Markandey Katju, a Hindu, former chief justice and chairman of the Press Council of India, was concerned about the impacts of the allegations.
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On November 6, 2015, Hindustan Times reported that a number of Hindu organizations rejected the Karnataka State government's plan to celebrate the 265th birthday of Tipu Sultan, King of Mysore at the end of the 18th century. Tipu Sultan was accused of being an intolerant Muslim; he liked to destroy Hindu temples and Catholic churches during his reign. The accusation was ahistorical and sparked a national controversy.
Markandey Katju, a Hindu, former Supreme Court judge, and chairman of the Press Council of India, was concerned about the impacts of the allegations. He rejected the lies of poisoning India and then wrote about Tipu Sultan on his weblog on November 10, 2015. During Tipu Sultan's reign, many ministers and high-ranking officials were Hindus. He regularly donated to 156 temples. He led his troops to defeat the army of General Parshuram Bhau of the Hindu Maratha Kingdom who killed citizens, looted the monastery and damaged the Hindu temple in Bednur, Karnataka.
Katju thought the lies about Tipu Sultan came from forged history books. The falsification of history, he said, dated back to British colonialism, “It was British historians and their staunch Indian followers who had committed this crime.”
According to Katju, Tipu Sultan was hated for consistently fighting the British. Katju's writing about Tipu Sultan and the falsified history remind me of Batin Tikal, the leader of the Bangka people in the struggle against Dutch colonialism from 1819 to 1851. He was made an antagonist by colonial historians and their loyal followers.
In 2018, a newspaper on the island of Bangka published a story about the arrest of Amir, the son of Batin Bahrin, and "Batin Tikal dari Bukit" who was said to have received 100 guilders from the Dutch colonial government to participate in the arrest of Amir. However, none of the historical documents prove that "Batin Tikal dari Bukit" was involved in the arrest of Amir. “Batin Tikal dari Bukit” was a fictional character. The recipient of the 100 guilder reward was "Batin Awal dari Bukit." Certain authorities deliberately changed the name “Batin Awal dari Bukit” to “Batin Tikal dari Bukit” to be disseminated to the media, academic institutions and be used for evil purposes to this day.
Therefore, the main rebel was not Amir. Haesebroeck's letters can be accessed at the National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia.
Bangka resident HJ Severijn Haesebroeck said Amir came to surrender in his letter to the government in Batavia on January 8, 1851. Amir's rebellion was brief, between 1848 and 1851. In the report, Haesebroeck explained that after Amir's arrest, he would seek “the main rebel mover.” Therefore, the main rebel was not Amir. Haesebroeck's letters can be accessed at the National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia.
Willem Adriaan van Rees, a Dutch officer, wrote about Amir's happy life during his exile in Kupang in his book, Wachia, Taykong en Amir of het Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger in 1850 (1859). His family in Kupang said Amir was a loyal Dutch collaborator, was paid monthly wages and was instrumental in capturing Baki Koi, an anti-colonial Timorese fighter. In contrast to Amir, Batin Tikal refused to compromise with the colonial government during his exile.
Even though Van Rees wrote Batin Tikal was “the last hope of Amir,” he hated the warrior role model. He mocked the folklore that Batin Tikal's braids were made of copper.
Van Rees' attitude reflects the colonial mentifact, which included the ideas, values, norms and behaviors of colonizers' view of the colonized people. Meanwhile, the people of Bangka believe miraculous things as sociofacts and part of the collective memory and pride of the resistance period.
Post-independent Indonesia, forgery and reproduction of the figure of Batin Tikal continued to occur. As a result, Batin Tikal numbered 27 identities.
The areas of his struggle included Bangka-Belitung and South Sumatra, having multinational troops.
Batin Tikal's real name was Ahmad or Syeh Ahmad, the successor of Sheikh Yusuf Al Makassari's lineage, according to the research results of Erwiza Erman, research professor in history of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), which was published as a book Dari Pembentukan Kampung ke Perkara Gelap: Menguak Sejarah Timah Bangka-Belitung ( From Village Formation to Dark Matters: Uncovering the History of Bangka-Belitung Tin ) (2009). He was called by Van Rees “Batin Tikal dari Pemjampar” and “Batin Tikoe dari Pemjampar.” Pemjampar was the name of a village in South Bangka, which is now gone. He also held the title “Pemenggal (Beheader of) Smissaert.” The existence of his hair relic in Kampung Gudang made him known as “Batin Tikal dari Gudang”. Because of his fort of resistance in Bangka Kota, he was named “Batin Tikal dari Bangka Kota.” The areas of his struggle included Bangka-Belitung and South Sumatra, having multinational troops.
Second Batin Tikal was named Fatih Krio Panting, who was said to be the son of Sultan Muhammad Mansyur Jayo Ing Lago. In fact, Sultan Mansyur did not have a son named Fatih Krio Panting. Krio's grave is in South Bangka. Obviously he was not Ahmad or Sheikh Ahmad, who was sentenced to life in Manado by the Dutch government.
Third Batin Tikal was declared to be a descendant as a great person. His children worked for the colonial government. After the exile of Ahmad or Syeh Ahmad to Manado, the pro-colonial children of Batin Tikal were appointed depati and kepala opas (chief of colonial police) in Bangka.
Two years ago, a descendant of a gindo (village head) in Gasing, Banyuasin regency, South Sumatra, admitted that his grandfather was Batin Tikal's biological son. He said Batin Tikal lived with his family in Gasing until he died. This Batin Tikal was certainly not Ahmad or Sheikh Ahmad.
This duplication can potentially obscure the truth, but also prove the resonance of Batin Tikal's struggle.
Just as British colonials and their followers had deep hatred toward Tipu Sultan, the Dutch colonials and their followers had deep hatred entrenched in the real Batin Tikal and his descendants. However, for over two centuries, this figure is recorded in the people’s memory as a hero.
Linda Christanty, Woman of Letters and Cultural activist