Koh-i-Noor diamond not ‘gifted’ to the British, says Dr Subramanian Swamy – ANI

Koh-i-noor Diamond

Subramanian Swamy“Expressing his frustration at the law officers of the government, [Dr Swamy] said that he was ashamed of them for claiming that this was a ‘gift’ to the British when the truth was miles away from it.” – ANI

Following the government’s assertion that the legendary Kohinoor diamond could not be brought back as it was ‘gifted’ to the British, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday expressed his disappointment over the stand of the ruling dispensation and said that he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the facts of the diamond’s transaction from India to Britain.

“The first production of the Kohinoor was during the Kakatiya dynasty, which was in Warangal and this was taken out from the Guntur mines. It was later taken over by the Mughals, who put it in the peacock throne, then it went to Abdali then to his opponents and then to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. When he was getting sick and he knew that he may die, he wrote his will and bequeathed the diamond to Jagannath Mandir. That’s final. You can’t change that,” Swamy told ANI.

Expressing his frustration at the law officers of the government, he said that he was ashamed of them for claiming that this was a ‘gift’ to the British when the truth was miles away from it.

Throwing light on the history of the diamond’s transaction, Swamy added that Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s 13-year-old son Dilip Singh had a British tutor.

“When the young prince was about to meet Queen Victoria, he was told that he would have to present her a grand gift, which is when he gave the diamond. However, he regretted what he did as he grew older,” said Swamy.

Victoria“All this is recorded in the book of our High Commission in London. The book is titled Exile. The Prime Minister should tell the Additional General and the Solicitor General to compulsorily read that book first and then file a new affidavit,” Swamy said.

The government yesterday told the Supreme Court that as per the Ministry of Culture, India should not stake a claim to the famed Kohinoor diamond as “it was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away”.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the government, said this was the stand of the Culture Ministry.

Chief Justice T.S. Thakur asked the Centre if it wants the case to be dismissed as they would face a problem in the future when putting forward any legitimate claim.

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to file a detailed reply within six weeks.

Following the furore by the government’s assertion, Union Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said that only the Centre can act on the issue of the Kohinoor diamond.

“According to the guidelines, the Central Government can take steps on things that were gifted or procured by the British before independence. Expert opinion on this regard will be taken at an appropriate time,” he told ANI.

The diamond is now part of the glittering purple-velvet Queen Mother’s Crown in the Tower of London. For years, the politicians and others in India and in the UK have said the diamond was seized after the British annexed Punjab. The gem was once the largest diamond in the world and is twice the size of the Hope Diamond. – DNA, 19 April 2016

Duleep Singh

6 Responses

  1. Puri priests want Kohinoor for Lord Jagannath – Debabrata Mohapatra – Times of India – TNN – Bubaneswar – Apr 24, 2016

    As the Centre geared up to bring back Kohinoor diamond from London, priests of Jagannath Temple in Puri have renewed their longstanding demand of placing the famed jewel on the crown of Lord Jagannath. The priests on Sunday staged a demonstration in front of the 12th century shrine and demanded the diamond be returned to the temple administration.

    According to a letter preserved in the National Archives in New Delhi, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled large parts of northern India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, had wished to offer the Kohinoor, to Lord Jagannath. The British, however, took away the diamond from Ranjit Singh’s son, Duleep Singh, in 1849.

    “Kohinoor is Lord Jagannath’s property as it was offered to the deity by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The temple was recipient of a huge amount of gold from the Sikh ruler. The Odisha government should take up the issue with the Centre and take steps to bring Kohinoor back to Jagannath Temple,” said Sitikantha Panda, a priest.

    “We have historical records in which Maharaja Ranjit Singh wished to donate the Kohinoor to Jagannath Temple. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration should take the initiative for its return,” said Harekrushna Pratihari, another priest.

    The shrine priests, who gathered outside the temple under the aegis of Jagannath Sena, a religious outfit, took a dig at the state government for its lackadaisical attitude towards Kohinoor. “Several times in the past we raised the issue of Kohinoor, whose original place is Jagannath Temple. But the state government never staked claim,” said Jagannath Sena’s founder Priyadarshan Pattnaik.

    The 105 carat Kohinoor, now adorning the crown of the British monarch, has been kept under tight security in the Tower of London in Britain. Odisha Congress too joined the priests’ bandwagon of Kohinoor’s return to Jagannath Temple. “The jewel is Lord Jagannath’s property and should be handed over by the British government to Jagannath Temple,” said state Congress president Prasad Harichandan.

  2. Thank you Admin for the further details on this diamond. But since India does not have monarchs it is possible that the ‘unlucky’ diamond may not affect the country.

    I am serious when I say that perhaps a good Jyothish could be consulted.

    India doesn’t have monarchs but it does have heads of state.

    • It is not a matter of kings and commoners but of men and women. The curse affects males only, not females. This has been shown to be true by historical events. The greatest looter of India, Nader Shah, died by assassin’s hand after acquiring the diamond.

      In fact Iran still holds much of the stolen gold and jewel wealth of medieval India (including parts of the Peacock Throne). This writer has seen some of it on display at the Iran Central Bank in Tehran in 1967. It underpinned Iran’s national currency the rial. Yet India has never made a claim on this stolen wealth to Iran!

      There are three other countries claiming the Koh-i-Noor diamond: South Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

      Each country believes it has a legitimate historical claim—though it is not clear what the claim of South Africa could be.

      Bringing the diamond back to India is a matter of national pride. Nobody will wear it in a crown or as a broach. It will probably just sit in the National Museum, or, rather, a glass replica of it will be on show for the public while the real stone is locked away for safe keeping.

  3. What happened to the vast jewels of Nizam. Many of them are stolen & gone out of India. Let it be there safe, so that We Indians & all others can atleast see the diamond.

  4. He’s totally correct. I had done research on Dalip Singh for a project years ago and even had visited Norfolk to his grave and where he had lived. I had talked to the curator of the local museum on the issue and he himself had told me that Dalip Singh who was still a boy and was more likely influenced by the people around him to give over the diamond and then eventually convert to Christianity which he later on rejected and then tried to get back to India but was captured on route and was brought back to England. The BJP are starting to act even worse than the Congress it seems.

  5. Dr Swamy’s claims regarding the Koh-i-Noor diamond are generally correct.

    The Koh-i-Noor diamond was in the possession of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s son Dilip (Duleep) whom the British had placed with stern Christian military guardians after they dethroned him in Lahore (1849). These guardians had thoroughly brainwashed and christianised the boy, and he was persuaded to gift the diamond to Queen Victoria when he met her in 1854. It can hardly be claimed that he voluntarily of his own free will gave the famous stone to Victoria, as he was under extreme pressure of his English Christian mentors and had little option to do otherwise.

    Dr Swamy’s claim that Maharaja Ranjit Singh had bequeathed the diamond to Jagannath Puri in his last will has to be verified. There must be a copy of the will in the national archives that can be scrutinized.

    The story the government lawyers told the court, that the diamond had been given to the British by Ranjit Singh himself in appreciation of their military help in his fight with the Afghan Durranis, appears to be a concoction cooked up in the Ministry of Culture.

    The Ministry has since reversed its position and says it will try to persuade the British to return the diamond to India. Very probably they will do nothing at all and will bury the file, as it has been buried by earlier governments.

    It is unlikely the Koh-i-Noor diamond will be returned to India. There is in Indian law a statute of limitations which says that artifacts taken out of India prior to Indian independence (1947) cannot be reclaimed or repatriated by India (verification of the existence of such a law needed).

    India should leave the ‘unlucky’ diamond where it is. It carries a curse and every male who has been in possession of it has met with disaster (died of illness, was defeated in battle, lost his throne, was assassinated). The curse does not affect females and Queen Victoria wore it without negative effects, as have the British queens who came after her.

    However the British may now want to be rid of the famous ‘cursed’ stone, as their next head of state will be male, one of the princes Charles or William.

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