Delhi, Dec 15, 2016: Renowned historian and writer William Dalrymple has given a statement that it was the “British Bragging” that made Kohinoor famous. And, the way the Kohinoor was projected by them, made the gem world’s most famous diamond.
Dalrymple, in his new book titled, Kohinoor: The Story of the Worlds Most Infamous Diamond, argues that “Kohinoor becoming the gem of gems was British creation. Bigging up their conquest, they consciously put it on show at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and made it into a symbol of what they had taken from India.
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That has now turned against the British themselves.” The Scottish writer claims that “there were other bigger Mughal diamonds – the Dari-a-Nur which was taken by Nadir Shah to Iran and the Orlov, now in Kremlin, also taken by Nadir Shah and later passed on to Russia. Why is no one calling their return? The answer is that the Great Exhibition made the Kohinoor the most famous diamond in the world.”
Dalrymple’s book, co-authored by noted UK-based Indian journalist Anita Anand, tells the story of how Kohinoor came to be regarded as the “supreme gem”. Through his book, Dalrymple unravels exquisite information about the diamond as it moves from the Mughal courts to Persia to Afghanistan; from Maharaja Ranjit Singhs durbar in Punjab to the Queen of Englands Crown.
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“It is a very interesting history. We try to trace in the book how it became an icon, when it was never the most famous diamond. When it wasnt the biggest diamond. When the Mughals didnt refer to it anywhere in their writings. Nor did any of the Sultanates,” he said.
According to the PTI reports, Dalrymple quotes, “there is not a single, clear, definitive and unambiguous reference to the Kohinoor before 1750 when it appears in Muhammad Marwis account of Nadir Shah’s campaign. He says, in a Persian passage we translated in this book, that it was attached to one of the peacocks on the Peacock Throne. There is no other reference.”
– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter: @shambhavispeaks