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Historic ‘Sengol’ to be installed in new Parliament building

  • Published
    25th May, 2023
Context

The current Indian Prime Minister plans to install the 'Sengol,' a historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu, in the new Parliament building.

Key Highlights:

  • The ‘Sengol’ was received by Independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, from Lord Mountbatten to symbolically represent the transfer of power from the British and was later kept in a museum in Allahabad.

When C. Rajagopalachari suggested a Chola-era ceremony


  • Symbolise the transfer of power from British to Indian hands: Nehru then consulted C. Rajagopalachari, also known as Rajaji, who went on to become India's final Viceroy.
  • Rajaji identified the Chola paradigm, in which power was transferred from one monarch to another after it was sanctified and blessed by a high ruler.
  • The'sengol' or sceptre was passed from one monarch to his successor as a symbol.
  • Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, a well-known goldsmith in the Madras Presidency, created a golden sceptre.
  • Vummidi Ethirajulu (96) and Vummidi Sudhakar (88), the sengol's creators, live in Chennai.

The ‘handing over’ ceremony that happened on Independence Day eve

  • On August 14, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru received the Sengol from the Adheenams of the Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam (Mutt) in Tamil Nadu.
  • The ceremony was conducted as per Tamil traditions and the sengol was handed over to Nehru at his house.
  • The incident was recently recalled in a policy note prepared by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board, Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • The transfer of power is not merely a handshake or signing of a document, but must remain connected with local traditions.
  • All 20 Adheenams invited for new Parliament building inauguration: The historic plan has been prepared in consultation with the presidents of Adheenam, with all 20 presidents present.
    • Vummidi Bangaru Chetty ji, associated with its creation, will also participate in the ceremony.
    • Sri La Sri Ambalavana Desika Paramacharya Swamigal will hand over the sceptre to Mr. PM on the day of the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
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