LONDON: British Indian Member of Parliament Keith Vaz said today for the world-famous ‘Koh-i-Noor’ diamond to be moved to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UK visit in November.
Mr Vaz’s apostil came in response to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s current stirring speech at the Oxford Union calling for Britain to pay reparations to India for 200 years of its brutal colonial rule.
“I welcome Dr Tharoor’s speech and the endorsement of its message by Prime Minister Modi. I share their views. These are genuine complaint which must be addressed.”
“Pursuing monetary reparations is complex, time consuming and potentially fruitless, but there is no excuse for not returning valuable items such as the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a campaign I have backed for many years,” said Mr Vaz, the longest serving British MP of Asian descent.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to UK to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron in November, he has gone out of his way to maintain a strong bilateral relationship.
The Koh-i-Noor was mined in medieval times in the Kollur Mine in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district. At one time it was considered the lot of diamond in the world.
The diamond was originally owned by the Kakatiya dynasty, which had installed it in a temple of a Hindu goddess as her eye. It issued through the hands of different invaders and was finally confiscated by the British during the Raj. Today the diamond is a part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth II.
But till now Britain has refused demands to return the diamond to its country of origin.