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A government that does not wish to steal everything it can…. step forward India

The endless scamming of NGOs seems to be a plague on the World, but the Federal Government of India is resisting claims from an NGO, I understand it to be the All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front (but what’s in a name?*),that it should seek to obtain the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Her Britannic Majesty.

Ownership of the famous gem is an emotional issue for many Indians, who believe it was stolen by the British.
However, the solicitor-general said was “neither stolen nor forcibly taken”.

Ranjit Kumar said the 105-carat diamond had been “gifted” to the East India company by the former rulers of Punjab in 1849.
The case is being heard by the Supreme Court after an Indian NGO filed a petition asking the court to direct the Indian government to bring back the diamond.

Oddly, despite its secession from India at independence, a lawyer in Pakistan has claimed the Koh-i-Noor for Pakistan, presumably on the basis that it was the property of a ruler of the Punjab.

The Pakistani petition, lodged with a court in Lahore by Javed Iqbal Jaffry, names Queen Elizabeth II as a respondent.
“Grabbing and snatching it was a private, illegal act which is justified by no law,” he told Reuters.
He is quoted as saying that he has written 786 letters to the Queen and Pakistani officials about it.

Thankfully, most of Mr Jaffry’s fellow citizens do not seem to share his enthusiasm. And a cheer for them too.

There has never been a popular debate or campaign to get the Koh-i-Noor diamond returned in Pakistan, our correspondent adds.

Now will India’s sensible example be enough for Greece to shut up about the Elgin Marbles? After all, they named a whole musical film after the place, and yet they complain about Macedonia daring to speak its own name.

* This group appears to have some form in litigation, without it being immediately clear that Human Rights were foremost in their consideration, trying to get a Bangladeshi lady kicked out of India.

The bench was hearing the appeal filed by NGO ‘All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front’ seeking cancellation of Nasreen’s visa alleging that she has been violating the Foreigners Order of 1948 and the Foreigners Act of 1946 by airing her views on every issue without prior permission.

UPDATE: as Tim’ points out, it appears that another element of the Indian government seeks to maintain the claim, despite the concession made by the Right Honourable and learned Solicitor General in open court. So perhaps the attitude of those bothered is to maintain the ‘learned grudge’ that we find in Greece, Argentina and other delightful places.

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20 comments to A government that does not wish to steal everything it can…. step forward India

  • Julie near Chicago

    It is gratifying beyond words to see that somebody understands that “gift” is not a verb!

    However, it is also encouraging to see that the Indian Government seems to be willing to stand up for a property right — at least in this case. (Assuming that the diamond really was a gift freely given by its rightful owners.)

  • Alisa

    There is nothing wrong with verbing a noun 😛

  • Mr Ed

    Alisa,

    That will Noor away at Julie, she’s a real diamond, be a gem and leave it, she’ll be jaded by all this and might jet off. She can only sapphire so much.

  • Alisa

    🙂

    BTW Ed, which musical?

  • Mr Ed

    Alisa, I dare not say that which ‘is the word’.

  • Paul Marks

    Neither the Republic of India or the Republic of Pakistan existed in 1849.

    As for the Parthenon.

    It was blown up by the forces of the Republic of Venice in a war with the Ottoman Turks (there was no Republic of Greece at the time) – bits of broken temple were sold by the Ottomans (the rulers of the area for several centuries) to Lord Elgin in the 19th century – without him they would not exist.

    For people who want to see the building as it was – do not go to Athens, go to Tennessee (where it has been reconstructed in Nashville – once known as the Athens of the South, before it became known for Country Music). Although the Bavarian version is also interesting – and visiting Bavaria (or Tennessee) makes more sense than visiting Athens (with its endless riots and disruption).

    Finis.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa & Mr Ed, you two oughtn’t to tease me. I am no snowflake, but I am most certainly a tender fragile flower who bruises frightfully easily, and am inclined to hurl crockery (though certainly not invective!) at bruisers and others in their vicinity.

    By the, way … is that word “crockery” capable of more than one interpretation?

    Grinningly Yours,

    🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    And by the way, both of you are guilty of excellent wordplay, much enjoyed. :>))))

  • Ellen

    Mr. Ed notes:

    “I understand it to be the All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front (but what’s in a name?*)…”

    As soon as “Social Justice” appears in a name, you know what’s in it. And if you leave them alone, soon enough we’ll have The People’s Democratic Republic of Wherever, which is even worse.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    In Australia, being ‘verballed’ means the police made up your confession. Go ahead and verbal those nouns- they probably deserved it!

  • I have been to both Athens and London. I have also been to the Koh-i-Noor which is a curry-house in Newcastle. It was OK. Nobody demanded anything but the utterly reasonable cost of dinner for me and my wife and fair enough. It wasn’t great but it was also pretty cheap so I am not gonna write over 700 letters…

  • but the Federal Government of India is resisting claims from an NGO

    Well, the Indian Supreme Court has rejected the claim. But according to the BBC, the Indian government still wants it. Remind me, why does Britain still send aid money to India?

  • Andrew Duffin

    “He is quoted as saying that he has written 786 letters to the Queen and Pakistani officials…”

    Many of them in green ink, I would imagine.

  • Remind me, why does Britain still send aid money to India?

    They can afford a nuclear weapons programme, so yes, why indeed?

  • I sneeze in threes

    The newish museum in Athens presents what they have left with the gaps filled in with obvious plaster reconstructions. I felt it was presented better than the pieces in the British Museum.

  • They can afford a nuclear weapons programme, so yes, why indeed?

    That, and they appear to hate us. I know several men who send money to women who hate them, but they don’t do so voluntarily.

  • CaptDMO

    “maintain the ‘learned grudge’ ”
    I have NEVER heard this exact phrase in US Humanities/economics/PoliSci/Education theory.
    It MAY just be the phrase, put this way, is colloquial in other nations.
    TRIGGER WARNING: Cultural Appropriation is inevitable! (by ME anyway)

  • Rich Rostrom

    There is a chap in my neighborhood (West Rogers Park, Chicago; lots of south Asians) who has “KOHINUR” as the license plate on his SUV.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Cap, isn’t that what history is about- learning the official version of events about your own country’s past?