A group of people in India are pretty pissed with Britain right now and they want their diamond back.
Bollywood stars and businessmen have launched a legal battle against the Queen, of all people, as they want her to return the £100 million Koh-i-Noor diamond which is currently part of Britain’s crown jewels.
According to the Mail on Sunday, they’ve approached the High Court in London, asking for the jewel to be returned to India.
The diamond was in the crown worn by the Queen Mother at the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937 and again at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.
According to legend, the gem can only be worn by God or women, and whoever wears the jewel will become extremely powerful (unless they’re a bloke), so it’s a pretty badass rock.
The group, who’ve dubbed themselves ‘The Mountain of Light’ after the translation of the stone’s name, claim the 105 carat diamond was stolen from India and they’re demanding the UK government give it back.
The stone, which was once the largest diamond ever mined, was presented to Queen Victoria in 1851 after it was found at Kollur Mine, India. The question of whether it was a gift or it was nicked by the Brits will be a key part of the legal battle.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, businessman David de Souza said:
The Koh-i-Noor is one of the many artefacts taken from India under dubious circumstances.
Souza also claimed the British colonisation of India had stolen wealth and “destroyed the country’s psyche”.
Bollywood actor Bhumicka Singh added:
The Koh-i-Noor is not just a 105-carat stone, but part of our history and culture and should undoubtedly be returned.
Lawyers have said they will base their case on the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act, which gives national institutions in the UK the power to return stolen art.
Not everyone is convinced by the legitimacy of the case, however.
Historian Andrew Roberts added:
Those involved in this ludicrous case should recognise that the British Crown Jewels is precisely the right place for the Koh-i-Noor diamond to reside, in grateful recognition for over three centuries of British involvement in India, which led to the modernisation, development, protection, agrarian advance, linguistic unification and ultimately the democratisation of the sub-continent.
The UK government has also rejected the claims.
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