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Business News/ News / India/  What is 'Sengol'? Tamil Nadu's historic sceptre finds new home in parliament

During the upcoming inauguration of the new parliament building on May 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will place the historic 'Sengol' (sceptre) near the Speaker's seat, as stated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Shah emphasized the significance of the golden 'Sengol' as a historical symbol of Independence, representing the transfer of power from the British to the Indians.

According to historical accounts and news reports, the origin of the 'Sengol' can be traced back to a series of events initiated by Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India. It is said that Mountbatten posed a straightforward question to Prime Minister Nehru regarding how the transfer of power would be symbolized once India achieved its independence.

After being asked by Prime Minister Nehru about a symbol to mark India's transfer of power, he sought advice from C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of the country. Rajagopalachari, also known as Rajaji, shared the Tamil tradition of a high priest presenting a sceptre to a newly crowned king as a symbolic gesture of power transition. He suggested that this tradition, observed during the Chola dynasty, could serve as a significant symbol of India's freedom from British rule. Consequently, Rajaji took on the responsibility of procuring a sceptre for this historic moment.

Charged with the challenging responsibility of acquiring the sceptre that would symbolize India's Independence, Rajaji reached out to Thiruvaduthurai Atheenam, a prominent religious institution in present-day Tamil Nadu. The spiritual leader of the mutt at that time willingly took on the task.

The 'Sengol' was crafted by Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, a renowned jeweller in what was then known as Madras. This impressive sceptre measures five feet in length and features a 'nandi' bull at the top, representing the concept of justice.

As per reports, a senior priest from the mutt initially presented the sceptre to Mountbatten, only to retrieve it shortly afterward. The sceptre was then sanctified by sprinkling it with Ganga Jal (holy water). It was carried in a procession to Prime Minister Nehru and delivered to him approximately 15 minutes before midnight, signifying the moment of India's Independence. Accompanying this significant event, a special song was composed and performed as Prime Minister Nehru received the sceptre.

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Updated: 28 May 2023, 07:07 AM IST
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