CHENNAI: PM Narendra Modi will be following in the footsteps of India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru when he receives a golden sceptre (‘sengol’ in


) at the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28.
Marking the transfer of power in 1947, Nehru received the ‘sengol’ from the deputy pontiff of the Thiruvavaduthurai ‘adheenam’. This time, pontiffs of 20 ‘adheenams’ (non-Brahmin Shaivite mutts in Tamil Nadu) will preside over the rituals. They will hand over the ‘sengol’ to Modi at 7.20am after a 20-minute ‘homam’ or ‘havan’. Modi will then install it on a pedestal to the right of the Speaker’s chair.
“The ‘sengol’ represents values of fair and equitable governance,” said home minister Amit Shah. “It will shine near the Lok Sabha Speaker’s podium as a national symbol of ‘amrit kaal’, an era that will witness the new India taking its rightful place in the world.”
In 1947, the ‘sengol’ was made on the advice of C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of India, when Nehru asked his cabinet how the transfer of power from the British should be marked. Rajaji referred to the ancient Chola custom of the ‘rajaguru’ handing over a sceptre to the king on his coronation. Madras jeweller Vummudi Bangaru Chetty was commissioned to make the ‘sengol’ in four weeks.

On August 14,

Viceroy Mountbatten

handed the sceptre over to the Tamil pontiffs who purified it and handed it over to Prime Minister Nehru at his home just before he left for Parliament House to deliver the historic “tryst with destiny” speech in the intervening night of August 14-15, 1947.
For decades, the sceptre was forgotten. It lay in a dusty box at the Allahabad Museum, wrongly labelled as a golden walking stick gifted to Nehru. This time, PM Modi will carry the sceptre in the new Parliament building, accompanied by Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla

and the pontiffs from Tamil Nadu.
Dignitaries and the mutt heads, including Thiruvavaduthurai ‘adheenam’ Sri La Sri Ambalavana Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, will stand in the Well of the House when the Prime Minister installs the sceptre on the specially designed pedestal.
At least 31 members of the ‘adheenams’ will leave Chennai for New Delhi in two batches on chartered flights. Ahead of the ceremony on May 28, Modi will honour them at his residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *