Shortly after British monarch Queen Elizabeth II handed away on Sept. 8, the phrase “Kohinoor” started trending on Indian Twitter.
It was a reference to one of many world’s most well-known gems. The Kohinoor diamond is only one of two,800 stones set within the crown made for Elizabeth’s mom, referred to as the Queen Mom—however the 105-carat oval-shaped good is the proverbial jewel within the crown.
In India, it’s infamous for the way in which during which it was acquired by the British.
The historical past of the Kohinoor
When it was mined in what’s now modern-day Andhra Pradesh, in the course of the Kakatiyan dynasty of the Twelfth-14th centuries, it was believed to have been 793 carats uncut. The earliest document of its possession places it within the palms of Moguls within the sixteenth century. Then the Persians seized it, after which the Afghans.
The Sikh Maharajah, Ranjit Singh, introduced it again to India after taking it from Afghan chief Shah Shujah Durrani. It was then acquired by the British in the course of the annexation of Punjab. The East India Firm acquired maintain of the stone within the late 1840s, after forcing the 10-year-old Maharajah Dunjeep Singh to give up his lands and possessions.
The corporate then introduced the gem to Queen Victoria. Prince Albert, her consort, requested for it to be recut and it was set within the crowns of Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary earlier than being positioned within the Queen Mom’s crown in 1937.
The Queen Mom wore a part of the crown at her daughter’s coronation in 1953. The Kohinoor has been a part of the British crown jewels since then, however governments in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have all laid declare to the diamond.
The crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mom, containing the well-known Kohinoor diamond, pictured on April 19, 1994.
Tim Graham Photograph Library through Getty Photographs
Britain’s controversial possession of the Kohinoor diamond
Whereas no plans for the way forward for the gem have been disclosed, the prospect of it remaining within the U.Ok. has prompted many Twitter customers in India to demand its return.
“If the King shouldn’t be going to put on Kohinoor, give it again,” wrote one.
One other said the diamond “was stolen” by the British, who “created wealth” from “dying,” “famine” and “looting.”
It isn’t the primary time that the diamond’s return has been sought. Upon India’s independence in 1947, the federal government requested for the diamond again. India made another demand within the 12 months of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. These calls for fell on deaf ears, with the U.Ok. arguing that there are no legal grounds for the Kohinoor’s restitution to India.
British-Indian writer and political commentator Saurav Dutt says the possibilities of the U.Ok. returning the jewel are slim.
Learn Extra: Why King Charles III Was an Unpopular Heir
True, the British lately facilitated the return of the Benin Bronzes—72 artifacts looted by British troopers within the nineteenth century—to the Nigerian authorities. However Dutt says the British royal institution continues to be “married to this romantic model of empire, regardless that it’s lengthy useless, and has misplaced its energy.” The Kohinoor is an emblem of that energy, Dutt argues, and in turning it over, he believes the Royals “would primarily be eviscerating themselves.”
On the very least, King Charles III should acknowledge the “black historical past” of the Kohinoor diamond, Dutt says.
“A recognition of the truth that it was obtained by stealth and deception can be a big step at this stage, that lays the groundwork for the following technology to have the ability to give it again,” he tells TIME.
Extra Should-Learn Tales From TIME