Losing heritage, an Indian habit

Yet another throne, belonging to ruler Ranjit Singh was found when Punjab was annexed in 1849. In 1853, it was sent to the East India Company's museum and it was later sent to the Victoria and Albert Hall – where it still stands.

A painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, on what is probably his favourite horse, also lies in the same museum.

In fact, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has several pieces of invaluable heritage.

Innumerable Mughal paintings, priceless documents, statues and ornaments are today lost or being displayed in museums outside India. Or worse, being auctioned like the Maharaja of Baroda's pearls that went under the hammer for $7.2 million at Christie’s earlier this year. However, how Christie’s got the necklace is still a mystery.

And it's not just objects, Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar's descendants have been trying for years to get his ashes back from Rangoon and none knows whether freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose's ashes are really at Renkoji temple in Tokyo or not.

It seems losing out on heritage has become part of our own history.

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