Chanin’s Blog

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Parson Academy’s Take on the Bicentennial of ‘The Battle of Tippecanoe’

Posted by parsonacademy on November 1, 2011

Does the term ‘Tippecanoe and Tyler too!’ ring a bell? On November 7th, America will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first incursion against the fledgling nation, only thirty years after its independence from Great Britain. Commemorative is an appropriate term for these events that surrounded the twilight of the 18th century and the dawn of the 1800’s. They are far from celebrations for they are characterized by ample bloodshed.

Parson Academy is proud to announce its student’s agenda on the multitude of Bicentennial Commemoratives that will occur over the next year. For the series of upcoming events, I have included some links below….

Tecumseh

So, do you think you know your American history? With the backing of the British from Colonial Canada, the Confederacy of the American Indians attacked the U.S. ‘Indiana’ territory at Tippecanoe. How many times was the United States mainland invaded by combative antagonists? According to Wikipedia, an invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geo-political entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory, forcing the partition of a country, altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government, or a combination thereof.

Since Tippecanoe, skirmishes, guerrilla warfare, and hidden incendiary devices have plagued America’s mainland. The American frontiersmen of the Mississippi Valley faced the country’s first “terrorist”, a proud and powerful American Indian named Tecumseh.

Tamil Eelam

The history of US invasion is a fascinating one, but it has extra interest to me. As someone whose family descends from Muslim Indian’s I thoroughly enjoy reading about the rag tags who spent decades going toe to toe with the mighty British Empire.  My earlier blog tells the tale of how the Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka faired through a bloody civil war and why my people call Sri Lanka ‘India’s teardrop’.

So, here it was, the twilight of the 18th century, when two famous Indians subjugated the planet’s two hemispheres. Tecumseh in the West and Tipu Sultan in the East. Now, two hundred years ago, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Henry Clay, was heralded as America’s ‘War Hawk’. He was credited for convincing President Madison to declare war on Great Britain. It was no secret Clay’s biggest bone of contention was not with Native American Indians, but rather with the New England Federalists whose monopoly of overseas trade with Britain was well known. The booming business with British Colonial India gave the Federalists their new nickname, ‘Boston Brahmins’. Above all else, Clay feared Northern dominance over the rest of the Union.

On June 1st, 1812, Madison did declare war. Once again, America faced invasion! British commanders led Canadian colonial troops across the Great Lakes. But did Britain have intentions of occupying the United States? Most scholars reject the theory. Britain had its hands full with Napoleon, not to mention the increasing logistical nightmare of maintaining the colonies who had not already won independence.

In my opinion, the War of 1812 was more about Britain’s internal economic recession. There were a handful of land battles, most significantly at Plattsburg, but a haphazard United States army somehow repelled the Canadian attacks. The majority of the war was known for its naval campaigns.

The 1814 burning of Washington D.C. was certainly the most indelible event of the British invasion. Imagine how silent and eerie a night that was. These are Americans who put everything they had on the line to get out from under the British thumb and here come the redcoats, marching in and laying waste to America’s new capital! A city named for and designed by one of the heroes of the War for Independence.

James Madison

When the British invaded, don’t you think the nation needed its commander and chief to try and rally the troops around the Potomac? Conversely, when it became obvious that Baltimore was a lost cause, President Madison fled for his life, least the British catch him and hang him (British just would not let that Declaration thing go).

In retrospect, perhaps it was a wise decision by the President, as the British took Washington and burned the White House. To add insult to injury, the British soldiers spent the night drinking and singing, toasting to what they expected to be the demise of the former colonies.

From all accounts, it was only the wrath of nature that prevented Washington’s occupation. Hurricane winds drove the British regiment back to their battered ships. All plans for an all out occupation of D.C. were called off. Despite the stunning loss of the capital the British advanced no further and America miraculously prevailed. Be prepared for a season of fireworks on both sides of the pond! Soon, the War of 1812 Commemorative Bicentennials will dovetail with London’s Olympic Games.

Despite America’s own internal battle prompted by the slavery issue between North and South, one hundred thirty years would pass before the next assault. This time, not a single footprint was left on American soil. The island territory of Hawaii was home to America’s Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. Japan’s 100 planes bombed military assets and immediately returned to their aircraft carriers.
Japan insisted the United States directly restricted its influence throughout Asia and limited the amount of fuel it was allowed to import. Upon learning of the destruction of the U.S. fleet on December 7th, 1941, Japan’s admiral famously lamented, “We awoke a sleeping giant!” What was the bombing of Pearl Harbor if not a terrorist attack?

In retrospect, we ask if 9/11 was more an invasion than an attack? We once again stand in repose and respect. It has been ten years since the horrific 9/11 attacks altered the world. People didn’t know what to do, how to rebuild their lives, how to move on. Americans have come a long way in the last decade, certainly the thought of another attack rests in the back of everyone’s mind it is known that there is not an army on this planet that can invade the United States. So how do you attack the US? Through ghastly attacks on everyday citizens?

However the backlash against Muslim American’s after 9/11 was horrific. Americans’ treatment of Muslims clearly showed that fear of invasion will rock you regardless of strength. So too highlights another possible reason for the war of 1812. Sure, Britain was not afraid of a US invasion, but an invasion from Napoleon? That must have been so nerve-racking that a good little vengeance war seemed downright logical.

Chanin Daryazeer

By Chanin Dar Yazeer,
Parson Academy Class of 2012
Learn more about me… this link will take you to the ultimate adventure novel…http://www.parsonacademy.com/parsons_academy-part_one.pdf

Want to learn more about Tippecanoe? Follow these links for bicentennial links & Information:

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A Plethora of Tigers

Posted by parsonacademy on April 10, 2011

Forget the rabbit, 2011 is clearly the year of the tiger. Recently opened on Broadway in New York City, Robin Williams plays the ghost of a euthanized ‘Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” shot after mauling the hand of a taunting spectator, a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq. Once again, the Bengal Tiger serves as a metaphor for the ongoing struggle. For centuries, this has been India’s cry of the Mujahedeen. Through the eyes of the tiger, the ghost tries to make sense of man’s barbaric, senseless actions.

Individual rebel movements have spanned the entire stretch of the Barbary, Arab, and Asian regions. They have traditionally taken the symbol of the Bengal Tiger to serve as their logo. History reveals the symbol of the Lion was reserved for Britain’s colonization efforts, wherever it brought them. The awe inspiring image of the tiger has long been connected to Muslim culture as the bald eagle has to American culture.

As I have already blogged, my Tamil family ancestry in the southern region of India and Sri Lanka is filled with self-proclaimed Tigers. My father is referred to as ‘The Tiger of Serendib, a nickname associating him with the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam. Serendib was the name given to the island of Sri Lanka by Islamic inhabitants long ago. Father’s moniker is derived from an even greater power. ‘The Tiger of Mysore’ who rose to international prominence in the last two decades of the eighteenth century. He was the most feared warrior who ever battled the British Empire.

‘The Tiger of Serendib’ embodies those gallant individuals trying to achieve humanitarian aid bent on the cause of relief to the imprisoned Liberation Tiger members. You would think Sri Lanka’s political prisoners would be released, but the former tigers remain detainee’s years after the civil war was officially declared over. It is ironic that I have learned that in the very first years of the fledgling United States of America, the Revolutionary War created its first congressional vote as to what to do with enemy detainees. Hessian mercenaries of the British Army were imprisoned without charge for three years after the American War for Independence. They remained in an isolated barracks in remote Pennsylvania. Only a handful endured the harsh winters and deadly tuberculosis. Just to put into perspective how unbearable these conditions where remember we are talking about battle tested warriors who could not survive. No doubt this will be great fodder for Bollywood, India’s movie machine. My story is found in Mark Sysson’s newly released book, ‘Parson’s Academons’.

But the piece de résistance has to be America’s Charlie Sheen who is currently on his self-titled ‘Tiger Blood’ tour. America is consumed with the latest culture shock straight out of Hollywood’s ranks. Ranting has caught the world’s attention. But what is in this Tiger Blood? Sources have identified his secret potion to be the juice of the Mangosteen tree, a staple on the island of Serendib for centuries. His ‘mango drink’ is purplish in color, and its properties have long been praised to help maintain healthy intestinal, immune bone, and respiratory system. Sheen has successfully launched a one man rebellion that has equaled that of struggling nations. Rebellion and revolution will continue to drive humans to align themselves with the great beasts of Asia. And is usually the case these days, their growl is more fierce than their bite.

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“How the ‘Deccan Mujahideen’ Attack on Mumbai Aroused the Deccan Tigers” by Chanin Dar-Yazeer

Posted by parsonacademy on January 28, 2009

chanin1

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would wind up in the snowy bowels of central Massachusetts. This is the furthest place from my people, but, as I discovered, I was not the first of Indian peoples to reside here. I am a native Indian, not a native-American Indian. Being a student in the most historic prep school in the most demonstrative of Western nations, I struggled with my identity and I often blame my present physical condition as a direct result of that struggle.

Learning the news of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I wondered who these terrorists were who assailed the city like marauding hawks. What end was accomplished? What was their message? Then it struck home. Could I be just as capable of clawing like a tiger to maintain my identity? My extended family can be found in any of several ravaged lands along the Indian Ocean that my ancestors called home. We are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India. Over the past century, governments changed and the people changed. Subsequently, names of countries and cities disappeared, reformulating new identities. Bombay is now Mumbai, Madras is Chennai, the state of Mysore is now the state of Karnataka, and the island nation of Ceylon is Sri Lanka; all this in the name of modernism. The 21st century continues to witness extremist groups that pay with their lives to fight modernism. In a world filled with Avatars, screen names, and a/k/a’s, it is easy for clandestine groups to use screen-names and claim responsibility for terrorist acts.

Emails referred to the Mumbai terrorists as ‘The Deccan Mujahideen’, but U.S. intelligence identified the group as Lashkar militants from the Kashmir region of Pakistan. Their style was typical of small arms and explosive tactics. Lashkar-e-Taiba means ‘the Army of the Pure’. Or there could be elements of SIMI, the Student Islamic Movement of India. In emblematic fashion, the extremists chose Westernized targets. I couldn’t help but revisit the lessons of Mrs. Jonas’s history course. They were lashing out at the very British Colonial model that defined India since 1784.

The rift between Muslim and Hindu has once again reared its ugly head. Where do I fit into this picture? What am I to make of this division? My genetic background has both Muslim and Hindu roots. I remember a time when we observed both Hindu and Moslem holidays. Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast after RamaDHaan on the 1st day of Shawwal and its Hindu counterpart of the Tamil fasting month of Aavani. Mother still corresponds using the Old Hindu Lunar Calendar year of 5109 while Father will refers to the Muslim Calendar year of 1427.

As we speak, India deploys additional troops along the Pakistani border as a response to the attack. I too would have been drafted into the Indian Army if I were not paralyzed in an accident up the road two years ago. I am still a citizen of India with legal residence in Bangalore. I am proud to be a Deccan that the terrorists refer to, even if my friends in Bangalore carelessly hurl stereotypic epithets upon me. But I suppose there is no denying that I have been “Americanized”.

My parents thought it best to sequester me in a private school liberal enough to be tolerant of my background. Now, they are unhappy to learn that I am dating an American girl and our relationship is serious. I still wrestle with the fact that she doesn’t believe intermarriage is taboo. Back home in Bangalore, that’s another story. Hindus account for 80% of the population while Muslims comprise fifteen percent. Intermarriage, be it inter-caste or inter-religion, is still frowned upon by both the Moslem and Hindu communities. Conversion is the only viable alternative. Coincidently, the most controversial film release from Bollywood this year is entitled “Jodha Akbar”. Unlike the rest of the students at Parson, since I speak Hindi, I didn’t need the English subtitles to understand the movie. I was not surprised that my schoolmates at Parson preferred “Slumdog Millionaire” the lighter Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film category to the epic historical fiction. “Jodha Akbar” is about the legendary Muslim Moghul of India, King Akbar and his marriage to his Hindu queen, Jodha Bai. I thought this was totally apropos to my situation.

The tradition of intermarriage among ruling families as a means to achieve political stability isn’t new. Akbar’s pluralistic credo included translating the Bhagvad Gita and the Vedas from Sanskrit into Persian and Arabic. The Mughal Empire and its Muslim rulers left the greatest mark on the region, especially on the Deccan. The Taj Mahal serves as the most impressive landmark, giving evidence how Muslims co-mingled with Hindus. Akbar’s assimilation of the two predominant religions of India brought harmony and co-existence to his kingdom. Marriage was social and political in nature and it was for the greater good of the community. Jodha Bai’s family would never have married into a community where they felt they were lower in the caste hierarchy.

As far back as the 13th century, Tamil coastal towns were filled with Arab merchants who imported the finest Arabian and Persian horses. They were referred to as “The Half Moslems” by the ruling Mughals. Intermarriage with locals developed a trust between Moslems and Hindus coining the term ‘Tamilisation’. The Tamil king appointed an Arab as his Prime Minister. Four centuries later, in Mysore, it was the Muslim, Haider Ali, who was tapped by the Hindu King Wodeyar to be his chief military strategist in 1760. Eventually, Haider Ali proclaimed himself King. After Hyder Ali’s death in battle against the British in the First Anglo-Mysore War, his son, Tipu Sultan, succeeded him. It was no coincidence that Tipu wisely recognized the benefits of appointing a Hindu as his Prime Minister.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that the Indian subcontinent was one country. When nationalistic feelings emerged, they were accompanied by religious fervor. Religion has often been used for political purposes in the subcontinent. Today, you would be hard- pressed to find political tension amongst the Deccans. Bangalore is a peaceful place where an explosion of its industrious workforce is busy with contracted IT support for the rest of the world. So it remains perplexing why the terrorists called themselves “The Deccan Mujahideen”. Could their fundamental message be criticism of the effects modernism is having on Indian society where they consider Indian Muslims no longer spirituality pure? In my case, it must be understood that my heredity was pre-determined by the hand of the British Colonial Raj at the dawn of the 19th century. Were the leaders who funded the Deccan Mujahideen pointing their accusatory finger at the Indian subcontinent or was it a complete subterfuge?

The Western pundits claim the Mumbai terrorists were Pakistani Islamic Extremists who exercised a political maneuver designed to pull Indian troops into Kashmir and away from Eastern Pakistani where the Taliban strongholds exist. Or a second theory was their assault may have been an act of revenge in response to the Indian Navy’s sinking the Somali Pirate mother ship in the Indian Ocean.

Somalia is home to the Salafi Islamist pirates who presently hold no less than sixteen ocean going vessels and 250 crew that are now hostage in the port city of Harardhere. This radical group has perfected the art of high seas high-jacking. Speedboats stealthily pull alongside supertankers, firing rocket-propelled grappling hooks and rope ladders for the pirates to ascend and claim the captured million dollar vessels as their own. They have learned to negotiate ransoms with the international mercantile community as they amass military hardware, grain, and Arabian oil. International protest from around the world has expressed outrage over the seizure of Saudi Arabia’s largest ocean-going tanker. The world remembers Somalia as the backdrop to the movie, ‘Black Hawk Down’ that portrays a U.S. led special-forces unit. The 1992 operation was initially triggered by a Somali warlord’s insurgency that held the starving population of Mogadishu as political captives. And now, the world heaps kudos on the heroics of the Indian Navy? The victory was short lived. Within hours, the pirates successfully captured an additional three cargo ships in retaliation. There is no doubt that this action is a well-coordinated effort beyond simple thievery.

How did these acts of piracy start? Fishing is an important resource and livelihood for all nations of the Indian Ocean. But the Somali government failed to uphold the rights of the Somali fishermen as commercial vessels illegally trawled their waters. It became a daily ritual for the Somalis to witness with envy the monotonous route of the Saudi Arabian super-tankers traveling past Somalia’s Horn of Africa. The Somali fishermen could easily heed the radical cries of ‘jihad’ from Somalia’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys. It wasn’t long before these very fishermen became so adept at handling weapons they fearlessly confronted any ship sailing off the Horn of Africa.

Most Westernized nations have favored paying the expensive ransoms in lieu of taking military action. It seems the age-old ideology prompts the West to continue its over-reliance on offering its weapons to the nations of the Indian Ocean. The captured Ukrainian freighter filled with military cargo bound for Sudan makes it very clear that Africa is the world’s weapons dump. 90% of the U.S. budget goes to military reinforcement while only 10% is allocated to support programs for economic reconstruction in the region.

But four hundred miles from Somalia, there is an even deadlier fight that has raged for more than three decades. The Sri Lankan government has been involved in a civil war against the well-defined Tamil Eelam people who wish to establish an independent state. The rebellious group calls itself the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam. They are the descendants of the Tamil Nadu farmers who were forced by the British Colonial government to labor on the island’s plantations. Their cry for independence has persisted for more than two hundred years.

The Asian students at Parson follow the plight of the Tamil Eelam. Two years ago, we procured a recording of C.I.A. station dialogue from Calcutta. Here is an excerpt as the West monitors the activity of the Liberation Tigers.

“Sir, our American attache in Paris identified an operative who attended the Musée Baccarat fundraiser for the LTTE.” exclaimed the station chief.

“Take a look at these photos from the most recent satellite transmissions on Sri Lanka.” says the encryptologist.

“See? They already repaired the Thoppigala airfield drop site.” replies the station chief.

“Well, boss, someone is expecting a delivery.” says analyst. “Those are crates of Katyusha Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers.”

The LTTE rocket attacks on Sri Lanka’s military has been brutal. Aside from Buddhist and Hindu prominence, there have always been Islamic elements in Sri Lanka. Before the British named the island Ceylon, the Muslims affectionately called it ‘Serendip’. The teardrop-shaped island is just miles from the southern tip of India’s Deccan Peninsula. To the outside Islamic world, it remained a place of wonder. Islamic scribes referred to it as having mystical legendary powers, the place where one can experience ‘serendipity’. And speaking of legends, I will tell you of ‘The Tiger of Serendip’ in a moment.

THE PENTAGON’S ‘HOLISTIC APPROACH’.

Just a few days before the Mumbai attack, the U.S. Pentagon Press Secretary, Geoff Morrell, reacted to the recent international incident in Somalia, stating, “It requires a holistic approach.” Personally, I am baffled by that phrase. It is an interesting choice of words. Is Morrell talking about this small individual pirate horde or are we talking about the larger picture of all nations of the Indian Ocean region? Certainly the plight of the Tamil Eelam confirms that this ‘holistic approach’ must also be attributed beyond the Salafi Islamists. It would be a feather in his cap to address the unrest that plagues the Middle East to Southeast Asia as a whole.

By definition, ‘holistic’ is the interaction between the body and the mind. We must infer that Morrell means ‘the body’ to contain all corporal sects, including ‘The Deccan Mujahideen’. So how might Morrell define ‘the mind’? Is it the Islamic ideology as a whole or the individual Islamic movements of the 21st century? There are various Muslim peoples. Like splitting cells, they are diverse. Could Mr. Morrell force the leaders of nations be locked up in a room to hammer out their differences? And will these leaders ever consider taking guns out of the equation? If so, would Morrell invite all nations on earth to adapt a renewed vision of a world that is quickly advancing toward the unconventional?

Islam, like other religions, struggles to keep their congregations intact. In Islamic scripture, ‘mujahidin’ translates to mean ‘one who struggles’. Did the Mughal Kings see the future for the indigents of the Indian Ocean region? Did they predict the hardships their brothers would be subjected to by the hand of Western cultures? Tipu Sultan, the last modern Mughuls, was concerned for preserving his legacy as he glimpsed into the future.

Tipu sent his envoys to the Mediterranean bearing his gifts and philosophies. His ‘Fathul Mujahadin’, an instructional code of behavior, was read and praised throughout the entire Moslem world. The envoys returned to Mysore with a patent from the Ottoman Caliph giving Tipu recognition as an independent King. The Islamic world held Tipu in the highest esteem. He became a universal symbol of their people. Tales of The Tiger of Mysore’s magical arsenals became the stuff legends were born from. It was said Tipu, his princely sons, and his entire kingdom would forever remain faithful to the Fathul Mujahidin.

Tipu’s cry for independence in 1786 echoed those of the Colonial American rebels who rose up against the British Empire in 1776. Tipu faced that very Brit who surrendered his army at Yorktown. Charles Cornwallis was commissioned as India’s Governor-General immediately following his failed war in America. Cornwallis lost the Second Anglo-Mysore War to Tipu’s army of 500,000 soldiers and a command of the most advanced rocketry on earth.

Discovering the personal letters and journals of Mary Parson, one correspondence from a soldier to his daughter still haunts me to this day. Here is an excerpt of what he said of the new Governor-General of India. It would please me to know he only represents the wishes of His Majesty and the Crown, but I must agree with you, he exudes the confidence of pure economic gain. Between me and you, I am a British soldier first, but you are right. To me, Tipu seems to be more of a Freedom fighter than a revolutionary. We have learned just two words since we arrived. One of them is ‘Mujahidin’ and the other ‘Jihad’. They are both war cries we have learned to fear. Just two words, neither of them being Hindu either. Daughter, you didn’t hear this from me, our purpose here in India is evident, clear out the opposition and move in for the kill.”

Tipu’s hostilities against the British East India Company was encouraged by France’s Foreign Minister, Charles Maurice Talleyrand. Tipu Sultan rebelled against the BEIC’s traditional model. Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, was commissioned to lead India’s final blow against Tipu Sultan and his menacing rocket launchers. Wellesley’s intelligence agents bribed a high level minister in Tipu’s palace. Betrayal was in the works. This was the culmination of the Seige of Seringaputam on April 4th, 1799. The end of Tipu’s Empire was at hand.

As British Colonial government established the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore, merchant agents of the East India Company continued to influence Britain’s decision-making. First and foremost, the new British state served colonial interests. Like his nemesis Napoleon Bonaparte, Arthur Wellesley dreamed of a master plan. There is no doubt Johnny Company, as the British fondly called the BEIC, ravaged Deccan lands and impoverished its people. Back then, the prized commodity was opium, not Saudi oil.

THE DECCAN DIASPORA

As a result of the British victory, my people were disseminated from Mysore. By decree, many of Tipu’s subjects were corralled into neighboring Tamil Nadu and sent to the British operated plantations on Ceylon. This Indian Diaspora drew new borders that attempted to wipe out any connection to Tipu’s legacy. This begs the question: ‘Was There a National identity in India’s Deccan Peninsula?’ The Prince of Mysore, Abdul Khaliq, was whisked away from India and secreted here at Parson Academy in 1806. It was his father’s wish that his confidant, the American schoolteacher, Mary Parson, was sworn to uphold. Not only to educate Abdul Khaliq in the fledgling country that Tipu so admired and aspired to model for his own people, but to preserve his legacy like the seed sealed in his silicon pendant that was preserved for life like a frozen embryo.

On the other hand, Abdul’s brother, Maizuddin, the warrior prince, moved amongst Muslim families in the region and organized effective bands of Mujahadeen battling the British with guerilla tactics. The detail of my story is richly drawn in Mark Sysson’s “Parson’s Academons” which there is a link to on the Parson Academy website. Here is an excerpt from the book where the brother’s hold their last meeting before Abdul leaves for America as their mother tearfully succumbs to her sons’ polarized destinies.

Maizuddin snarls, “Abdul! You go follow the teachings of Mary Parson! What does she really know of our struggle? We are Mujahidin and we all must vow to stand and fight for Serendip! Are we not respectful of our father’s memory?”

Fatima intervenes. “I remember Tipu’s excitement as he would read to you boys from his Fathul Mujahidin? But Maizuddin, think! Abdul is also right.”

“Father’s wish was for me to pursue an education in America. Maizuddin, you lead the people. I will return with help from the West.”

“But I need you now! We must overthrow Witherspoon’s regime!”

“What good am I to you now?” Abdul says. “No. You will need me in years to come. You need weapons! Where are you going to get weapons?”

“We need father’s rockets!” Maizuddin says, sheepishly. “We must have father’s rockets!”

Back in London, the BEIC could not convince the Privy Council to send more troops to Ceylon. Taking matters into his own hands, Johnny Company’s most successful agent, Reed Witherspoon, the Diwani of Ceylon, employs his trusted Condottieri to protect his investments. Yosef Nedham speaks of his British employer after the failed campaign against Maizuddin. This meeting takes place on Cyprus with the Foreign Minister of Austria.

“I was paid to organize a secret unit that carried out a massacre of a Tamil village on the island of Ceylon.”

“A massacre? Were they your Hessian soldiers?”

“No. Trained Deccan Sepoys called ‘guerillas’. But it didn’t go unanswered. The next day, a Mujahadeen rocket attack quickly obliterated Witherspoon’s clandestine army. The guerilla unit was wiped out. Naturally he did not want the action reported.”

“Your lucky you didn’t get killed!”

“Cousin, I’m much too resourceful than that! You don’t expect me to be personally leading a gang of guerillas! No, my sources tell me the revenge was orchestrated by a Moslem. The weaponry was surplus from the old Mysore regime. Old but still very effective.”

“There are Moslems in India? I thought Britain drove them out.”

“Yes, the ruling families are scattered, but there are just as many Moslems as there are Hindus in India. Needless to say, it sent shockwaves through Ceylon. One that the resurgent Mujahadeen was so effective and two, a handful of Witherspoon’s plantation workers have rallied behind the leaders who now call themselves the Tamil Eelam, reclaiming land that was unlawfully taken by the British. The interesting thing is the Gouvenor-General of India refuses to come to Witherspoon’s aid.”

Nedham was referring to Arthur Wellesley, who, as the Indian Governor of Mysore, had the fate of a subservient population firmly in his grasp. The wealth of India was going to singlehandedly save the British Empire. BEIC plantations on the Deccan Peninsula and Ceylon could produce the very commodity to finance Wellesely’s weapon development. Opium on one hand; rockets on the other. The very same rockets that exploded over the Potomac in Francis Scott Key’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’.

I think about my legacy as the Ameican and British nations will soon be recognizing their 200 year anniversary while India can only recognize the daring heroics and vision of a now controversial and often dispised historic figure, Tipu Sultan, the Moslem warrior who first introduced those fierce Asian rockets against General Cornwallis and British Army in efforts to establish and maintain his own independent country of Mysore. This brings us full circle.

Discovering my family’s fall from Royalty to their new lives as simple fishermen, makes me wonder if I would be a rebellious Tiger if I was not sent to America? Will I ever volunteer to sign on for a radical cause like my father and his royal ancestors did? I am a product of Post-Colonialism hybridity and transculturalization, angry with the West all of my life. I used to curse the image of British General McCallen every time I passed his portrait on the famous alumni wall. But my accident at Parson forced a transformation. Only recently have I come to terms with my assimilation. My father has not. Who is my father? I told you I would return to him. While I can only champion his cause on this blogsite, he is ‘The Tiger of Serendip’, the defender of the Tamil Eelam.

THE ALTERNATIVE DEFINITION

I accept the more radical interpretation of Morrell’s “Holistic Approach’; one that emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. As Mary Parson has so deliberately emphasized back at the turn the 19th century, I have come to accept a Darwinian view of the situation that affects and is affected by everything on earth. I embrace the lofty aspiration. A peaceful clash of cultures resulting in a compromise that naturally gives way to a more tolerant inter-racial society. It might be time for the tigers of this world to stop their clawing. But the lions must be inspired to offer the olive branch. It is our obligation to establish a precedence of compromise, concessions, and conciliations.

The British Colonial model must be abandoned. Can there be such a thing that appeases everybody in the name of coexistence? ‘Assimilation’ seems to be the norm?

With their last ounce of rebellious strength, the Tamil Eelam are facing decimation. It would be an answer to many prayers, for the Sri Lankan government to allow the Tamil to establish their own independent state. Putting retribution aside, Sri Lankans can easily afford to set aside some of the original plantation lands that rightfully belong to the indigents of Serendip.

Perhaps Barack Obama will direct the west’s ideology away from military might to a world of greater acceptance? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the American people have long tolerated their own version of the BEIC corporate model since the Industrial Age took hold of New England. It is time for all nations to adopt a policy that spreads the wealth to all peoples. I have become acceptant of the West being here in Massachusetts. I never thought I would hear myself say I have a role model who is from a Western culture? I have to thank my Humanities Teacher, Mr. Issac Grinsneck for helping me discover my family tree.

Reconfirms my belief that I can be proud of my Islamic-Hindu heritage, it is now a fact my father’s cousin is from a magical offspring of the 19th century. My connection is not only with India’s dark Kings of military might, but there is a bright side, too. I am connected to India’s most famous Tansen, dating back to Akbar’s time. Aside from my father, my cousins were from our controversial mixed marriages. I will always have that magical vision of Mr. Grinsneck pointing to my family tree and saying, “Chanin, your ancestor, Inayat Khan, was a grandson of Tipu Sultan. Inayat Khan was the founder of Sufism and considered one of India’s greatest musical composers or a ‘tansen’ by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Inayat Khan married a white American woman while living in France. Their daughter was Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan. At the outset of World War II, she became a Red Cross nurse in France. When Germany marched into Paris, she escaped to England and was recruited by Winston Churchill’s secret Special Operations Executive. She willingly fought against one of the world’s greatest terrorist organizations, the Nazis. Noor Khan became the first female agent parachuting into France and she worked as a network radio operator for the Resistance. Her alias or ‘nom de guere’ as an Assistant Section Officer was Nora Baker. Betrayed, captured and tortured, she revealed nothing and after ten months of detention. Noor Khan was eventually executed by a German Nazi SS officer. She posthumously won the George Cross and the French Croix de Guire. She was never married, but it was rumored that she had children who were raised in the West Indies.”

I intend to seek them out. They are my people. Perhaps Noor Khan’s children search for a legacy as I have searched for mine. It will bring them home and in so doing, giving the Deccan an identity it so rightfully deserves. My name is Chanin dar-Yazeer, proud son of The Tiger of Serendip, descendant of Tipu Sultan, The Tiger of Mysore.

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