The renowned 'wagh nakh,' a knuckle duster with metal nails resembling tiger claws, famously used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Afzal Khan, will be temporarily returned to India. According to a recent government resolution (GR) issued by the cultural affairs department, the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum has agreed to loan the weapon to the state government for three years, reported Times of India.
Exhibition In Prominent Museums
The historic 'wagh nakh' will be showcased in four prominent museums in Maharashtra: the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai, the Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum in Satara, the Central Museum in Nagpur, and the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Kolhapur. This decision aims to enable the public to witness this significant artifact, deeply intertwined with Maharashtra's rich history.
To ensure the secure transport and exhibition of the tiger claws, the state government has established an 11-member committee. Headed by principal secretary of culture, Vikas Kharge, the committee comprises bureaucrats and senior police officers, including the director general of police and commissioners of police from Mumbai and Nagpur. Their responsibilities include planning the logistics and public engagements related to the exhibition within the state.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing
Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom and sign an MoU with the V&A Museum on October 3. While Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had initially planned to join this visit, his trip to the UK and Germany has been postponed. The signing of the MoU signifies the official agreement between the Maharashtra Government and the V&A Museum for the temporary return of the 'wagh nakh'.
The V&A Museum expressed enthusiasm about the artifact's return, stating that it could open avenues for new research into the weapon's history. The museum looks forward to collaborating with colleagues in India to develop plans for the display. This event marks the 350th anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's historic triumph over Afzal Khan, symbolising bravery and valor in Indian history.