Blind greed and power has been the reason of human miseries since time immemorial .In human history we have witnessed time and again when means to an end is ruthless , the outcome is most unfortunate.
I am digressing a bit from my usual blog topics as I am unintentionally drawing comparisons of the current scenarios with the happenings in the past .I am a history buff and had been a great fan of William Dalrymple. His books prove his unadulterated love for history and India time and again .After all these years in India ,he does not betray a single emotion which states otherwise .He has contributed immensely to the art and culture scene of India .
I had the opportunity to read his latest addition to the list of already existing best sellers , Kohinoor , The story of infamous diamond ;He undertook this project with his co author , Anita Anand .This book is about journey of one of the most famous diamonds of the world.As the diamond changed its physical location , so did the history of the subcontinent .Its the story of how a British business concern , set its foot in India as businessmen and then spread their tentacles all over India through sheer greed , cunning and conquests .
The diamond traveled its bloody journey from the eye of an idol in one of the temples of south India , through various dynasties ruling the then India , The Tuglaq,Lodhis,Mughals Afghans and then the last reigning king of Punjab ,Raja Ranjit Singh.
When East India company first came to India ,India’s GDP was almost 23% of the world GDP .Diamonds were not preferred as precious stones but Ruby and other precious stones were. Till the 18th century , India was one of the very few countries where most of the world diamonds came from.Various myths associated with Kohinoor was cleared along the way as till date most of the references are not very authentic .
The journey of the diamond ends with the annexation of Kingdom of Punjab , from its ten year old king , Raja Duleep Singh and the ultimate destination of the diamond , in the museum of Tower of London . Like most of his books it’s an unstoppable read with multiple interesting anecdotes .
Human history is unfair and it’s not a mythological journey where good always wins over the bad .But when we step into the web with our eyes and ears open that’s when the feeling of the helplessness creeps in .