Tipu Sultan’s robe, daggers and swords on display
BANGALORE: It took over 200 years for an artefact of great historical significance to finally see the light of the day. The robe in which Tipu Sultan died, fighting the British Army, along with his daggers and swords, were displayed to the Bangalore public for the first time on Sunday morning.
A mauve robe stained with blood, along with the king’s swords, that are now sealed in a glass box, were shown to the people in ‘Glimpses of Tipu’s Heritage’, an exhibition held at Tipu’s Summer Palace in Kalasipalyam, to commemorate the king’s 210th anniversary, which was on May 4.
Azeezulla Baig, administrator, Tipu Sultan Wakf Estate, in Srirangapatnam, said the items would now be stored in the Bangalore Treasury and would be exhibited to the people periodically. “I will be contacting a few museum curators to decide how to preserve the robe and the other finds,” he said, as a horde of inquisitive watchers gathered to have a look. The history of the items can be traced back to Tipu Sultan’s Minister, Dewan Poornaiah, whose granddaughter brought the sultan’s robe and the other items to the then Chairperson of the Wakf Estate and State Minorities Commissioner Azeez Sait. “This happened close to 20 years ago,” said Dr. Baig, adding that the items were in the Gumbaz in Srirangapatna. The exhibition was preceded by a reflection on Tipu Sultan’s martyrdom. Mumtaz Ali Khan, Minister for Haj, Wakf and Minority Affairs, spoke about the role of the Muslim community in perpetuating Tipu Sultan’s memory.
He said: “We didn’t even know that someone possessed a robe of this kind.” Though there is competition in the world market for the artefacts, the administration of the Wakf Estate will not be auctioning the items.
Dr. Khan said: “There is a misconception about his attitude towards Kannada and conversion. The king was both a patron of the language and was secular in nature. He was also a great economist and an administrator.”
The programme also served as an opportunity to discuss heritage-management issues and the condition of those employed in this sector.