotion and steadfast faith in the Mohammedan religion, Tipu Sultan found Kozhikode to be the most suitable place. Kozhikode was then a centre of Brahmins and had over 7,000 Brahmin families living there. Over 2,000 Brahmin families perished as a result of Tipu Sultan’s Islamic cruelties. He did not spare even women and children.”

A disgusted Ripaud left Seringapatnam and went back to France, where he obtained captainship of a fine fighting ship, the Shapho. On February 23, 1814, fighting an English frigate, Ripaud had his arm ripped off by a cannon ball. He died the same evening. Even the British, his arch enemies, gave a 21-cannon salute to this brave adventurer, once Tipu Sultan’s ‘Great White Hope’.

Why do Muslims inflict so much cruelty on women and children, be it a war or riot?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Tipu Sultan: The Tyrant Diaries

  1. Clear message to all Hindus-get united,forget your personal grudges.At the moment 50,000 missionaries are working hard to convert Hindus with a helping hand from Sonia. Wake up and stop it.

  2. Bob

    Why has this diary been published and publicized in India and elsewhare?

  3. Sarfaraz.m

    Watch “The SWord of Tipu Sultan” to know how great he was. There is his fort still now in Karnataka and his robots and missiles are well known in the outside world.

    Hyderabad Nizams were the richest kings in the world and gave donations to Saudi Arabia!

    Accoriding to me, Hindu bhais are not bad, but Christians/Buddhists are devils.

    • Vineet

      Dear Sarfaraz

      You missed the point when you said that watch the serial The Sword of Tipu Sultan. The exact case is that a murderer like him is being called a noble king and it is because he was a muslim king simple. Since governments both of Congress and communist had this policy of not telling real truth about Islamic kings in this country.

      You will not agree but Communists had issued a circular in 1980’s to ensure that ugly truth about Muslim kings is not known.

      Hope you get the point now.

      Though – all muslim rulers were bad is not the theme here.

      Regards
      Vineet

  4. Truth Will Prevail

    The sad part is, the Tyrant had the support of some Brahmins and puppet Hindus. Why do Hindus support Tyrants against other Hindus? A cyclical form of betrayal. Gangu Brahmin an astrologer supported the Afghan servant named Hassan, turned him into Hassan Gangu. And this Tyrant turned him into an invader who created the Bahmani Sultanate. So this Gangu Brahmin was a Hindu or did he betray his own country? Sardar Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s wife Mata Gujri was betrayed by another Brahmin named Gangu. Why are some Hindus like this? This is the reason why India got invaded in the first place. There were cowardly and Adharmic traiters in Ancient India.

  5. Truth Will Prevail

    Because of the betrayal of Hindus by other Hindus, so many Sikhs gave their precious lives to save Hindus from being enslaved and taken away into the religion of hate.

  6. Truth Will Prevail

    Taxila University was destroyed by the barbarian Huns who are now muslims. Nalanda University was destroyed by the Turks who are also of Huna blood. Bhaktiyar Khiliji a muslim was their barbarian leader. Many Hindus and Buddhists died there because they refused to convert to Islam. Many historical records got destroyed by the barbarians. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of traiters in India.

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