Keith Vaz, a Member of British Parliament of Indian origin, has requested the government to return the world famous 'Koh-i-Noor' (or Kohinoor) diamond to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country in November.
Vaz, who is one of the longest serving MPs of the Asian origin, made the comments in response to Congress member of Lok Sbha Shashi Tharoor's scalding Oxford Union speech.
In his speech, Tharoor had blamed the British colonial rule for the crumbling of Indian economy and demanded reparation payments.
Vaz, a Labour Party politician, said that he welcomed "Dr Tharoor's speech and the endorsement of its message by Prime Minister Modi. I share their views. These are genuine grievances, which must be addressed," PTI quoted him as saying.
Vaz, who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester East since the 1987 election, however added that "pursuing monetary reparations is complex, time consuming and potentially fruitless."
"But there is no excuse for not returning precious items such as the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a campaign I have backed for many years," he added.
After almost a decade, an Indian Prime Minister will be visiting Britain in November. Modi, who will be on his maiden visit, will stop over in London for three days around 12 November on his way to Turkey to attend the G20 leader's summit in Antalya.
"What a wonderful moment it would be, if and when Prime Minister Modi finishes his visit, which is much overdue, he returns to India with the promise of the diamond's return," Vaz said.
Kohinoor diamond, which means the 'mountain of light', was originally of 793-carat size. Once known as the largest diamond in the world, it was cut to 105.6 metric carat diamond, weighing 21.6 gm.
The diamond was originally owned by the Kakatiya dynasty and was installed in a temple of a Hindu goddess as her eye. Today, the diamond forms part of the crown of Queen Elizabeth.