The inauguration of the new parliament building this Sunday will also see Prime Minister Narendra Modi install a historic golden sceptre near the Speaker’s seat, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today.
This sceptre, Mr Shah said, was handed over to the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to mark the transfer of power from British to Indians. The Home Minister said this spectre was called “sengol” – a Tamil word meaning “full of wealth”.
The sengol came into being after a chain of events that started with a simple question by Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, to Prime Minister Nehru. According to historical accounts and news reports, Mountbatten had asked the soon-to-be-PM what would mark the transfer of power when India attains Independence.
Prime Minister Nehru then turned to C Rajagopalachari, the country’s last Governor General, for advice. Mr Rajagopalachari, commonly known as Rajaji, told Prime Minister Nehru about the Tamil tradition of the high priest handing over a sceptre to a new king when he comes to power. He said this tradition may be followed to mark India’s freedom from the Raj. It then fell upon Rajaji to arrange a sceptre for the historic moment.