MUMBAI: PM Modi gets rousing welcome from Indian diaspora in Indonesia: The ‘wagh nakh’ is coming home. With the UK authorities agreeing to give back the dagger shaped like tiger claws—used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Afzal Khan, general of the Bijapur sultanate, in 1659—state cultural affairs minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will visit London later this month to sign an MoU with the Victoria and Albert Museum, where it’s on display.
If everything works out as planned, the famed wagh nakh may be headed home this year itself. “We have got a letter from the UK authorities saying they have agreed to give us back Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s wagh nakh. We might get it back for the anniversary of the day when Shivaji killed Afzal Khan, based on the Hindu calendar. Some other dates are also being considered and the modalities of transporting the wagh nakh back are also being worked out,” Mungantiwar said.

“Apart from signing the MoU, we will also look at other objects such as Shivaji’s Jagadamba sword which is also on display in the UK, and take steps to bring these back as well. The fact that the tiger claws are on the way back is a big step for Maharashtra and its people. The date of Afzal Khan’s killing is November 10 based on the Gregorian calendar but we are working out dates based on the Hindu tithi calendar,” Mungantiwar said.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s wagh nakh is a priceless treasure of history and the sentiments of the people of the state are associated with them. The transfer must be done with personal responsibility and care.
For this, Mungantiwar, principal secretary culture (Dr Vikas Kharge) and Dr Tejas Garge, director of the state’s directorate of archeology and museums, will visit V&A and other museums in London,” the government resolution issued by the cultural affairs department stated. Maharashtra will spend around Rs 50 lakh for the threemember team’s six-day visit from September 29 to October 4, according to the resolution. Officials said the wagh nakh made of steel has four claws mounted on a bar with two rings for the first and fourth fingers.

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