The Tiger and the Syrian Christians: Tipu Sultan’s ‘Padayottam’

4.1/5 - (30 votes)

The invasion of kerala by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan of Mysore in the latter half of the 18th century left a deep impact on kerala polity and society. This invasion of the mysoreans and Tipu in particular is called the ‘Padayottam’.

Much of it’s effects are visble deep down in the keralite psyche even today. To understand what effect this incursion into kerala had on the syrian christian community, we need to  study the timeline of events during those tumultous times between 1766 and 1790 in kerala.

10 Feb 1766: Hyder Ali along with a formidable force is welcomed into kerala by the Ali Raja of Cannanore. The Mysorean army guided by Ali Raja and his brother seize the palace of the Raja of Kolathiri at Chirakkal. The Raja and his family flee south to take refuge at the English trading station in Tellichery.

15 Mar 1766: Hyder enters the Kottayam (North Kerala) Raja’s territory where the Raja’s moplah subjects desert him and join their compatriots withy the mysoreans. The kadathanad territory is sacked after Hyder’s forces rout the keralite forces.

The Zamorin is helpless in Calicut where Hyder rushes to meet him. Hyder demands 1 crore gold mohurs from the Zamorin, which he refuses to pay. Desperate and feeling humiliated, the Zamorin commits suicide in his palace. Calicut is stripped of all it’s wealth by Hyder.

Hyder sends missives to Cochin and Travancore asking them to submit to Mysore. Cochin,  agrees to pay an annual subsidy of two lakhs of rupees and eight elephants. Travancore, defies Mysore. Hyder is now determined to enter Travancore. However the monsoon sets into kerala.

June 1766: Hyder retires to Coimbatore, and taking advantage of this, the keralites come out of their refuges and retake what they lost to Hyder. The mysorean strongholds of Calicut and Ponnani are besieged by the keralites. General Raza Saib leaves Mudukarai to quell the rebellion in Malabar where he is trapped by the torrential rain that traps him between the rebellious keralites and the swelling Ponnnani river.

Hearing about this grave situation Hyder dashes to kerala with 3000 cavalry and 10000 infantry. The keralites are unable to face this vast army and flee with much loss of life and carnage. To crush the martial spirit of the keralites, especially of the Nairs, Hyder declares that the keralites are forbidden to carry arms. Hyder marches back to Mysore to confront the British alliance which was marching to Seringapatam.

1771: Sardar Khan with his army marches through Cochin and takes Trichur.  However the East India company now actively come to the keralites rescue and retake Calicut. Sardar Khan is dead. Hyder sends over Mukhdam Ali to restore order and he with a force of 7000 mysoreans meet the keralites in battle. The mysorean force is routed by the Nairs and English. Makhdum Ali is killed, drowned while fleeing.

The English reach Ponnani and shut themselves up in the fort there, where they are besieged by Tipu Sultan.

7 Dec 1782: Hyder Ali passes away and Tipu rushes back to Mysore.

11 Feb 1789: Tipu Sultan enters Malabar for the second time. He invests Kadathanad and marries off his son to the daughter of the Bibi of Cannanore.

After the monsoon, Tipu enters Palghat and summons the Cochin Raja to his presence. However the Cochin Raja balks out at the last moment and sends the crown prince, the soon to be legendary, Sakthan Tamburan in his place.

14 Dec 1789: Tipu enters Trichur. Mysorean incursions into the heartland of syrian christianity begin.

5 Jan 1790: Tipu attacks the Travancore Lines and suffers heavy casualties in this process. He falls down into a ditch during the battle losing his royal insignia in the process. He also injures his leg here. Enraged at the turn of events he summons heavy siege battery from Seringapatam and Bangalore and on their arrival demolishes the once impregnable Travancore Lines.

Tipu continues his victorious march forward into Alwaye where the monsoon puts a dampener to his activities.

24 May 1790: Tipu leaves Malabar never to return.

September 1790: The British with a regiment of Malabar Sepoys capture the Calicut fort and besiege Cannanore where the Bibi surrenders unconditionally.

Thus ends the series of events that perhaps marked the most tumultous series of events in Kerala history after the Chola invasions of the 11th-13th centuries.

Now let us delve into how the syrian christians fared during this period. The first recorded contact between Mysore and the Syrian Christians happened when Hyder after subduing the Zamorin was at Coimbatore. This was recorded by Tipu’s son, Prince Gholam Mohammed in his narrative of the history of his father and grandfather.

Here, the Jesuit provincial, an Italian, produced a letter from the Archibishop of Cochin, who recommended to him a Malabar priest of the community of Christians of St. Thomas, whose diocesan the Archibishop was. He was deputed, together with three other laymen of his country, to request of Hyder the permission to keep fire-arms, under the pretence that, by not being armed , they ran the risk of being robbed by the Nairs, and the soldiers of Hyder.

Hyder replied “You people (The Syrian Christians) have been disarmed, because you assasinated each other, being always at enimity on account of your different castes: I shall take care to place safe guards in the country, to prevent my people from molesting you, and I shall send troops sufficient to disperse the Nairs.”

Hyder was of course, referring to the divisions in the Syrian Christian church on account of the split into the Roman Catholic and Jacobite groups. We know from the narrative, that the syrian christian deputies who came to Coimbatore were stout men, with a ferocious air and manners. They had the figure of a small cross above their nose punctured in the skin, and a large scar on the right cheek, caused by a recoil of their muskets.

Thus ends Gholam Mohammed’s narrative about the meeting here. It is interesting from several perspectives. Firstly it shows us that the same dissensions that trouble the Syrian church in India today was there then too, albeit in a more violent form. It also shows that the Syrian Christians had among them armed warriors especially adept in using the matchlock. This could be on account of their close contact with the Europeans. Portuguese historian Gouvea says that “Christians had supplied the Raja of Cochin with an army of 50000 gunsmen”.  It is very probable that in the keralite forces opposing the mysoreans, the syrian christian militia also played a useful role along with the Nairs. We must also compliment Hyder Ali for his knowledge of current affairs. No wonder, the British regarded him and his son as the greatest impediments to their dreams of an Indian Empire.

There is also an interesting account of a loan advanced to Brigadier-General Richard Mathews, Commander-in-Chief of the East India Company’s Bombay Council who was sent to capture Mangalore from the Mysoreans. This loan of 3,30,000 rupees was said to have been advanced to him by the Syrian Christian community as he was short of funds to effect the capture of Mangalore.

Brigadier-General Mathews would later be taken prisoner by Tipu and would die in captivity in Seringapatam in 1783, where in his last testament-recorded on 4 pewter plates found after Tipu’s death in 1799 and Seringapatam’s capture, he begged the British government to look after the Malabar christians. The syrian christian community was even then a prosperous community and had several merchants rich enough to advance that kind of a loan to the British.

Now let us look into the issue of the damage done to Syrian Christian life and property during the Mysorean invasion of kerala. There is no doubt about the fact that Tipu’s soldiers did great damage to several Christain churches and seminaries that they encountered in kerala.

The old Syrian christian seminary at Angamaly was razed to the ground by Tipu’s soldiers. Before the armed soldiers entered the building some priests showed the presence of mind to collect many of the valuable manuscripts in the seminary and load them into a boat so that they may be saved. However the boat sunk during the course of the journey and the manuscripts were lost for ever. The old seminary at Angamaly had been at the center of Nasrani religious education for several centuries and was relocated to kottayam after it’s destruction, where it exists to this date.

A contemporary account of the mysorean army at the doors of Alwaye has come down to us through Father Bartholomew who was on the spot then. He says that the mysorean army halted on the sandy basin of the Alwaye river.  They planned to cross over the next day. The monks at the Catholic monastery of Verapoly began to pray for deliverance from Tipu’s wrath. What happened then was really miraculous. The mysoreans with their weapons were sleeping along the broad sandy banks of the river in April when a torrential downpour swelled the river and washed away the troops and their arms. Mir Hussein Kirmani, a contemporary of Tipu and a camp follower writes of this incident “The army that came to swallow Travancore was swept away into the Arabian Sea”. That was the farthest in kerala that Tipu could get to.

However by then much damage was done. Along with the old syrian seminary at Angamaly, many churches in the Malabar and Cochin were damaged. The Mor Sabor church at Akaparambu and the Martha Mariam Church attached to the old seminary at Angamaly bore the brunt of the mysoreans. Whatever remained of Syrian Christianity in Malabar since ancient times was destroyed. The Syrian Christian community had to flee Calicut and even towns like Arthat in Kunnamkulam. Several lives were lost too.

Tippu Sultan’s army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur Church in 1790. Further the Mysoreans destroyed the Arthat church and the Ambazhakkad seminary was also destroyed. Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar, the author of malayalam language’s first travelogue and Governor of Kodungallur had his office at  Alangad but he and others had to flee from there following the invasion of Tippu Sultan and they set up the office at Church at Vadayar and later at Ramapuram.

When Tipu Sultan invaded Guruvayur and adjacent areas, looting Temples and Churches,  a large number of refugees came to Kunnamkulam  headed by Rev. Father Pulikkottil Joseph Kathanar, Vicar of Arthatt Church. Thus Kunnamkulam received a large influx of syrian christian refugees and is today regarded as a centre of this community.

The Kanjur church has a mural which depicts  a battle scene where the army of Tipu Sultan on the one side is shown fighting those of the English East India Company, aided by local militia, in all probability malabar sepoys, on the other.

The biggest loss to the Syrian christian community was not the damage to their institutions alone, but the indiscriminate destruction of coconut, arecanut, pepper and cashew plantations by the mysoreans when they swept through kerala. Most of the syrian christians were landed farmers and their prosperity derived from the land they farmed.

Tipu Sultan has been praised by several contemporary and later historians for his religious tolerance and respect for other faiths and cultures. Whether these atrocities had Tipu’s sanction or were committed by bloodthirsty soldiers looking for plunder is for historians to judge and out of the purview of this article.

Sakthan Tamburan, the ruler of Cochin also helped the Syrian christian community in a great way to get through the mysorean calamity by encouraging Syrian businesses, plantations and emigration to new centres like Kunnamkulam, Chalakudi, etc. Colonel Macaulay, the British  resident at Travancore was also helpful here.

The invasion of Hyder and Tipu led to the decline of the old feudal order in kerala and to the introduction of modern progressive ideas about state and government. The British had emerged supreme in the power game in kerala and this was also of great benefit to the syrian church in India as Englishmen like Claudius Buchanan and Macaulay strove to revive the spiritually degenerating syrian church in kerala.

In the end, the syrian christians like their brethren among the hindus and jews recovered from this nightmare and continued trying to live their way of life as they had known for almost two millenia since the advent of St. Thomas in kerala.  But then, nothing would be same again.

Posted by Olikara on NSC

References:              Wilks – Conduct of the war with the Late Tippoo Sultan

                                   G. Mohammed-History of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan

                                   K.L. Bernard-Kerala History

                                   Indian Church History Classics, Vol. I, The Nazranies

                                   D. Forrest-The Tiger of Mysore

Author Nidhin Olikara can be reached on olikara at gmail dot com

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. jason says

    Kunnamkulam is not a “new” syrian cntre .Christians hve lived there for centuries bfor tipus invasion.

  2. cheriyan says

    This is a very interesting account on Tipu’s Malabar invasion. Though much has been written about Tipu atrocities against hindus not much is written about the sufferings of Syrian Christians.Good work.

  3. Kuruvilla says

    Thanks, that was interesting. Good work.
    But there is one further, even more sad,
    aspect which apparently was not mentioned –
    the loss of several Nazranee Syrian Christians
    through forceful conversion by the Muslims…

  4. anon says

    Thanks for the (guest ?) post. Most of the content is new to me. As I commented at another post, this site is very much useful to the younger generation who being busy in their early days for their career are unaware of many of these and other struggles our forefathers had gone through.

  5. simal haneef says

    “Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan were formidable adversaries who inflicted a severe defeat on the British and came near to breaking the power of the East India Company. Haider Ali was a remarkable man and one of the notable figures in Indian history. He had some kind of national ideal and possessed the qualities of a leader with vision. He realized, long before others did so, the importance of sea power and the growing menace of the British based on naval strength. He tried to organise a joint effort to drive them out. His son Tipu continued to strengthen his navy. Tipu also sent messages to Napoleon and to the Sultan in Constantinople.”
    Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India.

  6. Frank says

    Actually Independant India always sought to portray Tipu Sultan as a valiant freedom fighter sort of king but he was the extreme opposite. He just fought for his Reign, his Kingdom and his people. He systematically masterminded the maasacre of Konkani Christians and ofcourse forceful conversion of Syrian Christians from Far North to even till Kodungallore. Still the citizens of tomorrow are bound to teach his commendable works through their texts. No historian objects to that?

  7. Alphy Koonthily says

    The church at Thazhekad, Thrissur was also destroyed by Tipu’s army,
    it is the location of the Thazhekad Sassanam, ancient edict granting rights to Syrian Christians.

  8. George Mathew says

    Every Syrian Chrisitan/Nasrani should welcome the brethern to join back the Nasrani fold if they wish to do so.This must be one of the foremost responsibilities of every living Nasrani.

  9. George Mathew says

    I am unable to agree to Simal Haneef’s view that a person like Hyder Ali who went about burning Nasrani churches and killing them can be called ‘…a leader with a vision’.

    Hundreds or even thousands of Nasrani families were displaced and many had to flee to the hills of Travancore for safety. The vast majority were reduced to poverty and a once proud people were made to lick the dust of Travancore.

    These are all crimes against humanity and should be clearly treated as one.

  10. Simal Haneef says

    Hi George Mathew ,

    Please explain what was the role of Christian church in the freedom movement of independent India .


  11. John Mathew says

    So what was the role of Hyder Ali? Mass murder and destruction? Please … it’s fashionable to go back and say that so-and-so was a part of the “freedom movement” … but that’s distortion of reality.

    In the final analysis, the British were a necessary step as they freed India from the scourge of other, more backwards colonialists, like the Mughals, the Portuguese, and petty dictators like Hyder/Tippu. And they gave us English and a railway system, which greased the wheels of progress. If only they kept the bureaucracy!

    And whatever the British didn’t do (getting Nizam out and freeing Andhra, freeing Goa), our good buddy Patel did.

  12. M Thomas Antony says

    I think Simal need to study the history of the Indian Independent movement in kerala. Christians were always in the forefront. The Koonan Cross oath in 1653 can be considered as one of the very first movements against the europeans in India !

  13. Simal Haneef says

    Hi John Mathew ,

    “Petty dictators like Hyder/Tippu” This is an interesting comment . I think both Tipu/Hyder Ali were born and brought up in India And they were Indians . So there is no point in calling them “Petty dictators”.
    All over India there were only kingdoms not any democratic rule. In terms of religious tolerance shown by Tipu let me explain about that . He was pious muslim . He didnt try to establish a muslim state . if that was the case , THEN Tipus civil list is full of the names of Hindus who held important posts in the state. .The stories of Tipu Sultan’s religious persecution of Hindus and Christians are largely derived from the work of early British authors such as Kirkpatrick and Wilks which i dont think is reliable . This is for the simple reason that the Britishers wanted an image of Liberators . And John you still trust the Bristish. I agree to the fact that Britisher’s have contributed to India’s development and i respect them in that case . But one thing is there India was always their colony even though it was called “Jewel in the throne of British ” .

    Below Temples received patronage from Tipu

    1)Lakshmikantha temple at Kalale in Nanjangud taluq of Mysore district
    2)Narayanaswamy temple at Melkote
    3)The Srikanteswara temple at Nanjangud

    Tipu even constructed a Church at the request of the French



  14. George Mathew says

    Dear Simal Haneef,

    My answer is given by John Mathew. Our forefather’s understood the fact that the British were the lesser of the evils. The last time our Prime Minister visted Britain, he made the public statement that the British Raj did do much good to India, he implied that the credit was more than the debit.

    But we can’t stop there. In the fullness of time, we will have to take our destiny into our hands. The British had to go and we had to become masters of our own destiny. I know as well as all British know that the British had the primary interest of colonizing India, no one denies this.

    You know the historic story that the Raja of Travancore ran to the Brtish and asked their help against Tipu Sultan. If at all there was a leaning towards the British by our forefathers, it was laid by the Raja himself. If the British had not itnereered I would not have been today George Mathew. True that the favourite of the British in India were the Iyers/Iyengars, Parsis, Jews and the Syrian Christians and the Iyers/Iyengars. The British did not trust the other communities. The Iyers/Iyengars dominated in numbers. Yet, in course of time the Syrians Christians and the Brahmins rejected the British and followed Gandhi.

    You must remember that Central Travancore, was never directly ruled by the British. It was the Rajas coins, laws, taxes, etc. that prevailed for decades. The Congress party was never strong in Travancore as in the Presidencies of India. There was never such an anti British sentiment in Travancore as in Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore, Madras etc.. where the British directly ruled (have you ever wondered why the Keralites are behind in spoken English? the reason is that the British influence was the least in Kerala).

    Travancore was already experiencing a far higher degree of political self respect under her own Raja while Malabar was directly under the British. There was not much meaning for the Syrian Christian to scream to the British ‘Quit India’ as there were no singnificant British presence as such in Travancore. In fact Travancore was going towards the status of an Independent Kingdom under the influence of the very powerful Sir C.P.Ramasamy Iyer.

    I see from your brief comment to me that you are telling me that the Syrian Christian were Pro British and hence are not true Indians but the muslims fought the British and hence are more true Indians than the Syrian Christians.

    I can say one thing, that there is never a case where the Syrian Christians were anit Congress or anti Gandhi. The Marthoma Church stood by Gandhi and practically every Syrian Christian vote went to the Congress.

    Many in India do not know the fact that the British influence in Travancore was minimal. The British had an ‘Agent’ stationed in Trivandrum and had no ‘Collectors’ or Army Cantonements as in Banglore or Madras, Mysore etc. The Travancorians enjoyed ‘freedom’ but subject to the authority of a Travancore born and raised Hindu Raja which tradtionally the Syrian Christians fully accepted.

    The plight of the Syrian Christians in Travancore before the British Agent’s time was pitiable. Our Metropolitan lamented to Rev. Buchanan that the conditions of the Syrian Christians in Travancore was similar to the conditions of the Hebrews in their captivity days in Egypt.

  15. George Mathew says

    Dear Simal,

    “Patronage to the temples and built churches’.

    Every smuggler in Bombay, Calicut, Madras, Calcutta etc. makes large donations to ‘Charitable Institutions’. Many of them start their own hospitals or engineering colleges’.

    In the language of mordern management, these activities are called ‘damage control’. What Tippu did was this.

    The BJP does the same thing by enlisting Muslims to stand for MLA/MP elections under their banner. Sometimes it is also called ‘To place wool over ones eyes’.

  16. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    Let me use one unparlimentary word here ‘Patel was the only one who had testicles’.

    Nehru was a romantic and had giant charisma. Gandhi wanted Nehru more than Patel. Was Gandhi right?

    I read about a fascinating insight into the power of Nehru that when he spoke in/attended Parliment, no body misbehaved. Once Nehru left parliment, it was ‘market place’ again.

  17. Simal Haneef says

    Hi George Mathew ,

    Its not the question of who are true Indians or not . I just wanted to know the role of the
    church in Indian Independence struggle . I dont claim from Tipus behavior that Muslims were true Indians . Tipu was the ruler of Mysore state . He tried his level best to expand his state . Thats the duty of every ruler. Incidentally he was a muslim . Now the question about patriotism in India . Its clear that every muslim have to prove their patriotism every now and then in India thats another case .
    The person who was a brutal dictator (Sir C.P.Ramasamy Iyer) .How do you call him a powerful person . you might be knowing P. Krishna Pillai . He was the leader of Congress Socialist Party in Kerala . He lead the famous Punnapra-Vayalar Struggle which lead to the downfall of C. P. Ramaswami Iyer . Our chief minister comrade VS has took part in that .

    I hope you took things in the right spirit i am not questioning patriotism .


    Simal Haneef

  18. BGfromNZ says

    Dear George
    That should be the reason why NSS, SNDP, Catholics and other communities are maintaining this “Damage Control”.. End of the day, the equations brings up the same answer. Meanwhile I am going through the book “The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama. By Sanjay Subrahmanyam”.

  19. George Mathew says

    Dear Simal,

    Sir C.P.Ramasamy Iyer was not a good man. Maybe God will judge him differently. But in the eyes of many he was evil. I wanted to avoid strong words so ‘used powerful’ man. What I meant was that he was an evil man.

    i now apprieciate the spirit of your question and the tone of your response. I hope Christians and Muslims can learn to live together. You will find me very critical of the West, but at the same time I am well aware that they were Christians once and we as Nasranis have the God given responsibility to bring them back to the Christian fold. Remember, we gave the world the ‘Way of Jesus’ and what we created, we will try to preserve.

    We may not achieve it, but we will try.

    The other day a Lebaneese muslim told me ‘If the Jews and the Arabs get together, what will the world be!’. The same thought went through my mind during the past few weeks even before the Lebanees made that remark.

    Keep in touch.

  20. George Mathew says

    Dear all,
    I made a pleasant discovery the other day that the ‘Church of the East’ indeed has church in Kerala and is called ‘The Chaldean Church’. I have indeed heard about the Chaldean church and that it should not be confused with the Chaldean Church of the Middle East which is subject to the Vatican.

    This means that our Mother Church has been in Kerala for some time and sadly was not there when the Portugeese ‘took over’ our religious affairs. We are not now left as ‘orphans in the storm’ as our mother church is very much amongst us in Kerala.
    I also read an astonishing matter that the COE was wooed by the Anglicans in London to join with them but the COE later showed disinterest upon the grounds that the Anglicans were permitting women into the clergy. Even more astonishing was the knowledge that the Vatican was herself showing interest in the COE and some join declarations have already been made. Two extreme powerful and active churches, namely the Anglcians and the Vatican showing great interest in the COE. This seems unbelievable.

    I hope the COE will not join anyone one of them but will remain proud and independent. She is the original church in this world and have suffered terrible persecutions. I was sad to know that only a puny 100000 remain in the COE plus the few in Kerala. I think God has great plans for the COE. Even a Marthomite like me hopes one day to be with the original mother church. But if people get the smell that the COE may join up with the Anglicans or with the Vatican then they will show disinterest. The COE has during these tumultous past centuries survived and suffered terribly, let her please be patient for a little longer and continue to remain independent. The other large churhes wil come to her and not she go to them.

    I have read some biblican prophesies to mean that the ‘Women from the Wilderness’ is indeed the Church of the East . I kind of feel that God has a great purpose for this great Church. Though they may be ‘hilly billies’ but God has often shown himself through rustic men and not through sleek men. If at all they are really hillybillies, it is because they have kept the faith and not sold their souls to the devil. This is what I want to believe.

    From the book of Dr. Grant, I learn that the memebers of the COE are ‘Nasranis/Nasereans’ and that they are Jewish/Hebrew too! We St. Thomas Christians are a mix of them with the Jews of Malabar.

    Reading the writings of Dr. Asahel Grant and Dr. Nathan Katz, the interesting point that stands out is that while the St. Thomas Christians of Persia did not get along well with their cousins the Persian Jews, the St. Thomas Christians of Malabar got along well with the Malabar Jews. This is the basic reason when we Malabari Christians are acknowledging our Jewish heritage. The Persian Nasranis very reluctantly accept the Jews as their kinsmens.

    Me think Syrian Christianity is becomming interesting.

  21. JT Mathew says

    To some measure which we will never for sure, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan undoubedly inherited their hostility towards the native Thomas Christians or Nazaranis from the the tumultous interfaith struggles among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle East besides their own political ambitions and fear of the European ‘Christian’ colonizers who were sympathetic to the surival of the native Thomas Christians.

    History is a tricky thing, no matter who writes the chronicles of the past! Isn’t it interesting that in the post-colonial 21st century India, Muslims and Christians must learn to live in peace among other both larger and smaller faith traditions?

  22. George Mathew says

    Dear JT Mathew,
    If you look around, you will see that two or more religions can not co-exist together. If at all it does so, then one dominates the other. Even we Nasranis, for all our past freedom in Malabar, still did not enjoy ‘full liberty’ to practise our faith. We were most often subject to our Hindu rulers/customs. No complaints, but I only want to tell that we were not equals.

    In the short term such as co-existance is possible, but in the long run it is impossible.
    The idea of ‘religions co-existing’ is a Gandhian idealism which is not practical. We were taught in our schools that religions must/will co-exist. Such teachings made us ethically correct but alas also made us naive of the ways of the world.
    Yes, History is tricky, because it is ‘his-story’ and he (mankind) is tricky.

  23. James C J says

    Dear George Mathew

    Islam and Christianity/ Judaism cannot coexist . They are contradicting each other.

  24. James C J says

    Simal Haneef

    Don’t use psuedo-patriotism to cover up the massacres of Tippu Sultan and Hyder ali:::::::::::::

  25. Simal Haneef says

    James C J

    History is always biased ….

  26. James C J says

    Dear George Mathew

    Your COE is the Assyrian Church of the East -a former Nestorian Church.

  27. George Mathew says

    Dear James C.J.

    I think it will be convinient if you can contact me at ‘[email protected]’, so that I can reply to your comment.

  28. JEEVAN PHILIP says

    Dear Olikara & all,

    Your article about Tippu sultan & Nazranies is quite interesting. Conventional image about Tippu as a freedom fighter is nothing but a creation of vested interest. A detailed study about tippu’s padayottam with respect to demographic analysis will show the intention of his endeavours into Malabar. There are documentations along with demographic studies which clearly indicate that the attitude of Jonaka Mappilas towards the Hindu population has changed by this attack which even lead to Malabar lahala of 1921.The original motivation of Tippu was to plunder the wealth of Malabar and to build a unified Islamic state. It is the pity that some of our historians consider him as freedom fighter when his activities were against common people beliefs and their wealth. It is so happened that he was forced to fight against British when they came for the rescue of people.

    The atrocities against Nazranies were intensified after the information of an advance of 330000 rupees to General Mathews by Nazranies reached Tippu sultan .This was happened when a sea man called James Scurry translated the information scribbled by general Mathews on the back of plates he used before his death( by poison) under captivity to Tippu. This JAMES SCURRY had written a book called ’ THE CAPTIVITY SUFFERINGS AND ESCAPE ‘published in 1824 London (a hard copy is with me; net copy is also available; you may search by the name in Google).A picturesque description of atrocities inflicted on Nazranies is given in that book in chapter IV.

    ‘’Now followed the fate of the poor Malabar Christians of which I shall ever consider myself the innocent cause, in reading what was written by general Mathews ………………………they were driven, men, women, and children to the number of 30000 to Seringapatam ,where ………………….the sufferings of these poor creatures were most excruciating………………their daughters were many of them beautiful girls, and Tippu was determined to have them for his seraglio; but this they refused …………..The Chumbars or Sandalmakers were then sent for, and their noses, ears, and upper lips were cut off; they were then mounted on asses……………….’’

    Please read yourself.

    But British helped Malankara Nazranies to escape from Malabar to southern part of Kochi and Travancore .Many ships were used to take fleeing Nazranies and Hindu royals to south .It is also noted that Hindu royals paid around 20 lakhs to British for taking them to south by sea. The money which paid by Nazranies was probably for the safe exit to south by sea route.

    Did British pay back the debt? The general Mathews scribbling is to inform the British authorities about the work he could not complete.

    There is an interesting argument put forward by a known historian P V Mathew in his book’ Keralathile Nazrani Christhianikal ‘vol.2.He says that British paid back the debt as VATTIPANAM. It is quite interesting to note that popular belief about Vattipanam (trust fund) said to have been deposited by MARTHOMA VI (VALIYAMAR DIVANNASIYOSE) or MARTHOMA VII with British. But NIRANAM GRANDHAVARI-which includes the diary of Marthoma VI do not give any information about this deposit (though it is a large amount).

    The second point is that the receipt given by col. Macaulay,

    1st December 1808
    18th vrichigam 984.
    Colonel Macaulay, the Resident in Travancore do hereby certify to have this day received from Mar Thomas Metran, acting metropolitan of the Syrian Church in Malabar, the amount of 3000 star pagodas in the Hon’ble Company’s loan in perpetuity and agreed to pay in Travancore, as long as this ancient church lasts, to Metropolitan or Metran, or any other regularly constituted prelate annually, the interest of the above amount at 8 percent, by obtaining receipt for the same.

    In this receipt colonel refer

     Mar Thomas Metran as acting metropolitan of the Syrian church in Malabar
     Agreed to pay in Travancore.
     3000-poovarahan-star pagodas.

    Star pagoda was the coin prevalent in Malabar (Samoothiri’s land) and Kalippanam (kaliyan-from Niranam Grandhavari) was the coin prevalent in Travancore during this period .One star pagoda is equivalent to little more than three rupees. Why did Macaulay give a receipt stating that the interest paid in Travancore when the deposit was made in star pagodas?

    Nazranies history mainly deals with Nazranies settled between Kunnamkulam to Kollam. But travelers and foreign prelates talk about Nazranies presence in Kannur, Kozhikode and Mangalapuram in many records .James Scurry talk about 30000 Nazranies captured and ill-treated by Tippu in his book .How come the Malankara historians avoided the said incident took place under Tippu. It is possible that majority of Malankara Nazranies fled along with their Hindu royals to Travancore .Majority of these families settled among their brothers in south.(probably this gives a part of the answer to the enquiry by John Mathew about the demographics of the Malankaranazrani split.)

    In your article you describe about Chattukulangara /Kunnamkulam as a new Nazrani settlement which is absolutely against the facts. Kunnamkulam is the place where Hyder Ali once referred as a Nazrani Gour. Kunnamkulam has an important place in Malankaranazrani history that there is no other Nazrani trading village exist any where in Malankara. It is just like an AGRAHARAM OF MALANKARANZRANIES.

    To understand the importance of Kunnamkulam/Chattukulangara, we should consider the writings of two visitors. Dr. Francis Buchanan visited Kunnamkulam during 1800A D. When he visited he found a magnificent palli without roof. This was the palli burnt by Tippu-chattukulangara palli.(Dr.Francis Buchaninte Keralam,p.44)Before the attack of Tippu this church was shared by Malankaranazranies and Romo- Syrians .After the attack the palli was kept vacant due to the quarrel between Malankara Nazranies and Romo –Syrians. During this visit the said (in your article) Pulikkottil Ittup malpan met Dr. Francis Buchanan along with his assistants. Francis Buchanan also talks about palli at Chavakkattu and residents of Chavakkattu town. This palli is now known as Palayur palli which was originally known as Chavakkattu pally(at the time of Buchanan visit).During this time Chattukulangara palli and Chavakkattu palli were shared by Malankaranazranies and Romo-syrians.But it was not a peaceful situation .Then came the Shakthan thampuran initiative to solve the issue and Malankara Nazranies got their mother church and Romo-syrians got Chavakkattu palli (which was a Kurisupalli of Chattukulangara palli).It is also noted that Chattukulangara palli named after St. Mary and Chavakkattu pally named after Kuriakose sahada who was a 4th century martyr.

    Then came the visit of Rev. Dr.Claudius Buchanan (1806) the great scholar who described about Nazrani district in his famous book’ Memoirs of Dr. Buchanan’. He describes about the Chattukulangara palli as most important and he presented a gift of a large gold medal to this mother church in the name of all Syrian church in Malayalam. On this visit Rev. Buchanan was shown the trees where the Nazranies were hanged (by Tippu) .

    There is logic to believe that the 7 church stories were created during this period by vested interest like Chavakkattu pally as Palayur pally. But history has its strange ways to reveal the truth!

  29. JEEVAN PHILIP says

    Dear Olikara,

    This is continuation of my earlier post: 6174. There is an interesting book describes about the Nazranies warriors in Hider Ali’s period. SAINTS, GODDESSES, AND KINGS by SUSAN BAYLY –a copy is available in google search.*During the eighteenth century when the rajas of Travancore and Cochin were transforming the region’s loosely structured chiefdoms into powerful warrior kingdoms, the Syrians maintained and expanded their privileged role in Hindu society. Their military skills and bearing impressed a wide range of European observers in this period . One of Haider Ali’s French mercenary commanders described a typical band of Syrian warriors

    “The deputies (of the Syrian Christian) who came to Coilmatour were stout men with a ferocious air and manner. They had the figure of a small cross above their nose punctured in the skin, and a large scar on the right cheek caused b the recoil of their musquets”*

    Please read this along with the captivity, sufferings and escape by James Scurry.

  30. Sreenivasachar says

    Tipu Sultan and his fanatic Muslim army who converted thousands of Hindus and Christians to Islam all along the invasion route and occupied areas in North Kerala, Coorg, Mangalore, and other parts of Karnataka.

    A Voyage to the East Indies by Fra Barthoelomeo, a renowned Portuguese traveller and historian, who was present in Tipu’s war zone in early 1790 quotes:

    “First a corps of 30,000 barbarians who butchered everybody on the way … followed by the field gun unit under the French commander, M. Lally. Tipu was riding on an elephant behind which another army of 30,000 soldiers followed. Most of the men and women were hanged in Calicut, first mothers were hanged with their children tied to necks of mothers. That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied the naked Christian and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants to 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. … Those Christians who refused to be honoured with Islam were ordered to be killed by hanging immediately. These atrocities were told to me by the victims of Tipu Sultan who escaped from the clutches of his army and reached Varapphuza, which is the centre of Carmichael Christian Mission. I myself helped many victims to cross the Varapphuza river by boats.”

    Moreover, evidence of Tipu’s atrocities abounds in many contemporary church records in Mangalore, Calicut, and Varapphuza.

    It is an insult that motivated historians of Jawaharlal Nehru, Aligarh, and Islamia universities project him as a secular national hero.

  31. Vinod Kuriakose says

    Can a list of books in major topics such as early history, Syond of Daimper etc , of course with how to get one be given.. ?

  32. Simal Haneef says

    James C J ,

    what you mean by pseudo-patriotism ? If Tipu and Hyder Ali have done anything in the past , tell me one how does the current population responsible for that …

    Simal Haneef

  33. Vinod Kuriakose says

    Can a list of books be given pls………………

  34. John Mathew says

    Vinod, do you lack the skills to do a search on the internet or NSC?

  35. SV says

    Haneef, The current population is not responsible for that, and nobody should hold them responsible either.

    We can be proud that our fellow Nasranis and Muslims are presently serving in the army.

  36. Simal Haneef says

    Thats the right way forward and what i think is people should accept the fact that human race exists as tribes ..And what is past is past dont think too much on that 🙂

  37. Francis Ouseph says

    What about the moplah rebellion of 1924 Mr. Haneef ? Muslims were just murdering,raping and plundering Hindu Nairs. It took the full might of the Malabar (Malappuram) Special Police plus the British Indian Army to neutralize the murderous. It is a shame that today something as disgusting as the moplah rebellion is officially regarded as a part of the Indian freedom struggle; just because the then British administration intervened albeit belatedly to stop a genocide. And how can you (I could have ignored your ignorance) accuse Syrian Christians of siding with the British ?

    History repeats itself so I must remember the past and act accordingly, that I may prevent you from committing the same crimes as your forefathers.

  38. Binu John Mailaparambil says

    Hello all,

    I was very much interested in reading the comments rather than the text itself. The text does not say much more than the´traditional´ perception about the colonial presentation of Tippu Sultan. But the comments reveal that our Kerala people are deeply ignorant of modern Historical analysis. It is obvious that ´freedom struggle´ title attributed to all anti-British ( or in that sense ´all Europeans) before the emergence of a national ´sense´ by the beginning of the twentieth century is purely a part of ´modern politic´. It is not important that whether Tippu was a freedom fighter or not, but he was obviously a late-medieval monarch in India. And his behaviour was like any other rulers in medieval India; to kill, conquer and dominate. He did that in Kerala too. It is not very importnat whether he killed ´Hindus´ or ´Christians´. What about Sivaji? He was a plunderer and massacred thousands of people, both Hindus and Muslims in India. He had ships which were used to plunder (piracy) ships along the West Coast. If he can be qualified as a ´National Hero´, then Tippu is obviously one. It is pitty that Tippu´s religious identity became the important factor in criticizing him and Sivaji, being qualified as a `Hindu´ is treated differently in discussions. It is interesting to note that the British accouns about Tippu are still being used and taken as the only ( because they destroyed all native accounts after burning Srirangapatanam) sources for Tippu analysis. Only fools will think that they could have described about their enemy in a positive way.

    It is not to argue that Tippu did good by killing thousands of people ( whether Hindu or Muslim) and for that matter Sivaji is a great man only because he is ´Hindu´ but did the same degree of violance like Tippu. Historical events need to be analyed from the ideological framework of that time, and there is no need to look at Sivaji and Tippu from a modern perspective. Historically there are no ´Indian´ freedom fighters before Indian Nationalism. It is anachronism. Tippu and Sivaji ( and for that matter all other kings of that period) were mere medieval monarchs who fought with each other and killed many. Dont try to value-judge them from a modern point of view.

    BUT ONE THING; IF SIVAJI CAN BE QUALIFIED AND CELEBRATED AS A NATIONAL HERO THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT TIPPU TOO CAN BE A NATIONAL HERO. After all, all histories are political histories. The only question is whether we need to quarrel for those cruelties committed by these medieval fighters or do we need to ´create´ a harmonious Indian society? Obviously harmony cannot be achieved through the present-day ´religious´ line politics, but by creating a political history where all people need to be treated ´historically´, not emotionally.

  39. Georgekutty Kizhakkedom says

    why should we respect tipu sultan? For the brutal murder of more than 100000 christians from manglore? he was not a freedom fighter.He was just a muslim converter. Never consider him as a hero..consider manglorian christians who lost their life for christianity as heroes.

    Muslim-Christian conflict

    The Jamalabad fort route. Mangalorean Catholics had traveled through this route on their way to SeringapatamIn spite of the fact that there have been relatively fewer conflicts between Muslims and Christians in India in comparison to those between Muslims and Hindus, or Muslims and Sikhs, the relationship between Muslims and Christians have also been occasionally turbulent. With the advent of European colonialism in India throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Christians were systematically persecuted in a few Muslim ruled kingdoms in India.

    Perhaps the most infamous acts of anti-Christian persecution by Muslims was committed by Tippu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore against the Mangalorean Catholic community from Mangalore and the erstwhile South Canara district on the southwestern coast of India. Tippu was widely reputed to be anti-Christian. The captivity of Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatam, which began on 24 February 1784 and ended on 4 May 1799, remains the most disconsolate memory in their history.[60]

    The Bakur Manuscript reports him as having said: “All Musalmans should unite together, and considering the annihilation of infidels as a sacred duty, labor to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that subject.”[61] Soon after the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, Tippu gained control of Canara.[62] He issued orders to seize the Christians in Canara, confiscate their estates,[63] and deport them to Seringapatam, the capital of his empire, through the Jamalabad fort route.[64] However, there were no priests among the captives. Together with Fr Miranda, all the 21 arrested priests were issued orders of expulsion to Goa, fined Rs 2 lakhs, and threatened death by hanging if they ever returned.[61]

    Tippu ordered the destruction of 27 Catholic churches, all beautifully carved with statues depicting various saints. Among them included the Church of Nossa Senhora de Rosario Milagres at Mangalore, Fr Miranda’s Seminary at Monte Mariano, Church of Jesu Marie Jose at Omzoor, Chapel at Bolar, Church of Merces at Ullal, Imaculata Conceiciao at Mulki, San Jose at Perar, Nossa Senhora dos Remedios at Kirem, Sao Lawrence at Karkal, Rosario at Barkur, Immaculata Conceciao at Baidnur.[61] All were razed to the ground, with the exception of the The Church of Holy Cross at Hospet,owing to the friendly offices of the Chauta Raja of Moodbidri.[65]

    According to Thomas Munro, a Scottish soldier and the first collector of Canara, around 60,000 of them,[66] nearly 92 percent of the entire Mangalorean Catholic community, were captured, only 7,000 escaped. Francis Buchanan gives the numbers as 70,000 captured, from a population of 80,000, with 10,000 escaping. They were forced to climb nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) through the jungles of the Western Ghat mountain ranges. It was 210 miles (340 km) from Mangalore to Seringapatam, and the journey took six weeks. According to British Government records, 20,000 of them died on the march to Seringapatam. According to James Scurry, a British officer, who was held captive along with Mangalorean Catholics, 30,000 of them were forcibly converted to Islam. The young women and girls were forcibly made wives of the Muslims living there.[67] The young men who offered resistance were disfigured by cutting their noses, upper lips, and ears.[68] According to Mr. Silva of Gangolim, a survivor of the captivity, if a person who had escaped from Seringapatam was found, the punishment under the orders of Tippu was the cutting off of the ears, nose, the feet and one hand.[69]

    The Archbishop of Goa wrote in 1800, “It is notoriously known in all Asia and all other parts of the globe of the oppression and sufferings experienced by the Christians in the Dominion of the King of Kanara, during the usurpation of that country by Tipu Sultan from an implacable hatred he had against them who professed Christianity.”[61]

    Tippu Sultan’s invasion of the Malabar had an adverse impact on the Syrian Malabar Nasrani community of the Malabar coast. Many churches in the Malabar and Cochin were damaged. The old Syrian Nasrani seminary at Angamaly which had been the center of Catholic religious education for several centuries was razed to the ground by Tippu’s soldiers. A lot of centuries old religious manuscripts were lost forever. The church was later relocated to Kottayam where it still exists to this date. The Mor Sabor church at Akaparambu and the Martha Mariam Church attached to the seminary were destroyed as well. Tippu’s army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur Church in 1790. Furthernmore, the Arthat church and the Ambazhakkad seminary was also destroyed. Over the course of this invasion, many Syrian Malabar Nasrani were killed or forcibly converted to Islam. Most of the coconut, arecanut, pepper and cashew plantations held by the Syrian Malabar farmers were also indiscriminately destroyed by the invading army. As a result, when Tippu’s army invaded Guruvayur and adjacent areas, the Syrian Christian community fled Calicut and small towns like Arthat to new centres like Kunnamkulam, Chalakudi, Ennakadu, Cheppadu, Kannankode, Mavelikkara, etc. where there were already Christians. They were given refuge by Sakthan Tamburan, the ruler of Cochin and Karthika Thirunal, the ruler of Travancore, who gave them lands, plantations and encouraged their businesses. Colonel Macqulay, the British resident of Travancore also helped them.[70]

    His persecution of Christians also extended to captured British soldiers. For instance, there were a significant amount of forced conversions of British captives between 1780 and 1784. Following their disastrous defeat at the battle of Pollilur, 7,000 British men along with an unknown number of women were held captive by Tipu in the fortress of Seringapatnam. Of these, over 300 were circumcised and given Muslim names and clothes and several British regimental drummer boys were made to wear ghagra cholis and entertain the court as nautch girls or dancing girls. After the 10 year long captivity ended, James Scurry, one of those prisoners, recounted that he had forgotten how to sit in a chair and use a knife and fork. His English was broken and stilted, having lost all his vernacular idiom. His skin had darkened to the swarthy complexion of negroes, and moreover, he had developed an aversion to wearing European clothes.[71] During the surrender of the Mangalore fort which was delievered in an armistice by the British and their subsequent withdrawal, all the Mestizos and remaining non-British foreigners were killed, together with 5,600 Mangalorean Catholics. Those condemned by Tipu Sultan for treachery were hanged instantly, the gibbets being weighed down by the number of bodies they carried. The Netravati River was so putrid with the stench of dying bodies, that the local residents were forced to leave their riverside homes.[61]

  40. Vincent Fernandes says

    Thank you Georgekutty,
    For highlighting the plight of nearly 60,000 Mangalorean Catholics (Men, Women and even Children) who were taken captive upon the explicit instructions of Tipu (this he has recorded in his diary) and were herded to Srirangapattana, where they languished for 15 long years and only 10,000 survived to return to Mangalore as refugees. James Scurry referes to ‘Malabar Christians, and money borrowed by Gen. Matthews’ He must be referring to Mangalore Catholics as Matthews reached Bedenore but before that, he needed food grain and money as he wasted time and money taking smaller forts that were not in the agenda. He may have likely to have borrowed grain and money from Mangalorean Catholics as well, as at that time, they were wealthy landlords, agriculturists.

    Matthew was sent on a specific mission from Bombay, to land south of Goa, proceed to take Bedanore and then take Mangalore and proceed to Mysore, the plan was to unseat Hyder (who was dead by then and the Brits did not know of this), and another contingent from Madras would proceed, as per the plan the Rani of the deposed Rajah of Mysore had secretly made with the British to unseat Tipu.

    The very fact that Tipu also fought fellow Muslim rulers, had French artillery contingent, sought Nepolean’s help to unseat British and the British at that time, took over ports in Goa and Anjediva island near Karwar as a precaution against Nepolean, does not make one much of a patriot and at that time, there was no sense of India as a nation, there were too many principalities, who were always quarrelling among themselves anyway and the British subdued and brought vast area under one rule.

    Can some one tell me, what is ‘Padayottam’ (is this mean to say ‘to beat a hasty retreat’ on foot?), but I do not know who did the ‘padayottam!?

    About the St. Thomas Cross, I feel many are confused with St. Thomas and Mar Thoma Cana who arrived from Syria, who must have brought the cross and introduced Syriac liturgy? Thomas Christians were supposedly converted by St. Thomas, the Apostle, but until the arrival of Mar Thoma with his followers, the earlier Christian converts may have almost forgotton the earlier rituals. Since the Thomas Christians of Malabar were ruled by the Chaldean Church (which is said to have received Nestorianism in the 5th century) from 7th century until 16th century, many people suspect Nestorianism in the Malabar Church. But the Chaldean church was subject to Pope.

    Also, the inscription in Arabic on the cross (Mar Thoma Sleeba (saleeb=cross) offers the following reading: “In punishment by the cross was the suffering of this one, Who is the true Christ, God above and Guide ever pure.”

    British Museum has a large collection consisting of several folio volumes containing manuscripts, letters, reports, etc., of Jesuit missions in India and elsewhere; among these in additional volume 9853, beginning with the leaf 86 in pencil and 525 in ink, there is a “Report” on the “Serra” (the name by which the Portuguese designated Malabar), written in Portuguese by a Jesuit missionary, bearing the date 1604 but not signed by the writer.

  41. Francis Ouseph says

    Shivaji rightly raised the sword against the fanatical Moslem kings who ruled the Deccan and later against the fanatical Moghul Aurangzeb. There is an anecdote which is oft repeated about Shivaji. The Moslem Subedar of Kalyan was defeated by the Marathas under Shivaji and they captured the Subhedar’s beautiful daughter as war booty. This was a common practice amongst the Moslem rulers dating from the times of Mohammed their Prophet. Shivaji simply told the terrified girl that “Had my mother been beautiful as you are I would have indeed been very handsome” and let her free unharmed. He treated everyone fairly and had Moslem Ghardis under him. He took great care to protect the general population (whether Hindu or Moslem) from the ravages of war. He is a national hero worth emulating. One should read the correspondence between Shivaji and Aurangzeb that is translated by Setu Madhavrao Pagadi to get a better understanding of Shivaji Maharaj.

  42. Aji Mathew says

    Dear all,
    There is a mine of information regarding Tipu’s invasion in the book of Cheeran. The complaint of Catholics that their churches were destroyed may be of what the Lord said ‘One takes sword shall fall by the sword.” The brutality Menesis did to root out the local churches of Kerala hit back them. Catholics cannot complain of persecution because they did the worst of persecution against everyone between fourth and sixteenth centuries. They are the liers.

  43. J Chacko says

    One has to be a honest student of history to review the chronicles/ data to find out what has actually happend regardless of one’s current interests.We should have an open mind to read all versions or perspectives of the incidents whether it is palatable to us or not to find out the truth.

    This is very much applicable in case of Tipu also. He was tough with the enemies(whether Indian or British),made forcible conversions during his incursions to Kerala /elsewhere.At the same time he had a lot of hindus among the senior level of his advisers/commanders.Purnaya , a brahmin was one among them.His dislike for the syrian christians was mainly not because they were christians but they were loyal to their respective rulers of Kochi,Travancore etc.He was not an enemy of christians because Tipu had befriended French to oust the British (French were more ‘christian’ than the British those days!).It is a fact that Tipu plundered Kerala wherever possible including certain churches.But unfortunately history says that’s what happens when someone invades your country irresespective of the religions or factions of the same religion!!How many of us knows the fact that invading army of the crusaders sent by Pope to liberate Jerusalem from muslims killed mercilessly hundreds of original christian inhabitants-may be 17th generations of Jesus Christ -of Palestine / Lebanon only because they belonged to orthodox church of the East and not catholics!!!And those christians were protected by the local muslims of the region!!!!

    A sizable section of syrian christians were wholeheartedly nationalists in our freedom movement.But that was not the case with other christians.They secretly nursed a feeling in their minds that their plight will be at crossroads once British left India although British never propagated christianity in an official level.Had it been the case christian population would not have remained less than 2% to this day.At the crux of the Bitish time in India,British church already had lost the sheen in the political administration due to aftermath effects of reformation..

  44. John Mathew says

    “unfortunately history says that’s what happens when someone invades your country irresespective of the religions or factions of the same religion”

    Hold on a second. There are invaders and conquerors who pillage (the “barbarians” of history), and there are invaders and conquerors who do not pillage (the “civilizers” of history).

    Tippu was of the former category, and hence was of the class of barbaric invaders, and is rightfully criticized. Regardless of why he hated the Syriac Christians, the fact is he executed unnecessary cruelty and barbarism upon them. And he needlessly plundered places of worship. Was that necessary? Forget precedent: think in terms of basic civility.

    Let’s not excuse the atrocities of that man just because other barbaric invaders did the same.

    (And let’s be a little more honest about what the Catholic Crusaders did in Jerusalem. I know in this day and age of silly political correctness and moral equivalencies, it’s become standard form to bash the Crusades, but a little restraint to the fictional excursions please! The Crusader’s main beef was with the Byzantine Christians due to political reasons, and not the “Orthodox Christians of the East” as you call them. The latter were generally on good terms with the Crusaders, as one can easily learn by examining the comments of Bar Hebraeus and Patr. Michael Rabo (West Syriac side). And even before the Chaldean schism, there were attempts at dialog between the East Syriac Church and the Romans. Something about an alliance to help rid the East of the new nuisance that had infected it…)

  45. Aji Mathew says

    Tipu fans – You or your parents won’t be Christians, if your hero were succeful!

    The chronicles regarding Tipu is interesting. There is a detailed version of all such events which are widely given in the writings of Dr. Cheeran. The way some are trying to make Tipu a hero is like projecting Satan as hero. Tipu was a destroyer. He destroyed everything. He never spared anything which came against his way. He did not have any respect for anything. The martyrdom of thousands of Christians at Kunnamkulam is not noted by historians. As God struck the Assyrian army by a single angel, I believe God himself destroyed Tipu. If it was not done, dearest Tipu worshippers you will never be Christians. You and your parents would be Muslims. A doctoral study made by Dr. PPN Namboodiri, revealed how Muslims were only up to Pattimattam(near Perumbavur) was that when Tipu’s army came to convert everyone to Islam, they could only reach up to there. The flood stopped the conversion there. Otherwise dearest Tippu fans, there won’t be any Christians in Travancore. Thank God for His timely intervention. Jesus promised that the gates of hell cannot conquer the kingdom of God.

    1. Pinto Mathews says

      i would like to correct some of you who believe that the flood that destroyed tipu’s army was caused by god. it was RAJA KESAVA DAS (DIWAN OF TRAVANCORE)and his soldiers who built a temporary bund which was breached as tipu’s forces where crossing the river.

  46. J Chacko says

    Again Tipu! While narrating atrocities committed by Tipu or others let us not get emotonal and use unpleasant phrases just because I do not share certain views.There are hundreds of books written and thousands of studies made on Tipu.Please do not restrict to one or two books(which gives what you look for) …keep reading and come to a conclusion yourself. Look from all aspects and one will find why Nehru was admiring him(regardless of the fact Tipu showered atrocities to hindus/christians in Malabar and Cochin states)

    Before we criticise others’ let us introspect and see how christian powers behaved in similar situations .Thats why I brought in crusades.I fully stand on what I wrote about crusades.Crusaders treated jews,orthodox christians and muslims alike.During 4th crusade shamelessly on the GOOD FRIDAY of 1204,crusaders attacked eastern orthodox HQ(Byzantine).Pillage took place bountless.Thousands were murdered,robbed and raped!!!!On March 2000 Pope John Paul II asked for forgiveness for the wrongs committed during crusades(this is exhibited in papal website,I think).

    I do not justify wrongs of Tipu citing bigger wrongs of others.All I intend to say is that the bad and cruel are among all peaple regardless of their religions.Only degree varies…This is highlighted not to offend anyone but bringing stark realities of history which many do not know till this day…

  47. Cyril Abraham says

    Aji Mathew

    Remarks such as those you have made are the stuff that Muslims like Tippu are made of! So, pray, do tell me what is the difference between Tippu and Aji Mathew?!?

    If your literal interpretation (and devotion) to a God is to reduce this entity to a level of pettiness that sees it fit to get embroiled in human squabbles (“strike the Assyrian temple by a single angel”; “thank god for his timely intervention [flooding!]) then your god has a lot of explanation to do for a lot of natural calamities around the world!

    Tippu converted, and so does the Christians: but, in your eyes, Tippu’s conversion is somehow less than credible than your (Christian) efforts, which is, apparently, cut from the same fabric (as the Muslims’). I suppose this is because yours is the only True God! I think you sound pretty arrogant for the kind of ignorance you bring into this forum! Yet, the pot calls the kettle black!!

    Cyril Abraham

    1. Francis Ouseph says

      Aji is right. Issac will always be favoured over Ishmael as long as he maintains his righteousness.

      You just made a left leaning politically correct statement.

      Read about the battles of Lepanto and Tours also.

  48. Simal Haneef says

    Hi Francis Ouseph ,
    I understand that Muslim invaders has bought a lot of turmoil to this land . But we as people of this country should look forward of going together for the future . There is no room for figuring out whose did wrong historically . Its a fact that the Muslims have conquered India and have ruled India over 60 to100 years .They ruled India with Delhi as capital . They have destroyed the ancient culture over here and try to force their culture . It was the world order at that time when these invasions happened . My point is that all the Indians who are non – hindus were all converted at one point of time either forcefully or willingly . So there is no point in fighting who are true indians or not . Muslims in this country has the right to live here No body can deny that .We also love this country as any body else int this country does . There may be incidences in the past which has created doubts in peoples mind . As citizens of this country we are loyal to this country .
    Recently in Kerala there have been efforts from some media groups like Malayala manaorama , Jeevan TV etc to portray Muslims in kerala as Anti Indian and promoting big time religious conversion . I seriously doubt all these media organizations real interests in portraying muslims in such a manner . Please be careful in making comments about the community as these kind of comments and perception are denying the basic rights given by the constitution of India to the people over here .

    I have one more comment to make ” Religions are some thing that some times forces man to forget his conciseness ” . Every one belongs to Human race . Lets dont fight on silly things .. What matters is FOOD , SHELTER CLOTH and SECURITY that we are getting in the country .
    -Simal Haneef

    1. Francis Ouseph says

      Simal Haneef
      I am not just talking about the past. In the past hindu Dogra rulers were were equally brutal with their muslim subjects in places like Chitiral and Kashmir. I am talking about today. If muslims in this country have the right to live and practice their religion, why don’t muslims in other countries give non muslims the same freedom. You clamor for democracy and secularism in countries where you are a minority, but at the same time want Sharia in places where you are dominate in numbers. We had a case where muslim extremists in Kerala chopped off the hand of a professor as they felt he put something derogatory in a question paper about your so called prophet. You see Islam is incompatible with democracy and secular rule. You cry out against Narendra Modi, but approve of all the actions of your prophet and all the muslim rulers whose deeds were equally ghastly and on a much larger in scale.

      There is a salafist mosque near my house, its imam openly shouts repeatedly over the loud speaker that Akbar was a bad king because his tolerance harmed the cause of Islam in Hindostan, but Aurangzeb was the best muslim ruler for Islam in Hindostan. And he is saying it today ! Aurangzeb was one of the worst mughal emperors of India as far was non moslems were concerned. He even tortured and murdered all his brothers and imprisoned his father for life. Salafist ideology is brainwashing the young muslim minds in Kerala big time.

      1. simal haneef says

        Hey Francis Ouseph

        The Islamic sharia is not compact able with democracy .Have you been to middle east . Does hindus , christians live there ? Do christians live in Iraq , Syria , Lebanon , UAE , Qutar , Iran , Bahrin etc . I agree that in Saudi you are not allowed to practice any other religion .Islamic Sharia does not ask to kill or drive away the other religious sects . You can go back to the rule of first four Islamic Caliphates . There is a provision in Islamic Sharia to allow others to practice their religion . Akber viewed from islamic view point is some one who denounced Islam and founded his own religion . Thats why the Imam says that Akber was not a great king . Its not because Akbar was tolerant 🙂 .Can you explain how is Salaifist ideology brain washing Muslims in Kerala ? Do you have any idea about the number of Salafists in Kerala ? > it true that prophet has asked to murder the jews in madine . There is a political reason to it which might not be acceptable to you.
        You have to remember that prophet was also a ruler
        An explanation is here .

        1. Francis Ouseph says

          Lets not talk about dhimmitude of allowing people of the “book” to practice their own religion without any other political or religious rights. Turks slaughtered two million Syrian Christians in the middle east around 1915 with the help of kurds and other local muslim arabs. The attacks continued into 1990s till some of the last Christian families were eliminated in the Anatolian mountains. It is known as the Armenian genocide. And they did have a political reason. Any riot in India has a political reason too. In Syria, Christians are surviving thanks to Assad. In Lebanon phalangists are more in numbers and have have paid sunnis back in their own coin, so they are by-and-large left in peace. In Iraq the christians mostly Orthodox are butchered with regularity after Saddam was replaced by shia militias. There are a few christian Armenians in Iran who stay there because they have nowhere to go. In democracy every one is allowed to put forward his/her arguments. In an islamic state it is simply not possible. The Imam clearly mentions that Akbar was a failure because he tolerant to Hindus and he allowed his Rajput wife to practice her own religion. That bugger also blames Akbar for the practice of dowry among some muslims. Akbar never denounced Islam. Din e Illahi was just an alternative philosophical thought at his time which just had around 20 adherents. It was his failed attempt to bring all his subjects together. I am sure that Imam never heard of it. According to him Ghazni and Ghori are more acceptable that Akbar. And you have Takkiyah which sanctions you to lie your way out. so what you say here may not be what you actually feel.

  49. Varghese K says

    Tipu Sultan destroyed many Christian churches in Malabar. He also made many in to forcible conversions to Islam.

    There was also a Hindus massacre of Syrian Christians in 1809. Many Syrian Christians, including priests were killed by a Nair uprising in 1809.

  50. johny kuriakose says

    Lot of St Thomas christians were soldiers of the Travancore army. Clearly the community was against Tippu. The nazranis were expert in handling firearms. Whereas many muslims from Malabar joined with Tippu to attack Travancore. Probably the churches were used by the christians as their forts and barracks. That is the reason for Tippu’s attack on the syrian churches. Tippu was against Nairs as well as christians since they supported Travancore. So it is natural that he attacked Nairs, Christians and christian churches.

  51. Shinoy James says

    Tippu is a nightmare of non muslims. As many people in malabar flee before his invasion fearing his atrocities. He like any other cruel foriegn invader plundered and killed as many as he can and converted many many hindus and few christians(as christians are not in large numbers in malabar) and raped and abducted as many ladies as possible by his favorites and many beautiful ladies were forced to became his cocubines.How can a person like him considered as freedom fighter. It is a wrong information that exist in our country he is the part of freedom struggle. Since he was killed by the British.Actullay the British army with the help of many kings of kerala (pazhassi raj) managed to kill him andp throw him from his palace and power. Tippu is a arabic orgin and hence considered as foriegn power in India. His atrocities against Christian communities like manglore catholics and syrian cannot be forgiven and need to punishable. But British manage to did what many Indian kings and their people couldnt.A man who considers islam is only true religion and other coreligons as nonbelivers.Being a latin catholic and true indian i belive that such rulers in india cannot considered as heores someone who did not spared atrocities against ladies .

  52. Anoop says

    I have to say very frankly that most Muslims i’ve met are extremely intolerant.When they were in majority,they just blatantly spewed ill feeling towards other religions especially Christianity.However I’ve met many such people from Christianity and Hinduism also.The only difference is Islam doesnt actually condemn violence explicitly.Yes ,they might show a verse by their prophet,but the same prophet contradicts the same verse in a setting which is favourable to him.Simal talks about Christians in the middle east,actually that was their home.Where are they now,outsiders in their own land.Just look at the Syrian Christians,the Copts,the Assyrians,the Ethiopians.

    Spain and Portugal was under their yoke for 400 to 500 years,at that point Constantinople was still Christian. That hatred towards Muslims manifested in the Inquistion carried out when Spain and Portugal started capturing territories.The Muslim propaganda was such that they showed all Christians to be outsiders,whereas the truth is we were already here from the First Century AD.

    It is very clear that some high level scheming is going on ,why do I think so….the massive amount spent by Welfare Party,PDP,SDPI and what not in showing a secular face..the mosques in places where there are probably just a handful of Muslims…irritating Mulla who just spews venom after venom.I’m very grateful to God that the Muslims were displaced by the Europeans.Evil will not prevail

    1. Simal Haneef says

      Hey Anoop ,

      Its really unfortunate that you have met very intolerant Muslims .
      The Christians , Jews and Pagans who were living in the Middle – East got converted to Islam.
      Its to be noted that the Ethiopia is still a christian country 🙂 . You can also check what Christianity did to red Indians in American Continent . What did Christianity do to the black slaves. It was not these Muslims who transported blacks from Africa to Europe and America .

      I have been going to Majid regularly for the past 15 years and never heard of an Imam or Mulla talking ill about other communities .

      What did crusaders do to the Muslims in spain ? Muslims were wiped off from Spain.

      1. Mathew Koshy says


        “What did crusaders do to the Muslims in spain ? Muslims were wiped off from Spain.” Whose action is to be justified here? Take for eg: Some goondas are trying to occupy your friend’s house with knives saying that their leader said that they are doing so as per God’s will. Your friend retaliates and defeats them using his AK47. Whose action is to be justified? Will you justify the goondas simply because they say God told them to do so??? ha ha. Remember, Christians, Jews and muslims pray to the same God. If so, I say that you are a muslim fanatic and a jihadist follower of the satanic alqaeda!

        Dear Admin,
        Please expel this jihadi alqaeda follower from NSC site. If such words were uttered in any of the jihadi site, such a guy would have been killed by now!!!

        Mathew Koshy

      2. Anoop says

        probably the biggest hypocrites in the world, what do u call it “taqqqiyah”.
        In Kerala,in the town next to mine,I have heard the Muslim Mullah talking ill about the Christians.In my 30 years of life ,I have never seen a priest use the altar to speak ill and spread
        hatred against others.
        Your so called culture is just the result of the Turks taking over Constantinople,one day we will
        come back.My views on Islam were’nt always this extreme ,my personal experiences and little bit of Muhammed’s history have compelled me to be so.I dont harbour any will to Muslims but as a religion this is not fit for society as it is totally retrogade.

      3. Anoop says

        The slave trade was actually supplied by Muslims,not Christians.The end users were probbaly rich land owners who wanted cheap labour however the suppliers were Muslims.
        I dont want to denigrate this forum with hate speech,but my negative feelings towards this religion have only come about through observation and experiences.It is very difficult to see the real face of Islam through all this Muslim sponsored propaganda.

      4. Franklin says

        Here One should differentiate between European Christianity and Non-European version of christianity.

        Nasranis were definitely “non-european” christianity and we were at the receiving end of everyone’s abuses(European/Arab/Turks etc.) ans we struggled to maintain our culture and ways of christian worship against all odds survived! There is no record in history of us Nasrani Christians ever having indulged in salve trade, genocide of natives or any violent crusade that you accuse European Christans of indulging in. So please educate yourselves of these differences and be betteraware of history.

        Your comments about what (European) Christianity did to red Indians in American Continent / What did Christianity do to the black slaves. What did crusaders do to the Muslims in spain are not at all applicable to Nasrani (i.e Indian ) Christians and therefore completely irrelevant here.

      5. [email protected] says

        And before it became andalusia who were there ,christians. they were forcibly converted to islam

  53. Toms Thomas says

    Simal Haneef,

    Many Middle East countries except Lebanon have strict rules against Christians. In most of these countries, in Sultanate of Oman in particular where I lived for 5 years, all non muslim religious centers are given space in a compound, be it church, temple or Buddhist temple. And those religious buildings should not show any kind of symbols when anyone looks from outside the compound. Don’t try to forget what happened in Egypt under muslim brotherhood’s regime? They were attacking Christian Coptic churches! In Iraq, it was only under Saddam that Christians were respected. After that the sunnis bombed churches. What is happening in Pakistan, the whole world knows. So Mr Simal, as the famous Malayalam adage goes – Don’t try to cover the hole with darkness!!

    T. Thomas

    1. simal haneef says

      I agree to that completely . There were attacks on Christians in Iraq , Syria and Egypt . You should remember these countries were going through a civil war . I have not covering the hole with darkness . We cannot talk about Pakistan here . PAkistan is a failed state . Which other Middle east country has stated that non-muslims cannot come there ,live there etc . You spend 5 years right so they allowed you to work and have a decent living .

      1. sj says

        Dear Simal
        You statement ‘The Christians , Jews and Pagans who were living in the Middle – East got converted to Islam.’ makes it seem so simple whereas it is not .
        The christians in middle east was not a minority in the wake of 20th century as it is now.The countries like lebanon,syria,jordan,palestine and iraq did have a good number of christian communities . They were either massacred like in armenian and assyrian genocide or made forcibly converted to islam .The rest were marginalized with anti-christian laws . Many left their homeland to western countries and those who have stayed back are still suffering .Whatever argument you make you cant deny non-muslims are not safe in any of those muslim states

  54. Sunny Alan says

    This is the usual ploy that the Muslims adopt: When we talk about PRESENT TIME atrocities by them on Christians anywhere in world, they take cases of Crusades happened at the dark ages of religious extremism, in AD 1095 to 1290 periods.

    At that times no centrists or moderates existed in any religion, but only extremists in any religion, the times of ignorance. At those times of ‘Religious Kingdoms’, one has to remain and act as an extremist on orders of fanatic rulers.
    Comparing those times with current time Islamic extremist atrocities is just trying to cover up, and rather a failing attempt to fool the right-thinking.

    In modern times no religious is compelled to commit atrocities on basis of religion, cast and creed, ordered by rulers.

    The high point is Muslims resort to attack and kill non-Muslims, especially Christians in PRESENT TIMES, which cannot compare with what happened in ancient ignorant times…

  55. Anoop says

    Can some one do an article on Villarivattom,I was recently in Chendamanagalam.Very fascinating place.
    Do you have any knowledge on the Palliath Achans.

    1. Antony.K.A. says

      Antony Kureekkal ‏@kureekkal Jul 5
      Visit Malayalam Blog: ;Latest post.വില്ലാർവട്ടം സ്വരുപം -കൊച്ചി രാജ്യത്തിൽ ലയിച്ച ക്രിസ്ത്യൻ രാജ വംശം.