Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And now, Tipu's throne finial under the hammer

Here's an opportunity for India's diplomatic corps to do something worthwhile for the country. Time to launch a diplomatic offensive and retrieve our treasures from the plunderers. Either that, or ensure that they remain in museums for public display. If one were to give in to emotions, news of auction of (plundered) colonial takeaways gives a rather sick feeling.
Is there no one in the Empire who has a sense of right and wrong? Can't the Queen order the return of all things that were taken away for personal gain from one of her erstwhile colonies? They may have been intended as a victor's mementoes, but they should belong to the state, and remain as historical memorabilia, and not objects of personal greed, vanity or profit.
One of probably eight gem-studded gold finials (a decorative attachment to a larger structure) from Tipu Sultan's throne is scheduled to be auctioned on the 2nd of April. A search leads one to a project called The Tiger and the Thistle that 'focusses on Tipu Sultan and the Scots in India, 1760-1800', and makes interesting reading about items from Tipu's Srirangapatna.
These are images of finials from Tipu's throne from that Scottish exhibition.
Hope the diplomats put together their act soon, lest we continue to read about blatant misuse, typified by the phrase from a popular Tamil lyric 'kada thEngAyO vazhipuLLayArO' - meaning rob Peter, sell to Paul, pocket the loot...

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7 Comments:

Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Swarna :)

I fully agree with you. Whether the British took these items as a trophy or loot, it should remain in the custody of the state. They cannot be sold in the open market. If the state cannot possess them, they should be returned back to India. They are our national treasure.

It is time the Indian government took the initiative with out delay and get hold these invaluable finials.

I greatly appreciate your vigilance on these matters. I wonder if the government of India knows about this!

Have a wonderful day,
Joseph

25 March, 2009  
Blogger Kat said...

You've made the tips of the moustache
quiver indignantly.

Wish I could write a cheque with a
flick of the wrist and get them :((

Loved the 'thought for the day'...
and if you are very wise you will
do both in such a way as to augment the
general happiness of society. - Benjamin Franklin

25 March, 2009  
Blogger Inner Vision said...

I agree with you and its really sad that it is being sold in the open market.

25 March, 2009  
Blogger Swarna said...

Thanks, JP, Kat, Shiv

27 March, 2009  
Blogger Freehit said...

Good point. May be the former colonies of the ex-imperialistic nations should come together to force the present day governments to return the loot or restrict them to public display only.

In their minds, the sun has still not set in the empire.

27 March, 2009  
Blogger Swarna said...

Yes, Freehit
they should be considered as 'common wealth' of the Commonwealth?

27 March, 2009  
OpenID kaminidandapani said...

Oh, my stomach burned when I read this. (if I had a moustache, its tips would quiver indignantly too!). What beautiful pieces of art. I do hope that something gets done about preventing their sale in the open market.

27 March, 2009  

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