Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 15:11

Tipu Sultan

To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.

Sultan Fateh Ali Tipu (20 November 17504 May 1799), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Indian Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 until his death in 1799. He was a scholar, soldier and poet. Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and his wife Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa. His administrative actions involved introduction of a number of administrative innovations such as the minting a new coinage, new Mauludi lunisolar calendar, new land revenue system, and initiating the growth of Mysore silk industry. In military weaponry, he was instrumental in expanding the iron-cased Mysorean rockets which he used against military advances of the British. He waged war with an expansionist approach against his neighbours. He treated his conquered non-Muslim subjects and British prisoners of war badly. He remained a staunch enemy of the British East India Company. He believed in large scale conversion of Hindus to Islam.


  • To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live for a hundred years like a jackal.
    • As quoted in Encyclopedia of Asian History (1988) Vol. 4, p. 104
    • Variants:
    • It is far better to live like a lion for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
    • It is far better to live like a tiger for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
      • Variant mentioned in Tipu Sultan : A Study in Diplomacy and Confrontation (1982) by B. Sheikh Ali, p. 329



  • My victorious sabre is lightning for the destruction of the unbelievers. Ali, the Emir of the Faithful, is victorious for my advantage, and moreover, he destroyed the wicked race who were unbelievers. Praise be to him (God), who is the Lord of the Worlds! Thou art our Lord, support us against the people who are unbelievers. He to whom the Lord giveth victory prevails over all (mankind). Oh Lord, make him victorious, who promoteth the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuseth the faith of Muhammad; and withhold us from those who are so inclined from the true faith. The Lord is predominant over his own works. Victory and conquest are from the Almighty. Bring happy tidings, Oh Muhammad, to the faithful; for God is the kind protector and is the most merciful of the merciful. If God assists thee, thou will prosper. May the Lord God assist thee, Oh Muhammad, with a mighty great victory.
    • His sayings inscribed on the handle of the sword presented by Tipu to Marquess Wellesley quoted in Mysore gazetteer, Volume 2, Issue 4, Conjeeveram Hayavadana Rao (rao sahib), Benjamin Lewis Rice, Government Press, 1930, p. 2697

Association with FrenchEdit

  • As soon as he had conquered Egypt, he will establish relations with the Indian princes and, together with them, attack the English in their possessions.
  • Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send a force of 15,000 men from Suez to India, to join the forces of Tipu-Sahib and drive away the English.

Conversion of Hindus to IslamEdit

  • Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair (Rajah of Travancore) very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now.

Gesture towards HindusEdit

External linksEdit

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