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Indirect apology fine, but don\'t expect Koh-i-Noor diamond back from British
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Amritsar: British colonial era saw many atrocities committed on Indians. British Prime Minister David Cameron has offered indirect apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 but he refuses to go further. He is in no mood to consider returning our Koh-i-Noor snatched away in 1850. This diamond was set in the late Queen Elizabeth I’s crown and now it is on display in the Tower of London.

 Koh-i-Noor is one of the world’s largest diamonds. Some Indians – including independence leader Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson – have demanded its return to atone for Britain’s colonial past.

“I don’t think that’s the right approach,” Cameron told reporters on Wednesday. “It is the same question with the Elgin Marbles,” he said, referring to the classical Greek marble sculptures that Athens has long demanded be given back.

“The right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions to do exactly what they do, which is to link up with other institutions around the world to make sure that the things which we have and look after so well are properly shared with people around the world.

“I certainly don’t believe in ‘returnism’, as it were. I don’t think that’s sensible.”

If Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, eventually becomes queen consort she will don the crown holding the diamond on official occasions.

When Elizabeth II made a state visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s independence from Britain in 1997, many Indians demanded the return of the diamond.

Cameron says he is anxious to focus on the present and future rather than "reach back" into the past.

Cameron desires to make the most of huge Indian market and its economic rise but when it comes to setting the old records straight, he prefers to toe the old line.

source: timesofindia



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