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Heritage Kohinoor Of Sikhs

In response to a report on BBC NEWS dated 29th July 2010, David Cameron(British PM on visit to India) has rejected calls for the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, which has been part of the Crown Jewels for 150 years, to be returned to India.

I better warn the British Government that in case this precious diamond is ever returned , then it has to be returned to Darbar Sahib or Golden temple, Amritsar (Punjab), not to government of India because it was never a state property.

Though it was confiscated by Lord Dalhusie as he claims but actually Lord Dalhousie duped the child king which is discussed here and some honest British person like John Sullivan questioned the British Empire in July 1850.

Kohi-Noor is the property of Sikhs only, not of government of India.

But historian Dr Anna Keay told the BBC that since its creation, the diamond had had many different owners, being in Persian and Afghan as well as Indian hands.

"The crucial thing is this diamond has been in circulation certainly since the beginning of the 16th Century during which time it has been in the hands of whole sequence of different rulers," told Radio 4's Today programme.

"The question is to which point do you take it back."

So the detailed information is being given to her that, how Maharaja Ranjit Singh was presented this precious diamond, The Shah in a ceremonial manner, handed over the most precious diamond in the world, to the Maharaja.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji

Acquisition of Kohi-Noor by Ranjit Singh and Dalhosie;

As the precious diamond Kohinoor is now the property of Queen of England but whether she is the real owner of that precious jewel? No – She is not. It was dubiously taken from the child king Duleep Singh by a conspiracy of the conman Lord Dalhousie.

So I am giving the proves of malicious moves of Lord Dalhousie to dupe the child king and to take away the diamond and give it in the name of surrender whereas in the treaty with Lahore Darbar, this precious jewel was declared/ accepted as the property of Maharaja and his family. The British had no right to confiscate it by conspiracy and to adorn in the crown. Neither it was taken as a booty nor it was taken honorably but by jeopardize in faith of their friend, after his death.

Several accounts have been given regarding the manner of it’s possession with Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The nearest truth is narrated by Sayyad Faqir Waheed-ud-deen in his “Real Ranjit Singh. New Delhi, pp-87-90”’ as the same is based on his familyrecords , an extremely authentic source. He writes, “In 1812, Shah Shuja, a former king of Kabul, was prisoner of Ata Mohd., the Governor of Kashmir. Wazir Fateh Khan of Kabul was planning of invasion of Kashmir. Wafa Begum wife of Shah Shuja, who was then residing at Lahore, under protection of Maharaja Ranjit singh, feared that Shuja, might be murdered, in case Fatheh Khan was able to conquer Kashmir.

She promised KOHI-NOOR to Ranjit Singh as a reward, if Shuja could be united to family, at Lahore. On the other hand, Fateh Khan promised Rupees Nine Lacs in cash and half the loot, if Ranjit Singh helped him conquer Kashmir.

Both the offers were good and did not clash with each other. These were therefore accepted.

The Sikh general Dewan Mohkam Chand, ensured safety of Shah Shuja by employing utmost tact and ability and brought him back to Lahore thus fulfilling the Darbar’s part of the deal. But Shah Shuja and Wafa Begum began dallying dallying. Ranjit Singh then sent an offer of Rs. 3 Lacs and an annual Jagir of 50,000/- Rs., for the family. This was accepted by the Shah, but prayed for fifty day’s time which was granted.

On its expiry the Shah decided to handover the Kohi-Noor, if Maharaja comes in person to receive it.

This was agreed to.

The Shah in a ceremonial manner, handed over the most precious diamond in the world, to the Maharaja. The episode closed with an exchange of presents and robes of honor.

The Maharaja himself escorted the Shah to his harem.

Lord Dalhousie was no less anxious for the acquisition of the KOHI-NOOR than the conquest of the kingdom of Punjab. He wrote to Sir Henry Lawrence, then Resident at Lahore, “ to make every disposition for the safe custody of the State Jewels which were about to fall in the lap of English….It had, in fact, been found more than once on the enrollment of some new province in our Empire, which, whether by cession, by lapse or forcible annexation was growing, or about to grow, so rapidly, that the State Jewels or money had a knack of disappearing. Great care was therefore, needful, as among the Punjab jewels was the matchless Kohi-Noor, which it was intended should be expressly surrendered by Maharaja to the English Queen.

Maharaja Duleep Singh-the duped king.


The first important act of Lord Dalhousie, after annexation was the confiscation of property in the Lahore Toshakhana. In addition to jewels and treasurers in gold, silver and precious stones, dishes, plates, cups, cooking pots, many valuable curiosities and relics of all kinds and vast store of Kashmir shawls, choghas, etc., and the swords of Persian hero Rustam and Wazir Fateh Khan Barkzai of Kabul and the wedding garments of Sardar Maha Singh, father of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, there were ;

(a)- The Kalgi or Plume of Guru Gobind Singh,

(b)- The Kohi-Noor diamond,

(c)- Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s golden chair, silver summer- house, gold and silver poled tents and equipage of rich Cashmere and his magnificent arms and armor.

(d)- Shah Shuja’s pavilion, gorgeously embroidered.
(Sir John and Maharaja Duleep Singh, pp. 182-83).

On November 28, 1849, Lord Dalhousie inspected the Tosha-khannah articles and decided not only on the sale of the most of the property but also on the removal of certain valuables to England for presentation to the Queen and for preservation in official museum there.

The child Maharaja was allowed to take with him only a very small part of his things to Fatehgarh in the United Province (UP), where he was removed in February 1850, when he was away from his State of Punjab.

The treaty of 1849 (Annexation) declared that all property of the State of Lahore shall be confiscated. Article 3 of the same Treaty treats the Kohi-Noor as the private property of the Maharaja, for by it, the Maharaja is made to surrender the Kohi-Noor to the Queen of England-showing that it was not amongst the property confiscated in Article-2; and the same character holds good as to the other jewels derived from Shah Shuja, for an emerald with Ahmad Shah’s name engraved upon it, and a saddle pommel made of a single emerald, both from this source, were included among the articles which the Maharaja was allowed to retain at the annexation as his private property.

Thus it was unjustifiable to characterize the property contained in the catalogues as having been confiscated by the treaty of Lahore.

Dr. login, who was appointed Maharaja’s tutor and superintendent, describes the handing over of the Kohi-Noor to Dalhousie, in a letter to his wife, then in England, “Lord Dalhousie came to my quarters before he left Lahore, bringing with him a small bag, made by Lady Dalhousie to hold the jewel; and after I had formally made it over to him, he went into my room and fastened it round his waist, under his clothes, in my presence. Lord Dalhousie himself wrote out the formal receipt for the jewel, and there my responsibility ended, and I felt it a great load taken off me. All the members of the Board of Administration were present, and countersigned the document. The other jewels were also sealed up and made over.(Lady Login, Lady Login's recollections, Language department Punjab, 1970, p.81)

Thus, we have seen how the eleven year old Maharaja Duleep Singh was innocently duped and deprived, not only of his kingdom but also of such national and personal unique marvels as the Kalgi of Guru Gobind Singh, the matchless jewel Kohi-Noor and even the wedding garments of his grand father, the great Sardar Mahan Singh.

How the British says that the Sikhs have no right on Kohi-Noor?

It was taken in a forceful manner by duping the treaty and jeopardized the faith of a friend who was no more-the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After the death of their friend Maharaja Ranjit Singh, it was the duty of British Empire to take care of the child King and his property but he was forced to deprive of, not only of his Empire but of his valuables assets also.

The British even took away his cooking pots and utensils, either sold them or taken away to the kitchen of Queen as she had not enough.

It is very clear here mentioned within the Treaty that the, The treaty of 1849 (Annexation) declared that all property of the State of Lahore shall be confiscated. Article 3 of the same Treaty treats the Kohi-Noor as the private property of the Maharaja.

When a clause as Article 3, was already included to the effect that the British could not confiscate the personal property of the late King, how could Dalhousie take it from the child king? Is it justifiable?

The Kohi-Noor, though was offered by Wafa Begum, the wife of Shah Shuja herself to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ‘If’ (conditionally) brings back her husband Shah Shuja safely, who was in prison of Ata Mohd., the Governor of Kashmir.Dewan Mohkam Chand ensured safety of Shah Shuja, who brought him back to Lahore. Even then after his release Maharaja pays him Three lacs of Rupees and a Jagir of 50,000/- Rs., even then the Shah Shuja was not forced to handover the Kohi-Noor to Maharaja but granted a time period of 50 days. After expiry of the period, Shah Shuja, handed over the most precious jewel of the world in a ceremonial manner and with the exchange of presents and robes of honor.

To prove the claim of Sikhs on Kohi-Noor........

An article was published in Times news paper in london before the ceremony of the contempl;ate it the Kohi-Noor to Her Majesty, in which the honest British people honestly condemned Britishh empire as;

some exracts from a lengthy communication dated July 1850, to Sir john Hobhouse, then Head of India Office in London, by John Sullivan, under the caption ‘The Kohi-Noor, to whom does it belong?
(Ed. Ganda Singh, The Punjab past and present, Vol IV, Part-I, Serial no. 7, April 1970,pp.109-55)

It reads , “By to-day’s” Times” I see that the great Diamond, the Koh-i-Noor, or Mountain of Light”, has been brought to this country, and that it is contemplation it to Her Majesty. It will be literally “the brightest Jewel” in her crown, and will aptly symbolize that great empire of which she is the head; but before you recommend Her Majesty to place it there, it may be prudent to ascertain whose property it is.”

The precious gem was the property of Duleep Singh, the young Rajah of Lahore, with whom, in March 1946, we concluded a treaty of “Perpetual peace and friendship,” but from whom on the 29th March 1849, we took his territory. Declaring it henceforth to be a portion “of the British Empire in India”. What then had the young Rajah done in this short interval to bring down such a heavy visitation upon him ?’

Further he writes, “ Though the state of Lahore had remained faithful to its engagements with the British Governments, the Government had violated its own engagements with the Lahore state.

I conclude this long story with an answer to the question on the title page, “ To whom does the Kohi-Noor belong ?”

“The Kohi-Noor,” therefore, in the opinion of the Governor-General did not form part of the property of the State. He might have made it such if he had pleased—but he failed to do so. He had no more right, therefore, I humbly venture to say, to compel his ward, the Maharaja of Lahore, to surrender the Kohi-Noor to the Queen of England, than Ranjit Singh had to extort it from Shah Shuja,”

(Perhaps Mr. John Sullivan, then, did not have the correct account of Shah Shuja’s handing over of the Kohi-Noor to Ranjit Singh as a token of gratitude, for having him released from the custody of Atta Mohammad, Governor-General of Kashmir, which Wazir Fateh Khan of Kabul, an inveterate enemy of the Shah and his family, then residing under protection of Ranjit Singh at Lahore).
(Faqir Wahid-ud-Din, Real Ranjit Singh, New Delhi edition, pp. 87-90)

(I am thankful to Sardar Karnail Singh, for his splendid work in presenting the treasure on betrayl of British with his late friend after his death and confiscation of his property and personal valuables from the minor son of their friend, reveals the treachery and the jeopardize in faith, for which, History shall never excuse them).

The contents of this blog are taken from "ANGLO-SIKH WARS" written by Karnail Singh ji and published by SGPC, Sri Amritsar., to prove that Kohi-Noor belongs to Sikhs, though it adorns the crown of Queen of England.

Ajmer Singh Randhawa


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