Days before the Karnataka Assembly polls, where the name of Tipu Sultan keeps getting invoked by his right-wing critics, the makers of ‘Tipu’, the film, have announced that their feature will present a “different side” of the king of Mysuru.
Tipu Sultan, till the BJP questioned the narrative, was known as a freedom fighter, an able administrator and the man who introduced India to rocketry. For some years now, the BJP in Karnataka has made a political issue out of Tipu’s record of forced conversions, which is exactly what the film seeks to highlight.
The BJP’s north-east strategist, adviser to the Manipur Chief Minister and well-known author and TV commentator Rajat Sethi has done the research for the film.
The film’s director, Pawan Sharma, said: “What we are taught in school about Tipu Sultan is gross misinformation. I stood absolutely shaken and disillusioned to know his reality as a bigoted king. Through my film I am daring to show a brutal reality that has been manipulated just for us to take him to be a warrior hero.”
He added: “Tipu Sultan’s Islamic fanaticism was much worse than that of his father Hyder Ali Khan’s. He was a Hitler of that era.”
Sethi added: “While history has been unkind to many heroes, it has mischievously ignored the tyranny of many others. Tipu is one such historical figure whose adulation and admiration is overrated, while his cruelties have been neatly concealed in our textbooks.
“Not only history, but popular culture – movies, theatres, etc. – have also systematically ignored a realistic and balanced portrayal of Tipu. This movie is a humble attempt to initiate a course correction on his narrative.”
Producer Sandeep Singh, who has been behind films such as ‘PM Narendra Modi’, ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar’, ‘Atal’ or ‘Bal Shivaji’, said: “This is the cinema I personally believe in. My films stand for truth… I was brainwashed into believing him to be a braveheart as shown in our history textbooks. But nobody knows his malevolent side. I want to expose his dark side for the future generation.”
Backed by Eros International, Rashmi Sharma Films and Sandeep Singh, ‘Tipu’ will have a multilingual release in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil Telugu and Malayalam.