• A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a press conference in Delhi explaining the importance of the sceptre (sengol) to be installed in the new Parliament building, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed presspersons in Chennai on Thursday, explaining how it is a matter of pride for Tamil Nadu.
  • She reiterated that it was the ritual of handing over of this sceptre, made by the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam (math head) in Tamil Nadu, to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of Independence that actually symbolised and sanctified the “transfer of power” from the British to India.
  • The government’s assertion is that Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, asked the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru if there was any procedure to signify transfer of power. Nehru in turn consulted C. Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General of India, who in turn had the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam prepare the sceptre, and flew the delegation in a special plane to Delhi.
  • When asked about documentary evidence, Ms. Sitharaman said there were “as many documentary proof” as one wanted in the docket given to presspersons at the end of the press conference.
  • A perusal of these documents, however, did not establish the claims of the government. The evidence included references from books, articles, and reports in the media. It also included social media and blog posts.
  • The reports from Indian newspapers, including The Hindu, had briefly recorded the presentation of the sceptre.
  • None spoke about it being a symbol of transfer of power. Importantly, a picture carried in The Hindu showed the delegation at the Central Railway Station, Chennai, on August 11, 1947, before leaving for Delhi.
  • This indicates the delegation had most likely travelled by train and not by a special plane.
  • While Time magazine, on August 25, 1945, spoke about the head pontiff’s idea of the sceptre as a symbol of power, it does not speak about Nehru reciprocating the same idea.
  • Importantly, none of the evidence presented said the sceptre was first symbolically given to Mountbatten and taken back before presenting to Nehru.
  • The exception is the article that appeared in Thuglak magazine, written by its editor S. Gurumurthy in 2021.
  • The article records everything the government has said as the version shared by Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi, the 68th head of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, from his memory to a disciple in 1978.
  • The most ironic evidence presented in the docket was a blog post titled “WhatsApp History” written by famous Tamil writer Jeyamohan which in fact ridiculed this version of events.
  • The docket mentioned the annual policy note prepared by Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department in Tamil Nadu for 2021-22, stating the sceptre “signified the transfer of power”. The reference has been removed from the department’s policy notes in 2022-23 and 2023-24.


About sree nivas

Check Also

The Forest Rights Act (FRA)

The Forest Rights Act (FRA) – This landmark legislation, officially known as the Scheduled Tribes …

Leave a Reply

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

Get Free Updates to Crack the Exam!
Subscribe to our Newsletter for free daily updates