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Kohinoor : The History So Far
The Kohinoor is one of the oldest and the most famous diamonds in the world. The current name of the diamond means “Mountain of Light” in Persian. Originally weighing 793 carats (uncut), the diamond now weighs 106 carats. The splendid diamond is believed to bring bad luck to all men who possess it. It is however believed to be immune to women. The diamond is currently on display at the Tower of London.
The history of the Kohinoor has not been conclusively established yet. However it dates back to 3000 BC. It is said that the diamond was referred as Syamantaka jewel in Sanskrit writings. The second ruler of the Turkic Khilji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate acquired the diamond while looting southern India. The diamond remained in the Khilji dynasty and was later passed on to the succeeding dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate.
Later the diamond came in the possession of Babur who invaded India and established the Mughal Empire in 1526. He called the stone the "Diamond of Babur". The diamond was then passed down the Mughal dynasty. Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, placed the stone into his ornate Peacock Throne.Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangazeb, who brought the Koh-I-Noor to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore.
From there the stone was robbed by Nadir Shah. He took the diamond to Persia in 1739.Shah allegedly exclaimed Koh-i-Noor! when he finally lay his hand on the famous stone.
The diamond was brought back to Punjab in 1813 by the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, Shuja Shah Durrani. He surrendered the diamond to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in exchange for help in winning back the Afghan throne. After the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the Kingdom of Punjab was formally annexed to British India and the diamond was presented to Queen Victoria.Ever since the Koh-I-Noor was diamond is worn by the female members of the British Royal Family.As of today, the Koh-I-Noor is on display at the Tower of London with all the other Crown Jewels.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Current Scenario in India
The Supreme Court heard a petition filed by an NGO, All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front, on whether the government is planning on making a bid to get back the Kohinoor. In the court hearing Ranjit Kumar,the Solicitor General said that the diamond, was not stolen by the UK but was given to them by the Sikh king Ranjit Singh.He also said that, “If we claim our treasures like Kohinoor from other countries, every other nation will start claiming their items from us. There will be nothing left in our museums."
On the other hand, Sukhbir Singh Badal,president of the Shiromani Akali Dal issued a public statement on Wednesday asking the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to file a caveat in the Supreme Court demanding the return of the Kohinoor from the UK. The SGPC will represent the Sikh community in the PIL and demand that the diamond should be righteously returned to the real owners i.e the Sikh community. The external affairs ministry will file a response on this issue in six weeks.
Image Source: Wikipedia