Ancient Chola Ritual: Pride, Boycott, and Political Divide

Indian From South
2 min readMay 26, 2023

For the past two days, the entire opposition has been grappling with the announcement of the Sengol installation in the new parliament building, unable to formulate a coherent response. Clearly, the announcement caught them by surprise. All this while, the opposition, which includes Dravidian parties such as the DMK, was creating a narrative that the BJP was against South India and Tamilians. “Cholas are not Hindus,” “Cutting South,” “United South India,” and then abuses such as “Hindi theriyathu poda” were all part of a propaganda campaign to divide the nation on the basis of geography.

Now, it is becoming clear that the installation of Sengol will be somewhat of a repeat of what happened in 1947 when Britain transferred power to independent India. As per reports, the head priest of Madurai Adheenam, Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal, will be handing over the ‘Sengol’ scepter to PM Modi on May 28th. Priests from 20 ‘adheenams’ (Saivite mutts in Tamil Nadu) will preside over the rituals. The Sengol is expected to be handed over to Modi at 7:20 AM after a 20-minute “homam” or “havan” ceremony, following which it will be installed on a pedestal to the right of the speaker’s chair.

Sri Harihara Desika Swamigal is someone who has been very vocal about the interference of the Tamil Nadu DMK government in temple affairs and has been advocating for the liberation of temples from government control. In May 2022, he even suggested that there was a threat to his life after he spoke out against the state government for banning an age-old Hindu ritual in the state.

In this entire sequence of events, I truly feel sorry for the DMK. This is a party that claims to represent the Dravidians and stands for Tamil pride. On May 28th, an ancient Chola ritual will be recreated — an event that would make any Tamilian, and any Indian for that matter, immensely proud. However, the DMK has already announced a boycott of the event, so they will not be present to represent Tamilians and witness this significant occasion. Karma in action!

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Indian From South

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