The Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family, known for creating the iconic golden sceptre called ‘Sengol,’ which will be placed in the new parliament building, has been invited to the inauguration ceremony. Vummidi Ethiraju, a 95-year-old member of the family, expressed immense pride and joy as he had participated in crafting the ‘Sengol’ when he was 20 years old.
During India’s independence, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, sought advice from Jawaharlal Nehru, the soon-to-be-Prime Minister, on symbolizing the transfer of power from the British Empire to India. Nehru consulted C Rajagopalachari, the country’s last Governor General, who suggested using the Tamil tradition of the high priest presenting a sceptre to a new king. This tradition had been followed during the reign of the Cholas, and Rajagopalachari proposed it as a symbolic gesture of India’s freedom.
Rajagopalachari contacted Thiruvaduthurai Atheenam, an ancient Shaivite mutt in Tamil Nadu, to arrange the creation of the sceptre. The mutt entrusted the task to Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, a renowned jeweler from Madras (now Chennai).
After several decades, the descendants of Vummidi Bangaru Chetty have received an invitation to the inauguration ceremony of the new parliament building as a tribute to their family’s contribution. The ‘Sengol’ had been housed in the Nehru Gallery of the Allahabad Museum until recently when it was relocated to Delhi for installation in the new parliament building.
Despite facing difficulties in finding the whereabouts of the ‘Sengol,’ the Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family eventually discovered it at the Allahabad Museum. Inscriptions in Tamil on the sceptre confirmed its identity. C Rajagopalachari’s profound knowledge of traditions played a vital role in its creation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new parliament building, and the ‘Sengol’ will be placed beside the Lok Sabha Speaker’s seat. The ‘Sengol’ will be presented to PM Modi by 20 ‘adheenams’ (mutt) heads from Tamil Nadu. While numerous parties are expected to attend the ceremony, around 20 opposition parties, including the Congress, have decided to boycott the event.
The descendants of the Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness their ancestral creation being installed in the parliament, symbolizing a significant piece of history.
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