Mir Sadik - Symbol of betrayal in our history .

MIR SADIQ (d.1799)

Tipu's Chief Minister: Diwan.

The infamous Mir Sadiq was a minister of the Sriranapatna Ruler Tipu Sultan's regime, who betrayed him in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1799, paving way for the British. The battle also resulted in the demise of Tipu Sultan. He was killed by Mysorean troops immediately following the defeat (as he attempted to go over to the British). On the mural painting depicting the battle of Pollilur on the outer wall of the Daria Daulat at Seringapatam the face of Mir Sadiq has been erased, apparently in consequence of his treachery

Amongst those who had betrayed Tipu Sultan, Mir Sadiq and Poorniah top the list. Mir Sadiq and Poorniah had conspired with the British in destroying the Sultanate of Tipu.

Poet Iqbal had condemned the treacherous role of Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq as follows:

"Mir Jaffar–e–Bengal, o Mir Sadiq–e–Deccan
Nang–e–Adam, Nang–e–Deen, Nange–Watan"

(Mir Jaffar of Bengal and Mir Sadiq of Deccan, they are a disgrace to mankind, disgrace to their religion and disgrace to their country!)

Ordinary soldier:
When we speak of traitors or betrayers, the name of Mir Sadik comes to our mind instantaneously. He was an ordinary soldier in the army of Hyder Ali. By hard work and courage he attained superior position in the administration. Mir Sadik showed the same courage during Tipu's regime. Unsuspecting Tipu promoted him and made him the chief of revenue and finance. He remained faithful to Tipu till 1792. When British gained an upper hand, Mir Sadik understood that Tipu was not a winning horse and that there is no use in supporting him any longer. Overnight he changed his loyalty to the British but kept it as a secret and pretended loyalty to Tipu. He selected his own men and sent secret information to British Governor Cornwallis. He used code words and if by chance the messenger was caught, he would be killed immediately.

Evil designs:
Tipu was a sharp and shrewd Sultan and he came to know of the evil designs of Mir Sadik. He was arrested and kept in prison. But Mir Sadik explained that this was the work of some other soldiers and he was following them to find out the truth. Thus he pleaded his innocence and took an oath to be faithful and obedient to Tipu. Unfortunately Tipu believed him and released him from prison.

Breach of trust:
As soon as he came out of the prison, he continued his breach of trust against the Sultan with greater caution. He told the Sultan that he would be freely moving with the British officers and soldiers only to find out their secrets. Actually he was acting on the contrary. The British promised him wealth and the headship of the Mysore kingdom if Tipu was defeated. Again Tipu came to know of this treachery and prepared a list of persons to be hanged. The first name in this list was that of Mir Sadik. One of his friends informed this to Mir Sadik. He immediately became alert and before Tipu could act, the British were made to attack and Tipu could never come out of the fort of Srirangapattana.

On 22, May 1799 when the battle was going on, Mir Sadik invited all the soldiers of Tipu Sultan who were guarding the fort of Srirangapattana, to come out for a negotiation regarding the increase in their salary as per the order of Tipu. The soldiers believed it and left the fort and went out for negotiations. Now the British had no opposition except for Tipu and some commanders. Tipu was taken aback by this development. Immediately Mir Sadik as planned earlier gave the signal through a white handkerchief to the British soldiers to enter the fort. Immediately the British entered the fort.

Tipu look – alike:
As a strategy many soldiers were dressed like Tipu to confuse the British. It was difficult for them to identity the real Tipu and were struggling to find out the truth. At this juncture Mir Sadik told the British officers that he would go near the real Tipu in the battlefield and bend before him as if showing respect to the Sultan and the British should take the clue from this. He did like this and the British had no difficulty in recognising Tipu Sultan on the battlefield and killing him. Thus Mir Sadik fulfilled his desire of helping the British to eliminate Tipu, his own master who trusted him and promoted him, and even released him from prison, and saved his life. But Mir Sadik showed his gratitude in this way!

But the soldiers of Tipu and people came to know of the treachery of Mir Sadik, attacked him and killed him when he was on his way to join the British. British intervened and buried his body in Srirangapattana itself. But the people were so furious against Mir Sadik and decided that this treacherous person should not be allowed to rest in peace even after death. They exhumed his body from the grave and showed their indignation by throwing human excreta on the body. At this juncture the British intervened and reburied the body at the same place. This is how contemporary people showed their anger and contempt against Mir Sadik who symbolized treachery and betrayal against his own kingdom, master and mentor.

Mir Sadikism:
Even today when tourists go to Srirangapattana to see the Palace of Tipu and his tomb, the guide who explains the history of Tipu Sultan shows the tomb of Mir Sadik and vividly describes the betrayal of Mir Sadik in a highly emotional way. Some tourists even throw stones on his grave and feel justified in doing so. Thus Mir Sadik has become a symbol of treachery or betrayal in our history .

Posted by Uday Gaonkar