Diamond, God’s unique and fascinating creation, is a symbol of eternal love for woman, a way of expressing a man’s intense desire to have a woman as his life’s partner to begin the tedious and challenging life’s journey. Diamonds are girls’ best friend and a man’s best tool to assure a woman of his promise of sustained love and security for life. As for rich people, possessing an expensive diamond is a status symbol. Its aura is unique among all gems.
The precious stone:
No other precious stone invokes as much mystery and fear and at the same time awe as a diamond does. The threat of the Koh-i-Noor diamond’s curse was very much there and it caused a sense of uneasiness among the owners. Indian people believe a pure diamond without blemish (in local parlance “Thosham”) will bring in fortune. Hence diamond buyers here are tempted to ask all kinds of questions to the traders regarding ”thosham,” meaning bad luck or blemish. Literally it means any microscopic crack or cleavage in it. Most minerals and gems do have cleavage(s) as thin as hair.
Little about Diamonds:
Geologically speaking, the gemstones and diamonds are formed several miles far deep below the earth’s crust-mantle – 140 and 190 kilometers (87 and 118 miles) under certain optimum temperature and pressure in certain parts of the earth. The magma – molten rock liquid is pushed up to the earth’s surface during volcanic eruptions. Later the hot lava (magma that is pushed to the surface), under different temperature conditions solidifies and forms minerals in crystal forms of various sizes and rocks. Because of inner textural changes, invariably most of the minerals and gemstones develop cleavage which may be microscopic or otherwise along with some impurities.
Cleavage patterns depend on the nature of packing of atoms in a mineral. So, as such, it is difficult to come across cent percent perfect crystal of any mineral. Stable parts of continental plates where regions of lithosphere known as Cratons that allow diamond crystal to grow. In fact, diamonds, with free nitrogen and good natural reflection are considered to be of high quality. India’ s famous diamonds originating from Kollur-Golconda mines belong to this category.
The Indian Gem:
Koh-i-Noor diamond, one of the most famous diamonds, was once the largest known gem stone in the world. It was mined at Kollur Mines, in the present new state of Telengana, in southern India. Originally weighed 793 carats when uncut, it is now a 105.6 metric carat diamond, weighing 21.6 grammes in its most recent cut state. It’s double is the Darya-ye Noor (the “Sea of Light”) diamond.
Turning our attention back to curses purportedly some famous diamonds carry, many incidents diamond owners were reported to have experienced have a mixture of both objective as well as subjective elements. As for the Kohinoor diamond, whoever possessed it, had his or her share of misery and misfortune that affected them very much psychologically.
The possible curse of the diamond:
The Curse of Kohinoor Diamond dates back to a Hindu text from the time of the first authenticated appearance of the diamond in 1306. The following is the Curse of the Kohinoor Diamond which reads:
“He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.”
Different rulers of the Diamond:
The old history and lives of the rulers who owned the Koh-i-Noor diamond were completely filled with abundence of violence, murders, and mayhem, mutilations, torture and treachery. The following unexpected, sad incidents seem to have some kind of link with the precious stones possessed by the owners who happened to be rulers or rich people:
- The Yadhavs of the Kakathiyas dynasty – a Telugu empire – 1083 to 1323 AD originally owned this diamond and had it installed it in a temple of a Hindu goddess as her eye in the early 14th century.
In 1294, Malik Kafur led the Khilji’s army through the Mountain range, attacking the capital city of the Yadava kingdom of Devagiri.
The Khilji kingdom:
The army of Turkic Khilji dynasty began raiding kingdoms of southern India for loot. Malik Kafur, an eunuch and Alauddin Khilji’s military general, made a successful raid on Warangal in 1310. He looted the treasury of Kakatiya kingdom and Hindu temples. The ruler was Pradapapudra. The booty, according to Al-Birani, historian, included 214 tons of gold and countless gemstones including the Koh-i-noor diamond. The diamond remained with Khilji dynasty, and later passed on to the succeeding dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate. According to Babur Nama (first version of written version of diamonds custody by Emperor Babur). Allauddin Khilji was the first ruler to seize Kohinoor from the Hindu king.
- Delhi Sultan, who owned the gemstone, was later betrayed by MalikKafur who tried to take over the Sultanate.
- Malik Kafur was a homosexual and had a close relationship with his master Allauddin Khilji. After the death of Khilji, he blinded two of the heir princes and made the third, the King, 35 days after the death of his lover. Kaufer was later assassinated by his close associates who could not bear his atrocities and obnoxious character and at last he met with tragic death.
Before the British:
- When the Moguls (descendants of Timuroid) took the control over the empire after Lodi. They had all kinds of problems both within the royal family and in the management of various regions. Aurangazeb, who was an ardent collector of precious stones, killed his own brothers, imprisoned his sick father and seized the throne. He did not have good relationship with his sister either as she had begun to dislike his cruel nature. In fact, he became a religious bigot India had ever known – suppressed the Hindus, who formed the majority, and destroyed innumerable temples. He waged several costly battles particularly against the mighty Marathas and ultimately emptied the Mogul treasury. In the twilight of his life, he was not not happy and the Mogul economy was in shambles. Aurangazeb had the diamond cut and the new weight of the stone was 186 carats.
The dissolvement of the Mughal empire:
- After Aurangazeb, the Mogul empire became powerless and had no resources to maintain the army. Their reputation and influence hit the rock bottom. The last Mogul ruler Bagadur Shah Safar suffered a lot during the British occupation.
- Nadir Shaw, the ruler of Afsharid Persia of Persian empire invaded Delhi 1739 at the right time. He brutally plundered Delhi and made the Mogul ruler bleed. Along with the Peacock Throne, he also carried off the Koh-i-Noor to Persia. That was the beginning of the fall of Mogul Empire and beginning of trouble for the Persian ruler as well.
- Later, the proud owner of Kohinoor Nadir Shah saw his downfall, went mad and became very cruel. He burdened the people with heavy tax to wage wars. Ultimately, he was assassinated in 1747, thus paving the way for the down fall of the Persian empire. Later the stone came into the hands of his general, Ahmad Shāh Durrānī. He later became the Emir of Afghanistan in 1830.
During the British rule:
- Subsequently, the deposed Emir of Afghanistan and a descendant of Ahmad Shah Durrani, managed to flee with the diamond. Later there was some dispute over the ruling class. The wife of Shah Suja (Momumud brothers) sought the help of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab. The Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh got the stone surreptitiously in return for his help.
The ownership shifted:
- The British came to India in 1600 just as traders: after
the Moguls became powerless, through coercion, trick and cunningness. They took away many parts of the Indian subcontinent and made the rich, affluent Maharajahs and Nawobs powerless and slashed their money power. Then, Maharajah Ranjit Singh was the founder and ruler of the Sikh Empire based in Punjab region of India and died in 1839. Then, on 29 March, 1849, Punjab became part of the British Crown. Accordingly, as per the terms of the Treaty of Lahore and the legal agreement. Kohinoor diamond became British possession. Dulip Singh, youngest son of Ranjit Singh and his fifth
wife Maharani Jind Kaur. Dulīp, aged 13, handed over the diamond to the Queen at a ceremony. On 3 July, 1850 also presented to Queen Victoria. It was the same day when the world famous Timur ruby possessed by the Royal family of Punjab.
The British acquisition:
The British Royal family members were obviously aware of the curse of the Kohinoor:
“all the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them!“
And from the beginning reign of Queen Victoria of England, when the Kohinoor
diamond came into her possession. The diamond has always gone to the wife of the male heir to the British throne.
After the arrival of this diamond in England. The British began to lose the empire one by one – Indian sub continent. In addition, their military muzzle south of the Suez and a major source of revenue became a separate country in August 1947. An early symptom of disintegration of the empire was Britain’s withdrawal from India in 1947.
The World War:
In the world war II Britain did not achieve any thing on its own. Russians and Americans took the credits. The Suez canal crisis in 1950’s further weakened them. Their political differences with Ireland and countries like Rhodesia became thorns. The 1956 Suez canal crisis blatantly exposed Britain’s military and financial weakness. Ghana and Malaysia became independent in 1957; later Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda between 1961 and 1963. The white settlers of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) gave so much trouble in 1965. It became an unrecognized independent country under Ian Smith.
As for British Royal family members, they had their own share of trouble. Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India (1947-48), a close member of the British royal family, his grand son and others were killed in a bomb attack (1979) in Ireland. Incidentally Lord Mountbatten and his wife were close friends of first Prime Minister of India Pandit Nehru.
After the War:
After Prince Charles marriage with Ms. Diana Spencer, the couple had serious marital problems which became a fodder for the news – hungry British and other media world over. Their marriage ended in divorce on 28 August, 1996. Ms. Diana won the heart of people world over through her humility, care for the poor and charity. Alas, her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August, 1997 was followed by intense public mourning. Presently, the royal family is not financially doing well because their dole – royal maintenance allowance had been cut.
The domino effect:
The domino effect that began with the loss of India was a great and staggering blow for the British world power. Is the curse of Kohinoor diamond plucked from the Hindu God’s eye centuries ago responsible for the fall of the British Empire by 1960’s? It is an enigma!!
The Golconda region now forms the newly carved state of Telengana. It is about 11 miles near Hyderabad, major IT center in the world. Golla Konda means ”Shepard hill.”Golconda was the capital of a Sultanate – 1518 to 1687.
The diamond is now part of the Royal British Jewelry collection kept in the London Tower museum and is a permanent remainder of British rule in India as follows:
The British, during their oppressive rule from the Himalayas in the north to the tip of Kanyakumari, S. India, made every talented Indian bled. No Maharajahs, Nawobs, no tribal community and others had escaped their discrimination, tyranny, double-crossing, exploitation and out-right cheating, not to speak of over exploitation of Indian workers as slaves in other British colonies. Finally, they created artificial famines in Bengal that left millions dead.
Thanks to the generosity of Sir Winston Churchill, the conservative political leader. Gen. Reginald Dyer massacred innocent people including children and women in Jallianwala Bagh, Punjab in 1900’s under silly excuse. Later, they saw to it that that the united India was divided on communal lines before leaving the Indian soil in August 1947.
However, there were scores of nice British gentlemen who supported India all the way. By the same taken, there were numerous British engineers and officials who served India in a selfless way far above politics and in true Christian spirit. For this reason, Indians will never forget these great British people who really stood for the British spirits and impartiality and served the Indian natives under odd circumstances.