NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India should relinquish its claim to a huge diamond that it has fought for decades to get back from the British, the government told the Supreme Court on Monday, because the stone was given to its former colonial ruler rather than stolen.
One of the world’s largest diamonds, the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor has been part of the British crown jewels for 150 years and today forms part of Queen Elizabeth II’s crown.
The stone has been at the center of a long-running diplomatic row, with many Indians demanding Britain return the diamond to atone for its colonial past.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Monday told India’s Supreme Court that it should forgo its claims to the jewel because it was in fact given to the British as a gift by an Indian King, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in 1851.
“It was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away,” solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told the Supreme Court during the hearing of a case calling for the stone’s return.
The Koh-i-Noor, on display in the Tower of London, is set in the crown worn by the current Queen Elizabeth during her coronation in 1953.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who last week visited India with her husband, Prince William, will wear the crown on official occasions when she becomes queen consort. William is second in line to the British throne.
During a visit to India in 2010, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the diamond would stay in London.
“What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, then you would suddenly find the British Museum empty,” he said.
Indian campaigners believe the diamond is one of many artefacts taken from India by the British during colonial rule.
“The British rulers looted India and the government is making a mistake by not supporting our claims,” said Nafis Ahmad Siddiqui, who petitioned the Supreme Court for the stone’s return.
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty, Rupam Jain, Writing by Rupam Jain, Editing by Tommy Wilkes and Nick Macfie)
The Union Health Ministry on Monday said that two specific trends were noticed in the Covid-19 situation – while the recovery rate is increasing on one hand, case fatality is going down on the other.
The ministry said at least 4,835 Covid-19 patients had been cured in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured patients to 91,818.
“The recovery rate in the country is progressively increasing and has reached 48.19 per cent amongst Covid-19 patients. On May 18, it was 38.29 per cent, on May 3, it was 26.59 per cent and on April 15, it was 11.42 per cent,” it said.
The Health Ministry also said that presently there are 93,322 active cases in the country, which are under active medical supervision.
The case fatality rate is 2.83 per cent. On May 18, it was 3.15 per cent, on May 3, it was 3.25 per cent and on April 15, it was 3.30 per cent.
“A steady decline can be seen in the case fatality rate in the country. The relatively low death rate is attributed to the continued focus on surveillance, timely case identification and clinical management of the cases,” the ministry said.
It also said that the testing capacity increased in the country through a total of 676 laboratories including 472 government and 204 private laboratories.
“Cumulatively, 38,37,207 samples have been tested so far for Covid-19, whereas, 1,00,180 samples were tested on Sunday,” the Health Ministry stated.
According to the data the ministry cited in its press statement, the case fatality rate in the world is 6.19 per cent. It is highest in France, at 19.35 per cent, followed Belgium with 16.25 per cent, Italy with 14.33 per cent and the UK with 14.07 per cent. (IANS)
Xiaomi on Monday said it is going to unveil an India exclusive Mi Notebook on June 11 via an online event.
The launch event will kick off at 12 noon IST and will be streamed across Xiaomi’s social media platforms and Mi.com as well.
In a tweet, Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, confirmed that upcoming Mi Notebook model is exclusively made for the Indian consumers.
Xiaomi’s Mi last week announced that it will enter the Indian laptop market in June.
“We are ready to introduce the next big category in India with the Mi Notebook series. We will broadly have two series under Mi Notebook that we are going to launch. It will be a minimalistic design, a power-packed device with latest technology to fulfill the requirements of our Indian users,” Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer, Xiaomi India, told IANS in an interaction.
He also said the company also intends to introduce more products under the Mi brand, like Internet of Things (IoT) products and Smart TVs.
According to a recent report, Mi’s first Notebook will be a rebranded version of RedmiBook 13 which launched in China in December last year.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 13 features a 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution anti-glare display with narrow 4.65mm bezels on three sides.
As the tensions rise between India and China along the borders in Ladakh, Shekhar Gupta in his article for The Print invokes an American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke.
Talking about his works Shekhar points out that in his ‘A Brief History of Man’, P.J. O’Rourke writes a small sentence “Meanwhile, in China, there were the Chinese.”. This sentence is relevant to us today.
Shekhar Gupta believes that the sentence conveys us a sense of resignation about the “inscrutable” Chinese. This thought happens to be familiar thought in the West.
“But we don’t live in the West. We’ve lived next door to China for as long as first civilisations grew.”, writes Shekhar Gupta
Let’s look at the history of Indian interactions with China since independance. What is inscrutable about it? Talking about the military assault across two fronts in 1962, it may have been a surprise to our leaders back then, but that is only because they were delusional.
From Chinese ultimatum to India to “return their stolen yaks and sheep” in 1965, to their appearance along the Ladakh frontier this year, China happens to be completely predictable and far from inscrutable. Especially keeping in mind Chinese actions in respect to India.
The push at Nathu La (Sikkim) in 1967 was probably to check out the resolve from India. Which they saw at its weakest — having fought two recent wars (1962 and 1965), famines, ship-to-mouth existence, political instability and a diminished Indira Gandhi. . The Indian response was a lesson they quickly learnt. What did the Chinese do after that? They have kept the peace for 53 years. Will you call that response evidence of Chinese inscrutability? They probed us, got a rude push-back, and decided to wait and stir the pot in different ways, at different times, says Shekhar Gupta in his artcile for The Print.
The Chinese kept the hold of what they wanted in 1962. According to Shekhar the truth is, they had it in their possession almost fully, barring small, tactically important slivers in Ladakh. They asserted their ownership and let their larger claim, Arunachal Pradesh, fully in Indian control, go militarily uncontested.
The Chinese never gave up claim on it. In 1986-87, they again checked us out at Wangdung-Sumdorong Chu (Arunachal), when they saw Rajiv Gandhi take India’s defence budget to a 4 per cent-plus of GDP. And once more, the response was firm and the Chinese backed off. The lesson we learnt according to Shekhar Gupta is that the Chinese won’t open fire randomly for the sake of it, Or when they are absolutely sure of an easy victory so they could be seen like ‘teaching an upstart a lesson’ as they did in 1962. Predictable.
Each and every action and response of China fits a pattern- Deliver a message, add leverage, and return, according to Shekhar Gupta.
India, China and Pakistan shared this unusual ‘triangulation’ in which China was using Pakistan to keep India preoccupied, said Former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his tenure.
His idea was to break this ‘triangulation’ by seeking peace with Pakistan. He thought, that a country as big and powerful as China, would see less of an incentive for peace with India than Pakistan.
Shekhar Gupta believes that today, that option is not so available, as hostility with Pakistan is central to the Modi-BJP politics. They’d rather make peace with China than Pakistan. That is why the lavish welcomes and frequent meetings with the Chinese leaders. The objective, still, is escaping that triangle.
Another instance of Vajpayee explaining the Chinese negotiating style. “Dekhiye, aap aur hum baithe hain aur vaarta kar rahe hain (see, you and I are sitting and negotiating),” he said. If two people require something and the first person asks to let go of something, the other will say no. Then the first person again asks for something little less, then again the other person might say no. But ultimately the second person will relent and let go of some. The Chinese would never do that.
Both these leaders underlined that the Chinese are consistent, and predictable. And that is why we should not be shoched or surprised by what they have unveiled across Ladakh. We should have anticipated it on 5 August last year when we made the big changes in Jammu & Kashmir. This Chinese move, like all others in 60 years, was fully predictable. Even the timing, says Shekhar Gupta in his article for The Print.