Bangalore International Centre had arranged a Talk on “The Interregnum Period – Mysore under Haidar and Tipu Sultan” on Saturday, the 13th September, 2008 at 6.30 PM in its Auditorium. Mr. Vikram Sampath delivered the talk about the subject. Dr. Shadaksharaiah, Professor and Chairperson, Dept. of History, Bangalore University and Mr. Raja Chandra, who is related to the royal family of Wodeyars participated as Panelists.
In a well-researched and lucid talk Vikram brought out the spectacular manner in which Haidar Ali, an ordinary foot-soldier who entered the services of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore as a slave, rose rapidly to seize power and become the king-maker. He apparently did not fear any one excepting his wife whose vicious tongue-lashings often drove him out of his harem to the more soothing company of his friends and drinks!! Haidar was a brave and wise ruler who left a vast kingdom to his son, Tipu. Tipu was equally brave, but not as wise and sagacious as Haidar. He hated the British with all his heart and soul and tried to bring about a grand alliance between Mysore, France and Afghanistan to checkmate the British. His failure led to the ultimate domination of the country by the British. History became alive as Vikram recounted the saga.
The discussion that followed was animated and varied. Questions were raised as to whether Tipoo was a nationalist or a communal person. Vikram in his response suggested that the concepts of nationalism and communalism, as we understand today, had not taken shape at that time; what was relevant was the attitude and approach of the victor over the vanquished. The packed audience enjoyed every moment of this event.