“The Indian Solicitor General hasn’t a clue of Sikh history and no remit to rule on Anglo-Sikh Treaties and the Kohi-i-Noor diamond.”
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK)
British media would be advised to seek advice of British Sikh scholars and activists rather than rely on incorrect information supplied by Indian Solicitor General, Ranjit Kumar, who clearly lacks basic knowledge of Sikh history.
He told the Indian Supreme Court in a written statement that the diamond was given voluntarily by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the British to compensate for the Anglo-Sikh wars. However, someone with a basic knowledge of history will know the Maharaja died in 1839 and the two wars took place years later from 1845-1849.
Sikhs worldwide associate the Koh-i-Noor diamond with Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikh Kingdom, but when the Sikh Kingdom was annexed by the British on 29 March 1849 its ruler was Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s youngest son.
Maharaja, Duleep Singh was only 10 years of age when the last Anglo-Sikh Treaty of Lahore was signed by Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India. It is well known the young Maharaja was separated from his mother who had been imprisoned more than two years earlier and he was not allowed to meet her again for thirteen and a half years. It is a well known fact he was duped into handing the Koh-i-Noor over to Queen Victoria.
When it comes to custody of the Kohn-i-Noor diamond successive British Prime Ministers have referred to the Anglo-Sikh Treaties to justify it as a spoil to war. The Indian Solicitor General and the Indian government has now also acknowledged the Anglo-Sikh Treaties. However, both governments should also admit when India and Pakistan were created some 69 years ago the British hastily exited and reneged on the Anglo-Sikh Treaties that should have also resulted in a Sikh Kingdom.
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)