Kohinoor was not gifted to the British but they took it away by force from India, says historian and author William Dalrymple, who has written a new book with journalist Anita Anand on the "rock star gem" that has a complex history and has been the subject of intrigue and enigma for centuries.
"What we objected to is this nonsense that people think it was a gift from Ranjit Singh. It was not a gift. When the diamond was taken away, the Maharaja was already dead." says Anand, the co-author of the book "Kohinoor: The Story of the World's Most Infamous Diamond". According to the authors, it was Ranjeet Singh's 10-year-old son Maharaja Duleep Singh from whose possession the gem was taken away on March 29, 1849.
The remarks, which they have established in the book with newly-discovered historical evidence, are significant because the fabled Kohinoor returned to media spotlight earlier this year when India reclaimed it. However, the government on April 16 told the Supreme Court that the diamond was given freely to the British by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and had been "neither stolen nor forcibly taken by British rulers".
With Inputs from IANS
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