Wagh Nakh: The Maharashtra government is all set to bring back the famed ‘wagh-nakh’ (tiger claws) - used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Afzal Khan, the General of Bijapur Sultanate, in 1659 - from a museum in the United Kingdom.
The ‘wagh-nakh’ is part of folklore when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj deployed it to kill Afzal Khan of the Adil Shahi dynasty of the Bijapur Sultanate, at the Pratapgad Fort in Satara 364 years ago.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told the media that he will visit London between September 29 and October 3 to sign a memorandum with the concerned authorities there.
Know more about Wagh Nakh:
Made of iron, with four sharp claw-like protrusions attached to a bar and two rings built to fit on two fingers, the deadly tiger-claws are currently in custody at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which is considered the world’s largest housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million exhibits.
The ‘wagh-nakh’ is likely to reach India in the month of November, to be formally received by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar and later it would be put on public display in Maharashtra.
“On a suitable day, the special event shall be held. It's not just a thing for the people of the state, but a great symbol of faith,” said Mungantiwar.
Mungantiwar has been working to get the tiger-claws back since long, and the efforts are on the verge of fructifying as the state celebrates the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj as ‘Chhatrapati’ at Raigad on June 6, 1674, with the next target being the Maratha warrior’s Jagdamba Sword.
Maharashtra Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the state government would bring 'Wagh Nakh' (metal claws used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in November after which it will be kept at a spot for everyone to visit.
"On October 3 we will be signing an MoU in London and in November will bring the Wagh Nakh" Mungantiwar told media.
"As per the MoU, we will not be able to take Wagh Nakh in all the districts of Maharashtra which we had earlier thought, instead we will keep Wagh Nakh at a particular spot where all the people will be able to visit" he added.
Culture Ministry on Wagh Nakh repatriation:
A rare artefact associated with Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji is set to be repatriated from the United Kingdom, the Union Ministry of Culture said on Saturday (September 9).
In a post on X, the ministry said "repatriation of our treasured artefacts is a big win for India's diplomatic efforts".
The announcement coincided with the G20 Leaders' Summit 2023, which kicked off in Delhi on Saturday.
"Our glorious heritage returns. Get ready to witness history in the making as the legendary 'wagh nakh' of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is all set to make its triumphant return to where it truly belongs," the ministry said in its post.
The ministry also shared a poster bearing a tagline "India reclaims its history". The poster referred to the 'wagh nakh' as "the weapon used to vanquish Afzal Khan".
(With agencies inputs)