Today’s Good Morning Britain became extremely heated when the topic of the Koh-i-noor diamond was discussed, with former Big Brother star Narinder Kaur passionately shouting across the table at her debating opponent.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that at the upcoming coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort on May 6, the Camilla will wear Queen Mary’s crown, which has already been moved from display at the Tower of London.
The royal family will avoid using the Koh-i-noor diamond in the crown, which has links to Britain’s colonial past after being seized by the East India Company after its victory in the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1849, and is in the royal Crown Jewels.
After previously being set at the front of Queen Mary’s crown, the jewel was replaced by a replica in 1937, and the use of the gem at King Charles’ coronation could have resulted in a diplomatic dispute with India.
On Thursday, broadcaster and former Big Brother contestant Narinder Kaur went up against GB News broadcaster Emma Webb when talking about the diamond, with the latter arguing that the diamond ‘absolutely should not be returned’.
‘One of the main reasons for that is the ownership of this – obviously every artefact has its own distinct history. And as the historian Robert Tombs said, this is actually, if anything it’s symbolic of how complex history is. Because this is an object that has passed through the hands of multiple peoples, multiple empires throughout history with conquest and so on,’ Emma said.
However, Narinder swiped back by calling her fellow guest’s argument ‘benign’ and ‘weak’, stating that the diamond ‘represents a colonial past of pillaging, bloodshed of millions of Indians’.
‘It’s hurtful to many Indians around the world and here in the UK that actually it was stolen. It was taken from Duleep Singh who was a 10-year-old boy king during colonisation. Why the British insist on keeping it… and I think it was a very diplomatic decision by the British government to not use it in the coronation. Why? Because it sidesteps the argument that actually this diamond does not belong in this country and why are museums still benefiting from colonisation?’ she stressed.
At one point, Emma brought up the Sikh community in Punjab, as Narinder interjected to point out: ‘Which is what I am.’
Emma argued: ‘The ruler that you mentioned was also a ruler of Lahore, so is Pakistan going to have a claim of it?’
Narinder responded: ‘‘Cause they stole it and they got it back! You must know your history! No, you do not know history. They stole it, and it was taken back.’
Emma appeared to become increasingly frustrated that she was being interrupted, as she remarked: ‘Let me finish my point, please!’
GMB co-host Ed Balls admitted that he felt ‘exhausted’ by the conversation as it came to an end.
Several viewers expressed how shocked they were by the argument that ensued, with one person tweeting: ‘Shouting over everybody is not a good debate.’
‘@GMB debate, I think not. More like an absolute shouting match. This show is unbelievable,’ another wrote.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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