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‘Sengol’, a symbol of Hinduism & Power to be installed in new Parliament. As usual, Congress is opposing it

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Indian Politics and Controversies have an inherent relationship, especially since the Modi has arrived at the national politics. The current controversy is about the inauguration of newly built Indian Parliament. 21 opposition parties have joined hands and opposing the inauguration of Parliament building by PM Modi. They are claiming that it should have been thrown open by the President Draupadi Murmu.

Congress, along with 19 others have planned a boycott against the inauguration of the new building on Sunday. Announcing the decision in a joint statement, Opposition parties had said the prime minister’s decision to inaugurate it by himself, “completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response”.

However, the opposition is clueless and now have started opposing anything and everything PM Modi does. The latest controversy has been erupted on Sengol, which is an unheard term for most of the Indians.

‘Sengol’, a historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu, which was given by the British to first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to represent the transfer of power and was kept in a museum in Allahabad will be installed in the new Parliament building to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28. It will be installed in the Lok Sabha close to the Speaker’s podium. It will be taken out on special occasions.

Now you may wonder what is Sengol, and why we never heard about it ever?

‘Sengol’ symbolises the Hinduism and the transfer of power, just as it was originally used to mark the handing over power from one king to another during the Chola dynasty in Tamil Nadu. The ruler would be vested with the ‘Sengol’ with the order (‘aanai’ in Tamil) to rule with ‘dharma’, meaning justly and fairly.

‘Sengol’ is a word derived from the Tamil word ‘Semmai’, meaning ‘righteousness.’ The historical sceptre was made of silver, coated with gold coated, and crowned with the sacred Nandi, with its unyielding gaze. The Nandi on top of the ‘Sengol’ is symbol of ‘nyaya.’

The transfer of power is not merely a handshake or signing a document and it must remain connected with local traditions keeping in mind modern needs. On August 14, 1947, ‘Sengol’ was accepted by Nehru, the then Prime Minister, in presence of Rajendra Prasad, who later became India’s first President, and many others.

Viceroy Lord Mountbatten posed a query to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru: “What is the ceremony that should be followed to symbolise the transfer of power from British to Indian hands?” which prompted Nehru to consult veteran freedom fighter C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji).

Rajaji identified the Chola model where the transfer of power from one King to the other was sanctified and blessed by high priests. Rajaji approached the Dharmic Mutt in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu – the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam, a Shaivite sect.

The Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam is more than 500 years old and continues to operate with 50 branch monasteries across Tamil Nadu. The leader of the Adheenam immediately commissioned Jeweller Vummidi Bangaru Chetty in Chennai for the preparation of the ‘Sengol’ (five feet in length).

Vummidi Ethirajulu, 96, and Vummidi Sudhakar, 88, two people involved in the making of the original Sengol are expected to attend the new Parliament building inauguration function.

At the time of the transfer of power on August 14, 1947, three people were specially flown in from Tamil Nadu – the Deputy high priest of the Adheenam, the Nadaswaram player Rajarathinam Pillai and the Oduvar (singer) – who came carrying the Sengol and conducted the proceedings.

The priest gave the Sengol to Lord Mountbatten, and took it back. The Sengol was purified with holy water and then taken in a procession to Nehru’s house, where it was handed over to him. A special song was rendered, as specified by the high priest. It all happened on the night of August 14, 1947.

As usually, Congress is opposing this move

The Congress Friday claimed that there was no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalchari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the ‘Sengol’, which will be placed next to the Chair of the Lok Sabha, as a symbol of the transfer of power between the British and India.

In a tweet, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “…All claims to this effect are plain and simple — BOGUS. Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media.

Ramesh alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his “drum-beaters” were using the sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. “This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives,” he said.

Amit Shah hits back at Congress

Hitting back at the Congress over its allegations, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asked why the party “hates Indian traditions and culture so much”. In a tweet, Shah said, “… A sacred Sengol was given to Pandit Nehru by a holy Saivite Mutt from Tamil Nadu to symbolize India’s freedom but it was banished to a museum as a ‘walking stick’”.

Shah also said that Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a holy Saivite Mutt, had spoken about the importance of the Sengol at the time of India’s freedom. “Congress is calling Adheenam’s history as BOGUS! Congress needs to reflect on their behaviour,” he tweeted.

BJP president JP Nadda said parties that are boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building are dynasty-run, “whose monarchic methods are at loggerheads with the principles of republicanism and democracy in our Constitution”.

In a series of tweets, Nadda called the boycott an insult to the makers of the Constitution. The BJP chief said that the Congress and “Nehru-Gandhi” family are “unable to digest a simple fact that the people of India have placed their faith in a man hailing from a humble background. Elitist mindsets of dynasts are preventing them from logical thinking”. 

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