BIRMINGHAM, UK—In a large Panthik meeting in the UK, the Sikh Council UK and a strong selection of UK-wide Gurdwara Sahib leaders agreed that the Sikh nation would be opposed to the Kohinoor being returned to India, or Pakistan. And instead, should remain in it’s current custodianship, until such a time that the Sikhs were prepared to take possession.
The decision comes after the release of the recent release of a movie depicting Maharaja Duleep Singh, The Black Prince, re-ignited the debate surrounding the acquisition of the diamond from the Sikh treasury of Maharaj Ranjit Singh, by the British, after they invaded the Punjab nearly two centuries ago. The diamond currently sits in display at the Tower of London.
It is widely accepted by Sikh historians and antique Sikh artifact collectors that since the jewel was taken from the Sikh nation, not Indian nor Pakistani, it cannot be claimed by those states. Historians such as Davinder Singh Toor, of the UK, have noted that India has no comparable means of securing and maintaining delicate antiques in the way that the UK currently does.
The gathering of Sikh leaders also agreed that the buried remains of Duleep Singh should not be exhumed for a cremation in India, as this too has become a subject of much discussion amongst Indians.
The Sikh leaders also deliberated on other matters concerning UK Sikhs, such as building more consensus between Gurdwara Sahibs there, creating more accord between inter-organizational structures and the media, raising issue with inclusion of Sikhs in UK law regarding caste, and creating further in-roads of dialogue and positive contribution of Gurdwara Sahib executives in positive collaborative efforts.
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