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New Parliament Inauguration: PM Modi To Receive Sceptre Once in Nehru's Custody

It is five feet long and contains elements of gold as well as silver, as per reports.

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India
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A piece of history will be handed over to Prime Minister Modi at the inauguration of the new Parliament building on Sunday, 28 May.

The handoff: Modi will receive a sceptre that was once handed to India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru by the British, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a press conference on Wednesday, 24 May.

  • The handover ceremony will be attended by priests from a mutt in Tamil Nadu, he said.

  • It will be broadcast live on Doordarshan, Shah added.

Why it matters: On the eve of India's Independence, the handing over of the sceptre to Nehru had served as a mark of transfer of power from the British to the new democratic republic.

So far, the Sengol was being housed at the Allahabad Museum. Now, it will reportedly be placed near the Lok Sabha speaker's podium in the new Parliament building.

Between the lines: “The aim was clear back then, as it is now. The transfer of power is not done just by shaking of hands and signing on a document," Shah was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

  • “It is a symbol that governance should be just, as per policies and on the path of duty. This will send a message to the public and elected representatives…The placing of the sengol in Parliament is indicative of the same feeling that Jawaharlal Nehru felt on August 14, 1947,” he further said.

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Sengol or sceptre draws significance from the Chola era – when it used to represent just and fair rule.

  • It is five feet long and contains elements of gold as well as silver.

  • A bull or 'Nandi' adorns the top of the sceptre which also carries a carved image of Goddess Lakshmi.

Look back: Amit Shah also reportedly revealed details about a “sacred sengol ceremony” that took place on the eve of 15 August 1947.

  • Initially, the sceptre was presented to Lord Mountbatten, then-Viceroy of India.

  • Priests from the Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam (Mutt) in Tamil Nadu reportedly took it back and sprinkled holy water on it.

  • With the 'Sengol' in their possession, the priests walked in a procession to Nehru's residence, where he received it.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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