A day after Republic Day, Tipu Sultan was trending on Twitter. Why? The networking site was swamped with opinions regarding the state of Karnataka's tableau for the Republic Day parade - a float of Tipu Sultan in all his glory, holding his legendary sword. Barely minutes after the Karnataka parade was viewed by thousands, a battle of words and opinion, and also insults, has been raging on the social networking site, debating the confusing legacy of the king.
Tipu Sultan is widely known as one of the revolutionary rulers in the pre-independence era, who fought against the British. There are also theories which label him as a religious fanatic who committed atrocities against Hindus.
Several took to the site to express their opinions, either for or against the tableau. While there were tweets such as:
Inscription on Tipu Sultan's sword exhorting violence against "unbelievers". Libtards are celebrating him.
There were also those who defended the ruler and said that he was one of the only rulers who had the courage to lift arms against the British.
Tipu Sultan is the last Indian king who has dictated terms to the British after defeating them in a war. (pic.twitter.com/oBnPnF9bDY)
So which interpretation of history is the right one?
Professor H. Naqvi, a History professor at St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, says, "Tipu Sultan fought against the might of the British, and met a hero's death at Srirangapatnam, while defending his territory in 1799 in the Third Anglo-Mysore war. He was a brave nationalist, and not a tyrant, as has been wrongly depicted by some British colonial historians like Alfred Lyall.
In fact, some of his high ranking officials were Hindus, including his prime minister Purnaiya. He was a brave nationalist and a freedom fighter."
But yet there are several who label him as a tyrant and mass-murderer, regardless of the fact that such theories are not proven to be true.
Tipu Sultan was in the news last year as well; once, when his famous sword was bought, and the second time, when a Central University near Mysore was to be named after him, and members of a certain political party objected.
In the past, Karnataka has had extrememly non-controversial tableaus, unlike this year. The floats usually depict local art, such as Bidari Artifacts in 2011, and Kinhal Kale in 2013. In fact, in 2012, Karnataka came third in the Republic Day Parade contest for the best tableaus, for showing the beautiful Bhoota Aradhane float.