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Sengol

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH, IE

 Context: During the inauguration of the new Parliament building, a sacred “sengol” sceptre  (a Symbol of Transfer of Power) that was given to Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of Independence will be handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

About the Issue:

Renowned danseuse Padma Subrahmanyam’s letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) triggered a detailed investigation into the historic Sengol, a sceptre from Tamil Nadu. It was discovered that the Sengol ceremony took place just minutes before Nehru’s iconic midnight speech on August 15, 1947. The sceptre had been kept at his Prayagraj residence-turned-museum until now.

 

About “sengol” sceptre:

 Description
What is “sengol” sceptre?

 

The “sengol” sceptre is a long, stick-like item ( 5 feet) made of silver and covered in gold. The sceptre has a carving of a bull, called a Nandi, at the top. This is done to remind everyone about the importance of fair and just leadership in the country.
SignificanceIt represents the idea that the person who holds it should rule with fairness and justice. It is believed to have a connection to the Chola dynasty, an ancient kingdom in Tamil Nadu.
Name‘Sengol’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘semmai,’ which means excellence, the ‘Sengol’ represents the embodiment of power and authority.
Suggested by C RajagopalachariThe idea of using the ‘Sengol’ sceptre for the symbolic transfer of power came from C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General of India. When Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of British India, asked for a suitable symbol, Rajaji suggested the ‘Sengol’ sceptre. He was inspired by a similar ceremony in the ancient Chola dynasty, where power was passed from one king to another.
‘Aanai’ OrderIn the Chola tradition, during the transfer of power ceremony, in addition to the presentation of the sceptre, an order called ‘aanai’ in Tamil was bestowed upon the new ruler. This order symbolizes the responsibility to govern with unwavering adherence to the principles of ‘dharma,’ ensuring justice and fairness in the realm.
Crafted by Vummidi Bangaru ChettyTo bring the ‘Sengol’ sceptre to life, Chennai-based jeweller Vummidi Bangaru Chetty undertook the task of crafting this historic symbol.