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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Give us back our diamond

This piece of mine appears in the Daily Express.

Descendants of an exiled maharaja have launched a legal battle to reclaim the priceless Koh-i-Noor jewel given as a gift to Queen Victoria.

IT IS the most famous diamond in the world. The fabulous Koh-i-Noor was given as a "gift" in 1850 to Queen Victoria from 11-year-old Duleep Singh, the last maharaja of the Sikh Empire, and remains to this day at the heart of our crown jewels.

But for Sikhs the affair still rankles as the diamond was acquired by coercion after the British had annexed the Punjab region and yesterday Singh’s descendants launched a legal action for the diamond, other possessions of the maharaja’s family and also Singh’s body to be returned to India.

You can read the whole article here.


DBC Reed said...

Great article though it reads like a plea for the restoration of the princely states.What next a campaign to get King Farouk's bloodline restored to the rule of Egypt so continuing 1950's Foreign Office policy in opposition to the American plan to be "more democratic" ?(Look how that's turned out.)
I am realy writing because I am confused by the reference to the Nawab of Pataudi.Did n't he play English first-class cricket in the 60's?

Neil Clark said...

Hi DBC, many thanks.
both the eighth and ninth Nawab of Pataudi played first class cricket in England, both captained India too. The ninth played for Sussex. That's probably the one you're thinking of.

DBC Reed said...

Yes I did some digging on the Net and it was the Ninth Nawab I was thinking of.The present (Tenth )
Nawab seems to be a former Bollywood star.They don't seem to have lost their capacity for style!

DBC Reed said...

Talking of Nawab style- the ruling family of Oudh is represented in Ray's masterly Chess-Players as thinking (not for long) of defending himself against the British with his army of girls on white horses; the down-on-her-luck Princess of Oudh was shown on British telly living in New Delhi Railway Station with possessions, servants and no little hauteur;now Le Monde Diplomatique web-site shows them living in an old hunting lodge outside Delhi but with no mains services.
Strange that the British,even the working class, view this class with affection but the Indians themselves can't stand them .

Neil Clark said...

Hi DBC- yes, that's a very good point.