30 July, 2021

Why Not Srirangapatna?

It doesn’t make any sense for modern-day Dalit leaders to celebrate British victories because the British were worse than India’s privileged castes in keeping the Dalits in chains.

Why Not Srirangapatna?

Baji Rao II was a defeated man, a shadow of a Peshwa, having been a puppet since the 1802 treaty of Bassein with the British. So, the battle of Koregaon wasn’t really big—either for the British Empire or the many Indian communities, including the Mahars, which comprised the Bombay Native Infantry of the British East India Company. The epoch-making battle that gave primacy to the British on the west coast was the battle of Srirangapatna that ended on May 4, 1799. A grenadier of the Bombay Army (could even have been a Mahar) shot through the temple of the Tiger of Mysore. If at all Mahar valour has to be exemplified, I would choose May 4 instead of January 1, because even in British documents the siege of Mangalore in 1783 by Tipu and the battle of Srirangapatna are much bigger events than Koregaon, where just about 50 soldiers of the Bombay Army died. In fact, the Bombay Native Infantry, about which some politicians are getting emotio­nal, was one of the deadliest forces set against Indian kings like Tipu Sultan.

Earlier, Tipu Sultan’s father Hyder Ali...

More from Rajesh Ramachandran

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section