The ‘Sengol’, which is a golden sceptre or wand, will be presented to PM Modi at the inauguration of the newly constructed parliament building. The Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family, who are responsible for the creation of the Sengol, has been invited to attend the event.
The historic golden sceptre or ‘Sengol’ is due to be placed in the new parliament building on May 27, Sunday. An invitation to the inauguration event has been extended to the Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family, who are responsible for the creation of the Sengol.
“I am not just proud but also elated,” said Vummidi Ethiraju, who is now 95 years old but was just 20 years old when he and others handmade the “Sengol.” “I am not just proud but also elated,” he added.
When the formalities of India’s independence were being worked out, Lord Mountbatten, the final Viceroy of British India, reportedly questioned the soon-to-be Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru about the best way to symbolize the transition of sovereignty from the British Empire to India. This occurred about the time when India gained its freedom. According to reports, Mr. Nehru sought advice from C. Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General of India, as the country became a republic in 1950.
Mr. Rajagopalachari shared with Mr. Nehru the Tamil tradition of a high priest presenting a sceptre to a newly crowned monarch as a sign of respect upon the king’s ascension to the throne. This custom was observed back when the Chola dynasty was in power, and Mr. Rajagopalachari proposed that it may be revived in order to commemorate India’s independence from the Raj.
Mr. Rajagopalachari was tasked with acquiring a sceptre to commemorate India’s independence, so he got in touch with Thiruvaduthurai Atheenam, which is one of the oldest Shaivite mutts in the state of Tamil Nadu. The seer acknowledged the duty and gave the task of crafting the sceptre to Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, a jeweler based in what was then the city of Madras.
Now, some decades later, an invitation to attend the inaugural ceremony of the new parliament building has been extended as a mark of respect and honor to the descendants of Vummidi Bangaru Chetty.
The ‘Sengol’ was on display at the Nehru Gallery of the Allahabad Museum up until not too long ago, when it was transported to Delhi in order to be installed in the brand new parliament building there.
“We contacted the majority of the museums in India through letters. We did not hear back from them for close to a whole year. But we thought it would be fun to send a letter to the Allahabad Museum just because we could. According to another Amarendran Vummudi, the Managing Partner of Vummudi Bangaru Jewellers, “After three to four months, we got a reply saying that something similar to what we had described was present at the museum.”
“The moment we saw the sceptre, we knew that it was the ‘Sengol’ as it had inscriptions in Tamil describing what it is and what it was used for,” he continued. Because of his extensive familiarity with the customs and traditions, C. Rajagopalachari played an important role in the production of the “Sengol.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform the inauguration of the newly constructed parliament building, and the ‘Sengol’ will be erected next to the seat occupied by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
It’s an opportunity that won’t come around again in your lifetime. “It is unimaginable for us to walk into the parliament and see a piece of history that was created by our ancestors installed there,” said one of the relatives.
The ‘Sengol’ award will be presented to PM Modi by the heads of 20 ‘adheenams’ (mutts) in the state of Tamil Nadu. In spite of the fact that as many as 25 parties are planning on attending the ceremony, at least 20 opposition parties, including Congress, have made the decision to abstain from attending the event.