Unveiling History: Rediscovering the Significance of the Sengol

Indian From South
4 min readMay 26, 2023

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The “Sengol” has been in the news since yesterday when Amit Shah announced that the scepter, would be installed next to the speaker’s seat in the assembly.

There has been a lot of curiosity about what the “Sengol” is and what it symbolizes. A Sengol (known as Chengol in Malayalam) is a golden scepter that used to symbolize power transfer during the Chola era.

As a digression, how many of us know that at its peak, the Chola empire extended all the way to the Far East? See this map!

In 1947, Lord Mountbatten asked Nehru how to symbolize the transfer of power from the British Empire to independent India. Nehru consulted this matter with renowned freedom fighter C. Rajagopalachari, who was a Tamilian and a man adept in ancient Indian history. He told Nehru about the power transfer process during the Chola era using the Sengol, which had been sanctified and blessed by high priests (Rajaguru), suggesting that the power transfer could be symbolized in the same manner. Nehru immediately accepted the suggestion.

Rajagopalachari entrusted the responsibility of arranging the scepter to Thiruvaduthurai Aadheenam, a popular Saivite Mutt in Tamil Nadu. The mutt willingly accepted the responsibility to craft the scepter with a “Nandi” (sacred bull) on top.

On August 14th, Sri La Sri Kumaraswamy Thambiran, who was heading the mutt delegation, received the scepter from Lord Mountbatten and sprinkled it with holy water.

At around 11:45 PM, the priest handed over the scepter to Nehru amidst the chanting of ‘kolaru pathigam’ hymns from ‘Thevaram,’ composed by Shaivite saint Thirugnana Sambanthar. When the final verses, “Adiyargal Vaanil Arasalvar Aanai Namathe” (“We command that His Humbleness shall rule the Heavens”), were recited, Sri La Sri Kumaraswamy Thambiran handed over the scepter to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, smeared ashes on his forehead, and garlanded him.

The power transfer happened exactly as it used to occur in the ancient Chola era. This also makes one wonder whether India became independent symbolically as a Hindu nation itself. It further raises questions as to why such a significant ceremony was not properly recorded and why it was not included in school textbooks. One might also wonder about the whereabouts of the Sengol all these years. Surprisingly, the scepter was kept in a museum in Prayagraj, as can be seen in the image.

What is truly shocking is that it was displayed as the golden walking stick of Nehru.

It took 76 years and a nationalistic leadership to bring back the Sengol from oblivion, restoring it to its rightful place and the respect it deserves. What is interesting is that the DMK in the past has claimed that the Cholas were not Hindus. Therefore, they cannot oppose this move suggesting any kind of saffronization of the new parliament building. And since they have announced a boycott of the inauguration, they will not be able to witness the ceremony where the Dravidian/Chola/Tamil Sengol will be restored to its full glory.

With this masterstroke, Modi and Amit Shah have also demolished all accusations of the BJP being a North Indian party imposing North Indian culture on the South. In fact, it appears to be happening the other way around. Sengol, Tamil, and South India are being brought right to the heart of New Delhi by the current leadership.

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Indian From South

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