Return Our Diamond The Queen Is Dead – Indians Calls For The Return of Koh-i-Noor To India

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Indians are calling for the return of Koh-i-Noor, the world’s most expensive diamond, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week.

The 105.6-carat oval-shaped Koh-i-Noor, which means “mountain of light” in Persian and is worth $591 million, is believed to have been found in the Kollur mines in the modern-day Indian state of Andhra Pradesh between the 12th and 14th centuries, during the Kakatiya dynasty rule.

It travelled through several Indians dynasties including the Turco-Afghan Khilji, the Mughals, the Persians, the Afghans and the Sikh rulers before ending up with the British colonial empire and is kept at the Tower of London.

For centuries the stone was owned by kings in the Indians subcontinent before British colonisers took it and made it a prized possession of the monarchy.

For decades, Indians, Pakistanis, Afghans and Iranians have laid claim to the precious stone, which is believed to bring bad luck to its male owners.

Britain has consistently declined the claims and asserted they were legal owners of the gemstone, a view held by India’s Supreme Court which ruled that the diamond was not looted or stolen but procured by the colonisers through a legal treaty.

But social media users in India have been demanding the return of the famed gemstone since the queen death on September 8, promoting petitions for the cause.

Venkatesh Shukla started a petition aiming to get 1 million signatures on LinkedIn, reminding the “honourable country” UK to return the “loot”. So far, it has just 6,500 signatures.

“Every time the crown appears with Koh-i-Noor as the jewel of the crown, it reminds the world of Britain’s colonial past and the shameful way they got a five-year-old prince to “gift” it to Britain,” Mr Shukla wrote.

“The British monarchy isn’t obviously going to give it back. If we as an emerging strong country have any sort of civilizational memory and self-respect, we should officially ask them to return [it],” said Twitter user Krithika Sivaswamy.

In Puri, Odisha in India’s east, servitors of the Jagannath Temple have also launched a campaign demanding the stone, citing a letter by Sikh emperor Ranjit Singh.

He had pledged to offer it to the deity, before the British took it from his king, who was 10 years old at the time.

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