Businessmen and Bollywood stars have united to instruct lawyers to begin legal proceedings in London’s High Court to return the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
They are calling for the diamond, worn by the Queen Mother at the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937 and then by Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953, to be returned to India.
Sputnik news reports:
The group called “Mountain of Light” after the stone, have instructed British lawyers to begin legal proceedings in London’s High Court for the return of the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
The #Kohinoor should come back to India. Even if it needs to be shared with Pakistan.
— Deepika (@ahlade) November 9, 2015
They claim the 105-carat diamond mined in India around 800 years ago was stolen “under dubious circumstances” and are demanding the British government give it back.
The stone is “one of many artefacts taken from India under dubious circumstances,” said David de Souza from India’s leisure group Titos.
Speaking to London’s Sunday Telegraph, de Souza added: “Colonization did not only rob our people of wealth, it destroyed the country’s psyche itself. It brutalized society, traces of which linger on today in the form of mass poverty, lack of education and a host of other factors.”
The diamond was given to Queen Victoria by the last ruler of the Sikhs, Duleep Singh, following the British annexe of the Punjab in 1849.
The Marquess of Dalhousie, the British governor-general, arranged for it to be presented to the reigning Queen and Duleep Singh traveled to Britain in 1850 with the stone, handing it to Queen Victoria.
Why are indians hyping over a pakistani diamond this is gonna kick off the nuclear war #Kohinoor
— Abdoo ал Либи (@3bduu92) November 9, 2015
The diamond is on public display at the Tower of London. According to legend, the stone can only be worn by God or a woman — if a man wears it, he will meet an unfortunate end.
British Prime Minister David Cameron already defended the UK’s right to keep the jewel back in 2013saying he did not believe in “returnism”.
While historian Andrew Roberts told the Mail on Sunday:
“Those involved in this ludicrous case should recognise that the British Crown Jewels is precisely the right place for the Koh-i-Noor diamond to reside, in grateful recognition for over three centuries of British involvement in India, which led to the modernisation, development, protection, agrarian advance, linguistic unification and ultimately the democratisation of the sub-continent.”