In a scathing attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the ”Sengol”, which was a symbol of the transfer of power from the British in 1947, should have gotten its due respect after independence, but was kept on display as a ”walking stick” at Anand Bhawan in Prayagraj.
The prime minister made the remarks after receiving a ”Sengol” from Tamil Nadu Adheenams (heads of Hindu monasteries) at his residence here on the eve of the inauguration of a new Parliament building.
Modi said ”your sevak” and the government have brought the ”Sengol” out of Anand Bhawan in Prayagraj.
Anand Bhawan was the residence of the Nehru family and has been converted into a museum.
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The ”Sengol” holds significance not only because it was a sacred symbol of power transfer in 1947, but also because it connected the glorious traditions of pre-colonial India to the future of independent India, Modi said.
It would have been good had the sacred ”Sengol” been given its due respect after independence, but it was kept on display as a ”walking stick” at Anand Bhawan, he said, adding, ”Your sevak and our government have brought the Sengol out of Anand Bhawan.” Modi said a question had arisen over the symbol of transfer of power from the British in 1947 and under the guidance of C Rajagopalachari and Adheenams, a virtuous path of power transfer through the ”Sengol” was found from ancient Tamil culture.
At that time in 1947, Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam created a special ”Sengol”, he said.
”Today, pictures from that era are reminding us of the deep emotional bond between Tamil culture and India’s destiny as a modern democracy. Today, the saga of this deep bond has come alive from the pages of history,” Modi said.
”We also came to know how this sacred symbol was treated,” he added.
The prime minister hailed the foresight of Rajagopalachari and Adheenams and highlighted that the ”Sengol” had initiated the freedom from every symbol of years of subjugation.
The ”Sengol” is finally getting its deserved place in the temple of democracy, Modi said.
He expressed delight that the symbol of the great traditions of India, the ”Sengol”, will be established in the new Parliament House.
Modi said the ”Sengol” will remind those in the government to continuously walk on the ”kartavya path” and remain answerable to the public.
The Congress claimed on Friday that there was no documentary evidence of Lord Mountbatten, Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the ”Sengol” as a symbol of transfer of power from the British to India.
In a tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had said: ”There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple — bogus.” The prime minister was blessed by the Adheenams on Saturday, ahead of the ”Sengol” installation in the new Parliament House on Sunday.
Addressing the Adheenams, the prime minister expressed great delight that they would be present at the inauguration of the new Parliament House and would shower their blessings.
In his remarks, Modi highlighted the role of Tamil Nadu in the freedom struggle and said the southern state was a bastion of Indian nationalism.
Noting that the Tamil people have always had a spirit of service, he said, ”It is very unfortunate that the contribution of the people of Tamil Nadu in India’s independence was not given the importance it should have been given.” He added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started raising this issue prominently.
”The people of the country are getting to know what treatment was meted out to the great Tamil tradition,” the prime minister said.
He remembered several great seers from Tamil Nadu who had reverently mentioned Ujjain, Kedarnath and Gauri Kund.
As a member of the Parliament from Varanasi, Modi also talked about Swami Kumaragurupara of Dharmapuram Adheenam, who had gone to Kashi from Tamil Nadu and established the Kedareshwar temple at the Kedar Ghat.
He further pointed out that the Kashi Math in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruppanandal is also named after Kashi.
Throwing light on an interesting fact about the ”math”, Modi informed that the Kashi Math of Thiruppanandal used to provide banking services to the pilgrims where one could deposit money at the ”math” in Tamil Nadu and withdraw it by showing a certificate in Kashi.
”This way, the followers of Shaiv Siddhanta not only spread devotion to Shiva, but also did the work of bringing us closer to each other,” he said.
Modi also underscored the role of the great tradition like Adheenam in keeping the Tamil culture vibrant even after years of subjugation.
”All your institutions have a glorious history in terms of contribution to the nation. Now is the time to take this tradition forward and be inspired to work for the generations to come,” Modi said.
Underlining the goals set for the next 25 years, the prime minister said the aim is to build a strong, self-reliant, inclusive and developed India by the time the country reaches 100 years of independence.
Modi emphasised that the Adheenams have a very important role when the country is moving ahead with the goals of 2047.
He said lakhs of countrymen have become re-acquainted with the Adheenams’ role in 1947.
Modi also underlined that India’s strength depends on its unity.
He warned about those who create obstacles in the way of the country’s progress and pose various challenges.
”Those who hinder India’s progress will try to break our unity. But I am sure that we will face every challenge with the spirituality and social strength that the country is getting from your institutions,” he said.
Modi’s remarks came amid a war of words between the BJP and the Congress over the history of ”Sengol” and the inauguration of the new Parliament being done by the prime minister.
At least 25 political parties are expected to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building even as around 20 opposition parties have decided to boycott the event over the prime minister and not the president inaugurating the structure.
The Congress has been attacking the BJP-led government over the inauguration and also criticising it on the completion of nine years in office. The opposition party held press conferences in 28 cities on Saturday to highlight the ”failures” of the government.
The ”Sengol” will be installed near the speaker’s chair in the new Parliament building.
The triangular-shaped four-storey Parliament building has a built-up area of 64,500 square metres. The building has three main gates — Gyan Dwar, Shakti Dwar and Karma Dwar.