‘Sengol’ (sceptre) to be installed in new Parliament: All you need to know | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Sengol’ (sceptre) to be installed by PM Modi in new Parliament on May 28: All you need to know

By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
May 24, 2023 03:00 PM IST

“Sengol” holds significant symbolism as it was originally presented to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Union home minsiter Amit Shah said Monday a golden sceptre called 'Sengol' would be installed at a prominent spot in the new Parliament building, which is to be inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi - despite a massive protest by the opposition, which has demanded President Droupadi Murmu do the honours - at noon on Sunday.

The 'Sengol' will be installed in the new Parliament building, which is scheduled to be inaugurated on May 28th.(Twitter/@KirenRijiju)
The 'Sengol' will be installed in the new Parliament building, which is scheduled to be inaugurated on May 28th.(Twitter/@KirenRijiju)

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The sceptre, or the 'Sengol', is a significant item; it was presented to Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, as a symbol of the transfer of power from the British. The word 'Sengol' is believed to have been derived from the Tamil word 'semmai', which refers to excellence.

Shah emphasised the role played by the 'Sengol' sceptre in the transfer of power and said that on being told of its importance (and after due verification), Modi ensured it would hold pride of place in the new Parliament building. "The day of new Parliament House inauguration was chosen after deciding this should be put before the nation," Shah said.

Also Read | ‘Assault on democracy’: 19 Opp parties issue joint statement on boycotting new Parliament inauguration. Read full text

History of 'Sengol'

The importance of the 'Sengol' sceptre emerged when Lord Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of British India, asked Nehru about a symbolic transfer of power.

Nehru sought the advice of C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General of India and who hailed from Thorapalli in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district (then the Madras Presidency). Rajaji, as he was popularly called, suggested the use of the 'Sengol'; he was inspired by the the Chola dynasty, where a similar ceremony was held to transfer power between kings.

In addition to the presentation of the sceptre, an order called 'aanai' in Tamil - which bestowed on the new ruler the responsibility to govern with unwavering adherence to the principles of 'dharma - was also handed down to the new king.

The 'Sengol' for independent India

Rajaji enlisted the support of a religious body in Tamil Nadu's Tanjore district to craft the 'Sengol'. Chennai-based jewellers Vummidi Bangaru Chetty created the object.

On August 14, 1947, a momentous occasion unfolded as three priests from the Tanjore religous body carried the 'Sengol', presiding over proceedings with great reverence. They then handed the 'Sengol' to Nehru, thereby marking the transfer of power.

The 'Sengol' is five feet long and features the majestic figure of Nandi, the divine bull, on top as a representation of 'nyaya', or the embodiment of justice and fairness.

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