The Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) summer special this year is yet another attempt to get back the Kohinoor diamond from the British. The Brits have said no chance but we shall soldier on.
Now we are very attached to the fabled diamond that carries with it a curse that no man who wears it can rest easy. We have named a brand of rice, a brand of condoms etc after the lustrous gem so perhaps the ASI feels that we should have the real McCoy in our hands. As well as all the other treasures that the Brits carted off.
A visit to our top museums and monuments will show how much we revere the past. Inscribed in stone are legends like ‘Pinki loves Pappu’ on the walls of millennia-old monuments and we display our love for artifacts by letting the adoring public get a real feel of them. Of course, this could mean that bits and pieces fall off or even that the faithful cart them right away, but let that not prevent us from displaying our connection with our heritage.
Years ago when the British sent around the Badshahnama to India, we were aghast at how well it was preserved. Left to us, we would have given it more contemporary touch in our own unique way. We believe in utility value. So you may find that people have taken up residence in old monuments and tombs, even razed them to make way for development. Nothing like keeping up with the times.
So, instead of asking the Brits to return the Kohinoor, we should teach them a right royal lesson for all those years they lorded it over us. Let us send them whatever treasures we have left and let the British taxpayer cough up to restore and preserve them. We have enough problems keeping our head above the water without having to provide security and maintenance to some old bag of bones or trinkets. And we would appreciate thanks in cash or kind for coming up this gem of an idea.