Mrunal Manmay Dash

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the new Parliament building at Central Vista in New Delhi on May 28, history is going to be repeated with the installation of a scepter, called Sengol, beside the Speaker’s chair.

The ‘Sengol’, which represents the transfer of power, will mark the transfer of the country’s legislature from the old British-era Parliament building to the new one.

Kept at the Prayagraj museum since India’s independence, the scepter, which was the witness to the Country’s independence from the British raj has been plucked out of obscurity to soon occupy a place of pride near the Speaker’s seat in the new Parliament building.

So what actually is this Sengol & where did it come from?

As far as the historical significance goes, it has plenty. Dating back to the Chola dynasty, such sceptres were used in the coronation of kings. It served as a ceremonial spear and was considered a sacred symbol of authority, representing the transfer of power from one ruler to the next. The one accorded the ‘sengol’ is expected to impart a just and impartial rule.

When Lord Mountbatten asked the soon-to-be-PM Jawaharlal Nehru what would mark the transfer of power when India attains Independence, Nehru then turned to C Rajagopalachari, fondly known as Rajaji, India’s last Governor General for advice.

Rajaji told Nehru about the Tamil tradition of the high priest handing over a sceptre to a new king when he comes to power. This tradition was followed during the reign of the Cholas. So Rajaji suggested this could mark India's freedom from the British Raj.

Around 10.45 pm on August 14, 1947, Pandit Nehru received this Sengol from Tamil Nadu as a symbol of achieving independence.

Design & Specs:

The ‘Sengol’ was made by Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, a jeweler in then Madras. This gold-coated silver sceptre is five feet in length and has a 'Nandi' bull on top, symbolizing justice.

PM Modi will receive the Sengol from Tamil Nadu before the inauguration of the New Parliament building. He will place it inside the new Parliament Bhavan marking the ‘Amrit Kaal’ in India.