Solicitor General of India: Kohinoor was not stolen by the British
If there is one thing that every Indian feels bad about losing; it is the priceless Kohinoor diamond. It is common knowledge that the diamond was stolen by the British and taken to Britain, where it presently rests; adorning the British Crown.
But now, according to a statement to the supreme court by the Solicitor General of India, Mr. Ranjit Kumar, “The Diamond was neither stolen nor forcibly taken by British, but was gifted to them by the former rulers of Punjab.” This statement was given at a hearing, following a petition by an NGO – All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front – seeking the government to bring back the Kohinoor diamond to India.
Solicitor General (SG) Ranjith Kumar said that Kohinoor diamond couldn’t bring back to India, as it was gifted to the East India Company by the former rulers of Punjab in 1849.
A day after the SG’s statement in the court, the cultural ministry of India said that the government is making all possible efforts to bring the Kohinoor diamond to India in an amicable manner and they will make the final submission regarding this issue in the Supreme court within six weeks. However, the ministry also stated that the diamond could not be categorised as stolen and added that it will also affect the relation between the two countries; alluding to a statement by Jawaharlal Nehru who had reportedly said that any effort by the Indian government will lead to difficulties between India and the United Kingdom.
It also emphasized that the Modi government has record of getting back several artefacts like 10th century statue of Goddess Durga from Germany, a 900-year-old sculpture Parrot Lady from Canada, and antique statues of Hindu deities from Australian art galleries, without affecting the relations with those countries.
But the Britain government says that they have obtained the Kohinoor diamond legally as a part of the Last Treaty of Lahore, signed in 1849, when English conquered Punjab and the gem had been in the possession of Maharajah Ranjit Singh of Punjab.
Meanwhile, a lawyer from Pakistan, Jawaid Iqbal Jafree has filed a petition at Lahore High Court to bring back the gem to Pakistan and stated in his petition that Kohinoor was forcibly and legally taken by the East India Company. “I am not fighting to bring back the diamond, as it valuable, but it’s our cultural heritage and history of that area of India, that is now Pakistan, as Punjab was divided between Pakistan and India, after they got Independence in 1947.