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Parliament: Despite opposition protest, govt announces plan for big inauguration ceremony for new Parliament building | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Brushing aside the reservations and boycott calls by several opposition parties against inauguration of the new Parliament building, the government is leaving no stone unturned to celebrate the occasion in a grand manner and in line with age-old traditions and rituals to be presided over by priests belonging to a 500-year-old Dharmic mutt in Tanjore.
Even as the opposition scaled up its protest, the government announced its plan for a big inauguration ceremony marked by the installation of ‘sengol’ or ceremonial sceptre symbolizing righteous governance in the new building and mass feting of workers who were engaged in its construction.
While disclosing the plan, Union home minister Amit Shah chose to focus on how the ceremony would mark the revival of a tradition where the passing on of the “sengol” would represent the legitimization and recognition of a new regime.Asked about opposition’s boycott, Shah said that the government had extended an invite to all and “they are responding as per their wisdom”. “The event should not be politicised,” he added.
The sacred ritual lined up as Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicates the new Parliament building to the nation on May 28, will see handing over of a ‘sengol’ or ceremonial sceptre — a symbol of fair and equitable governance steeped in Chola tradition and which had marked the transfer of power from one king of another through the dynasty’s long reign — to Modi by the priests of the Shaivite Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam mutt, followed by its installation in the Lok Sabha. This will be a repeat of the 1947 ritual when the same sengol was handed over by high priests of the Adheenam mutt to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to mark the historic shift from British rule to Independent India.
The mutt — which was contacted by veteran freedom fighter C Rajagopalachari , after Nehru, prompted by Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, accepted his concept of sengol as a symbol of transfer of power — was involved in commissioning of the sengol with a Chennai-based jeweller. The high priests handed over the sengol to Lord Mountbatten first, who gave it back to them and which was then purified with ‘holy water’ (Ganga water) as per Hindu tradition. It was ultimately handed over to Nehru in a ritual performed at his residence on August 14, 10.45 pm, marking the ceremonial transfer of power in line with Chola tradition.
However, the sengol had since been sitting in Allahabad museum as a non-descript exhibit. It was only 31 years later, in 1978, that role of the sengol in India’s Independence was mentioned by 69th Shankaracharya and head of of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal to a disciple who then wrote about it a book. The media has thereafter kept the discussion alive, home minister Amit Shah stated at a press conference on Wednesday.
Shah said the sengol is now set to take its “rightful” place — the new Parliament building — as the national symbol of Amrit Kaal. All the 20 adheenams of the mutt will be present for the vesting ritual on May 28, as will the jeweller who in 1947 had created the five-feet high sengol with Lord Shiva’s vehicle ‘Nandi’ the bull, carved on top.
After receiving the sengol from the priests, Modi will install it in the Lok Sabha, next to the Speaker’s podium. It will be displayed for the nation to see, and taken out on special occasions. The prime minister will also honour the ‘shramjeevis’ — construction workers who helped create the new Parliament structure in record time — at the dedication ceremony.


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