Whose Ko­hi­noor Is It, In Any Case?

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

The Supreme Court should de­ter­mine why the ab­sence of the Ko­hi­noor from In­dia so in­censed the All In­dia Hu­man Rights and So­cial Jus­tice Front that it has filed a pe­ti­tion for its re­turn. Surely, the out­fit should be more con­cerned with wrong­fully in­car­cer­ated and/or ill-treated hu­mans rather than an inan­i­mate hunk of colour­less car­bon repos­ing in a crown in the Tower of Lon­don. Even if the right of di­a­monds to re­side in dig­nity is an is­sue that should take up the pre­cious time of our ju­di­ciary, the ques­tion is moot whether the Ko­hi­noor would be bet­ter off in In­dia than its cur­rent lux­u­ri­ous and for­ti­fied abode, where it is ad­mired daily by hordes of tourists, many of them In­dian. Be­sides, if Bri­tain ever con­cedes that Ko­hi­noor should re­turn to its “right­ful” home, in­ter­na­tional courts may have to de­cide where ex­actly that is. Af­ter all, the Bri­tish got it from the La­hore trea­sury of Ma­haraja Ran­jit Singh, who had re­ceived it from the Afghan Shah Shuja, whose an­ces­tor Ahmed Shah Ab­dali ob­tained it from the Per­sian ruler Nadir Shah, who had grabbed it from the de­feated Mughal em­peror Mo­hammed Shah in Delhi, and so on. And if, as some be­lieve, the Ko­hi­noor was mined in Kol­lur and be­longed to the Kakatiya kings of Waran­gal, would Andhra Pradesh have first claim or its cur­rent state, Te­lan­gana?

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