After Elizabeth II’s death, India demanded the Kohinoor diamond

The demand to give India the Kohinoor diamond back has been stronger with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The crown that the former queen wore had a diamond connected to it. On Twitter, and on Facebook, there is a vocal demand that Kohinoor be given to India since that the Queen has gone away and no one will wear the crown going forward.

The most well-known diamond in the world is called Kohinoor; Kohinoor is a Persian term. It is made up of the two terms “Koh” and “Nur,” where Koh signifies mountain and Nur means light. The King Nadir Shah, 1739 is credited with giving it the name Kohinoor, which means “mountain of light.”

Ranjit Singh seized control of the Empire and the Kohinoor diamond in 1800. After Ranjit Singh passed away in 1839, his successors lacked his velour and foresight.

The British invaded India, which became a part of the British Empire, and took control of India from 1858 to 1947 when the Sikh kingdom became weak.

The Kohinoor was acquired by the British by Lord Dalhousie, the British Governor-General of India.

It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850, who was enthralled by it. In 1852, she made the decision to have it recut and reshaped, reducing its weight to 108 carats.

During the British era, the renowned Kohinoor diamond was transported from India to Britain. The queen wore this diamond there in her crown. Tipu Sultan’s priceless ring is said to reside in Britain as well. In 1799, someone took this ring from the corpse of Tipu Sultan. It was afterwards sold at auction in Britain.

Queen Elizabeth II’s passing has revived calls for the Kohinoor diamond to be returned to India on social media. She was the queen of Britain with the longest reign. The historically significant 105-carat diamond will be given to Prince Charles’ wife, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, who is now Queen consort, upon his accession to the throne. Large, colorless diamond named Kohinoor, which means “Mountain of Light,” was discovered in southern India at the start of the 14th century. The priceless jewel, which was in the possession of the British during the colonial period, is the subject of a long-standing ownership controversy, with at least four nations, including India, claiming ownership.

While some Twitter users took the demand for the Kohinoor diamond’s return seriously, others found amusement in it. A tweeter shared a scene from the Bollywood movie “Dhoom 2” in which Hrithik Roshan’s character grabs a diamond off a moving train. The user said, “Hrithik Roshan on his way to bring back our Diamond; Kohinoor from the British Museum to India.” Queen Elizabeth II, according to another user @gomathi17183538, was an “active participant in colonialism.” “Can we please get our Kohinoor back now? a statement that Queen Elizabeth is not a holdover from the colonial era. She took involved in colonialism directly.” stated Gomathi. Tweeted Asish Raz, “The queen tragically died. Can we now anticipate our Kohinoor to return?”

The Archaeological Survey of India responded to an RTI inquiry a few years ago by stating that the Kohinoor diamond was “surrendered” by the King of Lahore to the then Queen of England and “not given over” to the British approximately 170 years ago. The Indian government’s position at the Supreme Court, however, was that the diamond, worth million, was handed to the East India Company by the former rulers of Punjab, not stolen or “forcibly” removed by British authorities.

Shashi Tharoor said in his book “An Era of Darkness” that it was previously hailed as the biggest diamond in the world, measuring 793 carats or 158.6 kg. The Kakatiya dynasty is said to have begun mining the diamond in the thirteenth century close to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Over the ages, the diamond has been reduced from its initial size of 158 carats to its current size of 105 carats. He describes how the well-known diamond traveled through the hands of many royal families, from the Deccan-based Kakatiyas to Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji, and finally to the Mughal empire. Through the Persian conqueror Nadir Shah, it entered Afghanistan. According to legend, Nadir Shah gave the diamond the name Kohinoor. Before coming into the hands of the Sikh King of Punjab, Ranjit Singh, in 1809, it had passed through many dynasties, according to Tharoor. He asserts that Ranjit Singh’s successor lost two battles against the British because he was unable to maintain control of his realm.”

At that point, the Kohinoor ended up in British hands.” In his moving defense of the diamond’s return to India, Tharoor also criticized the British government’s colonial past. “A potent reminder of the crimes committed by the previous imperial authority is the Kohinoor on the Queen Mother’s crown displayed in the Tower of London. It will continue to serve as proof of the robbery, pillage, and misuse that colonialism was truly all about until it is returned, at least as a symbolic act of atonement, “said he. In his book “Kohinoor,” author and historian William Dalrymple wrote that the youthful Sikh prince Duleep Singh regretted giving the gem to Queen Victoria. He also wanted to present it to the Queen in his capacity as a man. “I would go to great lengths to get my hands on it once again. I was just a little kid or newborn when I was obliged to give it up by treaty. I would want to have the ability to deliver it directly into Her Majesty’s hands now that I am a man.”

Kohinoor’s return has been demanded by the government on several times, with the first one being in 1947. The British government, though, has always denied the allegations. In July 2010, whilst visiting India, then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron remarked, “If you answer “yes” to either question, you’ll find the British Museum suddenly deserted. It will have to remain where it is, I’m afraid to say.” The Supreme Court’s response to a public interest lawsuit in 2016 that the Kohinoor was “given freely by Ranjit Singh to the British recompense for support in the Sikh wars” disappointed down many who had been demanding for the diamond’s restoration.

He had said, “The Kohinoor is not a stolen item.” Later, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma disclaimed that his department would take any effort to retrieve the fabled diamond back, adding that any decision on the topic would be made at the diplomatic level. “If a diplomatic call has to be made (to bring Kohinoor back), the Indian government or External Affairs Ministry would make it when it is appropriate. No action would be taken by the Culture Ministry to recover the diamond “What Sharma claimed.

He stated, “According to the rules, if any of our antiquities is discovered anyplace after Independence, the Culture Ministry makes measures to bring it back,” noting that the problem stretches back to the pre-Independence era. But he noted that concerns with antiquities dating back to before Independence “do not fall within the scope of the Culture Ministry.”

Surjit Singh Flora is a veteran journalist and freelance writer based in Brampton Canada

About the Author
Surjit has lived in Canada for last 35 years. He has published all around the globe in more than 100 newspapers both in print and online, in addition to being blogger for many sites. HE's also the editor & publisher of Asia Metro News Magazine Toronto Canada