Tamil Nadu mutt seer refutes Congress’s ‘bogus’ claim on Sengol

Tamil Nadu mutt seer refutes Congress’s ‘bogus’ claim on Sengol

By Pramod Madhav, Shilpa Nair: The pontiff of Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam, a Shaivite mutt in Tamil Nadu, has refuted the Congress’s claim that Sengol was not a symbol of the transfer of power from the British to Indians and produced pictures to prove the significance of the golden sceptre.

“Sengol was taken to Delhi and given to Lord Mountbatten. It was later handed over to PM Nehru by the Adheenam pontiffs. On May 28, PM Modi will receive the Sengol once again. It will be installed in the new Parliament building,” the pontiff said in a press conference.

“We have pictures to show how the Sengol was handed over to Nehru. It has been recorded in our Adheenam that we were called to represent the transfer of power,” the seer said.

READ | Congress says govt’s claim on Sengol as symbol of power transfer ‘bogus’, BJP calls it ‘shameful insult’

The pontiff accused some of spreading wrong information and said pictures are enough evidence to show the significance of Sengol.

“If you see the pictures, there is enough evidence. We are disappointed by the lies that are being spread by some people,” the seer said.

The Sengol will be installed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28 at the inauguration of the new Parliament building, an event which the Congress and like-minded parties are boycotting. Twenty Adheenams from Tamil Nadu, including Tiruvavaduthurai, Perur and Madurai have been invited for the mega event.

According to information on the government website, the transfer of power during Chola times was sanctified by Saivite high priests. C Rajagopalachari had then requested the leader of the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam in Tamil Nadu to do the same, for power to pass on to Indian hands from the British. The leader of the Adheenam immediately commissioned jeweller Vummidi Bangaru Chetty for the preparation of the Sengol.

The official website of Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers, mentions the sceptre and also carries a rare photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru that is also featured in the short film on Sengol.

ALSO READ | Lost as Nehru’s ‘golden walking stick’, how the historic sceptre was rediscovered

But the Congress has accused the BJP-led Centre of using the golden sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. Earlier in the day, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed that a majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in the Madras province and crafted in Madras city was indeed presented to Jawaharlal Nehru in August 1947.

“There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple — bogus,” he said, accusing the BJP of “embroidering facts to suit its twisted objectives”.

“Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media. Two of the finest Rajaji scholars with impeccable credentials have expressed surprise,” he added.

In a sharp response, Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Congress of calling Adheenam’s history as bogus. He said the Adheenam, a holy Shaivite mutt, itself had spoken about the importance of Sengol at the time of India’s independence.

“Why does the Congress party hate Indian traditions and culture so much? A sacred Sengol was given to Pandit Nehru by a holy Saivite Mutt from Tamil Nadu to symbolise India’s freedom but it was banished to a museum as a ‘walking stick’,” Amit Shah tweeted.

Vummidi Ethirajulu and Vummidi Sudhakar, makers of the original Sengol, are expected to attend the new Parliament building inauguration.

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