In Re­think, Govt Prom­ises All Steps to Bring Back Ko­hi­noor

Change in po­si­tion af­ter PM Modi en­tered the pic­ture SG re­counted his­tory of the fa­mous diamond based on pre­vi­ous govt po­si­tions, says govt

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Amid heavy crit­i­cism of its stand on the Ko­hi­noor diamond in the apex court, the Modi govern­ment changed track late Tues­day evening to em­pha­sise in­stead on “its re­solve to make all pos­si­ble ef­forts to bring back the Ko­hi­noor Diamond in an am­i­ca­ble man­ner”.

In a state­ment is­sued on Tues­day evening by the Cul­ture min­istry, it is said that “with re g ard to the Ko­hi­noor Diamond too, Govern­ment of In­dia re­mains hope­ful for an am­i­ca­ble out­come whereby In­dia gets back a val­ued piece of art with strong roots in In­dia”.

Highly re­li­able sources told ET that the change in govern­ment po­si­tion has come with Prime Min­siter Naren­dra Modi step­ping into the pic­ture on Tues­day af­ter which marathon meet­ings were held to­day be­tween of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Cul­ture Min­istry and the Arche­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia. It is also gath­ered that ef­forts will now be made to pre­pare a draft ac­tion plan ex­am­in­ing all pos­si­bil­i­ties of bring­ing back the famed diamond back to In­dia from the UK mu­seum.

Oneof thethe­o­riesun­derdis­cus­sion cur­rent­ly­isthatsinceMa­hara­jaDalip Singh was a mi­nor at the time when the Ko­hi­noor was ar­guably gifted to the East In­dia Com­pany, it can­not be con­sid­ered as a gift but as theft-- as per the preva­lent laws.

It is ex­pected that the Modi govern­ment will take up the is­sue strongly and gen­er­ate po­lit­i­cal heat on the is­sue with BJP ex­pected to raise ques­tions about the fail­ure of the Congress and par­tic­u­larly the first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru to make any ef­fort in this di­rec­tion. Tak­ing on Nehru, the Cul­ture min­istry to­day fired the first salvo in­di­cat­ing that the SG’s state­ment on the Ko­hi­noor be­ing a gift has been­derived­fromNehru’sstate­ments and in­di­cat­ing that Nehru was com­plicit in al­low­ing In­dian an­tiq­ui­ties to re­main on for­eign shores.

“Pan­dit Nehru went on record say­ing that there is no ground to claim this art trea­sure back. He also added that ef­forts to get the Ko­hi­noor back would lead to dif­fi­cul­ties.Pan­dit Nehru also said, “To ex­ploit our good re­la­tions with some country to ob­tain free gifts from it of valu­able ar­ti­cles does not seem to be de­sir­able. On the other hand, it does seem to be de­sir­able that for­eign mu­se­ums should have In­dian ob­jects of art.”, the Cul­ture min­istry’s clar­i­fi­ca­tion said.

Pit­ting Nehru’s stand on the sub­ject against PM Modi’s, the Cul­ture min­istry has fur­ther listed out the ef­forts made by the lat­ter to get ‘three sig­nif­i­cant pieces of In­dia’s his­tory back home’ and point­edly men­tioned that ‘noneof the­seges­ture­saf­fect­edIn­dia’s re­la­tions with ei­ther Canada, Ger­many­orAus­tralia’con­trary­tothe po­si­tion taken by Nehru.

Claim­ing SG’s sub­mis­sion in SC was in the na­ture of an ‘ oral state­ment’ re­count­ing the his­tory of the fa­mous diamond based on pre­vi­ous govern­ment po­si­tions, the Cul­ture min­istry to­day is­sued a state­ment say­ing that the “Govern­ment of In­dia has not yet con­veyed its views to the court, con­trary to what is be­ing mis­rep­re­sented”.

The min­istry has listed out an­tiq­ui­ties re­trieved in the Modi regime:

In Oc­to­ber 2015, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel re­turned a 10th cen­tu­ryIn­di­anstat­ueof God­dessDur­gathat was stolen in 1990 and found in 2012 at a mu­seum in Ger­many. In April 2015, then Cana­dian PM Stephen Harper re­turned a sculp­ture known as ‘Par­rot Lady’, which dates back to 900 years. Then Aus­tralian PM Tony Ab­bott, on his In­dia visit in 2014 had re­turned an­tique stat­ues of Hindu deities that were in Aus­tralian art gal­leries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.