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Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
Outlook.com
tipu sultan controversy

A Tableau Of Feelings

As swords are crossed over Tipu Jayanti, everyone revisits a complex debate with all-too-pat answers

A Tableau Of Feelings
Kashif Masood
A Tableau Of Feelings
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

“I have come to the conclusion that everyone should write history based upon his own sel­ection of sources that appear significant to him, but that no one should read it except to obtain general information in areas of per­ipheral concern. Oddly, only an amateur can be so detached.”

Cyril Stanley Smith, 1981

***

It was with this quote by the famous British metallurgist and science historian that Prof Roddam Narasimha began his 1985 lecture on ‘Rockets in Mys­ore and Britain, 1750-1850 AD’ in Bangalore. Prof Narasimha, who was then director of the National Aero­nau­tical Laboratory, had long been study­ing the rocket technology employed by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu. Their military wea­pon was sufficiently sophisticated for the time, comprising a metal casing holding the combustion powder, tied to a long bamboo pole. Much like a Diwali rocket.

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