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India says British Queen should keep its Koh-i-Noor

Koh-i-Noor was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away, government tells SC

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth's crown is carried through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. REUTERS/POOL/Oli Scarff
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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.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth's crown is carried through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. REUTERS/POOL/Oli Scarff
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s crown is carried through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. REUTERS/POOL/Oli Scarff

“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)

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  • Allan Joseph Raju

    If a famous actor feels he should settle outside the country then it is anti national. But if the Gov’t. Makes a mockery of the Indian public, misrepresents the true facts, and claims that the Kohinoor taken as a “prize won in war” by the britishers was a gift…. Then that’s patriotic. Its just a matter of time before we give off Arunachal Pradesh also as a gift to China.

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  • Allan Joseph Raju

    If a famous actor feels he should settle outside the country then it is anti national. But if the Gov’t. Makes a mockery of the Indian public, misrepresents the true facts, and claims that the Kohinoor taken as a “prize won in war” by the britishers was a gift…. Then that’s patriotic. Its just a matter of time before we give off Arunachal Pradesh also as a gift to China.

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A Different Take on Masculinity: Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota

Abhimanyu and Radhika are childhood friends. She has seen him grow from pain to pain without feeling it.

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From The Shooting of the Movies. Flickr

Once Salman Khans heroine in “Maine Pyar Kiya”, Bhagyashree’s son Abhimanyu is now out to make his quirky debut as a boy-man who cant feel any physical pain.

The trailer of his first film “Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota” has him bleeding through his head and nose as he walks down the street talking to us about the rare congenital disease that precludes pain.

Vasan Bala
A poster of the film ‘Raman Raghav’, directed by Anurag Kashyap. Wikimedia

The idea of not feeling any physical pain could serve as a decent metaphor for the desensitised times that we live in. But then I am not sure Vasan Bala, who has served as an assistant on dark films like “The Lunchbox” and “Raman Raghav”, wants us to assess his film as anything but what it is:a film about a guy who can’t feel any pain.

The protagonist’s ambition, perhaps echoing the modest aspirations of the film’s debutant hero, are severely restricted. So I suspect, is the appeal of this whimsical piece of cinema which also stars the very watchable Radhika Madan.

Also Read: Bollywood 2018: 10 Blockbuster Movies of First Half of the Year

Abhimanyu and Radhika are childhood friends. She has seen him grow from pain to pain without feeling it. We see the defiant repudiation of pain in the film. But we aren’t really sure if the film would be a painless exercise. It seems to stretch one idea beyond endurance.( IANS)