India Insists on Recovering Crown Jewel from Britain

June 5, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. possession / pəˈzɛʃ ən / (n.) – ownership
Example: The antique vases discovered are currently in the possession of the local government.

2. reiterate / riˈɪt əˌreɪt / (v.) – to repeat something that was already said, usually for emphasis
Example: The man reiterated his statement yesterday in a letter.

3. amicable / ˈæm ɪ kə bəl / (adj.) – characterized by peace and harmony
Example: The meeting between the world leaders was an amicable affair.

4. exploit / ɪkˈsplɔɪt / (v.) – to use something for selfish gains
Example: Some mining companies exploit the country’s resources.

5. roots / ruts / (n.) – one’s history or connection with something
Example: The vases discovered in the cave have roots in the country’s ancient culture.


Read the text below.
The Indian government wants to recover the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, a valuable jewel now set in the Imperial State Crown of Britain.

The jewel, a 105.6-carat diamond, has been in the possession of Britain since Queen Victoria’s reign in the 1850s, during which some Indian regions were still under the British rule. Many Indians believe that the jewel was stolen by the British Empire during its colonial reign. Recently, the government reiterated its desire to retrieve the precious item as it hopes to recover the jewel through all possible efforts in an amicable manner.

The government’s announcement of its intent came after a previous opposite statement made by the solicitor general of New Delhi, Ranjit Kumar. Kumar told the Supreme Court that it should stop trying to win back the diamond because it was presented as a gift to the Queen of Britain in 1851 by successors of Indian ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Kumar’s statement also quoted India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Neru, who said in 1956 that exploiting good relations with other countries to obtain valuable objects does not seem desirable, and that claims to the diamond may lead to difficulties.

However, the Ministry of Culture believes that the diamond must be returned to India as it is a valued piece of art with strong roots in the nation’s history.

The diamond came into the possession of various rulers of the Mogul, Persian, and Afghan empires since it was mined centuries ago in Golconda, now Indian state Andhra Pradesh. At present, the Koh-i-Noor is in the Tower of London.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that India should keep fighting for the return of the diamond? Why or why not?
·         What do you think should be the response of Britain to India’s campaign?

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of keeping a nation’s art and wealth in its possession?
·         On the other hand, what do you think is the advantage of having your country’s art displayed in foreign museums?

June 5, 2016