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Now A New Twist, Return Kohinoor To Lord Jagannath Demands Odisha Group

With Queen Elizabeth II passing away, the world’s largest cut diamond Kohinoor, and the controversies surrounding it, is once again making news. It began with a group in Odisha tweeting that Kohinoor be returned to India. Kohinoor is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, weighing 105.6 carats. It is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. This demand gathered steam with Odisha’s Shree Jagannath Sena submitting a memorandum to the President Droupadi Murmu seeking her intervention to bring back the controversial prized jewel to Odisha and be placed as the crown of Lord Jagannath. Why Lord Jagannath? In their book, Kohinoor: The Story Of The World’s Most Infamous Diamond written by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, the authors say that Maharaja Ranjeet Singh of Punjab had indeed willed to donate his Kohinoor crown to Lord Jagannath in consequence of his prayers amidst failing eyesight much before his death in 1839. But the British under Lord Dalhousie following Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s demise annexed Punjab and shipped the diamond crown to Queen Victoria in 1849. Kohinoor seems like an intellectual, inconclusive, nationalism debate at best.  But the BJP government back in 2014 had buried the Kohinoor controversy to a close saying Kohinoor was gifted to the British crown by Maharaja Duleep Singh.