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BJP And Opposition Lock Horns Over 'Sengol' In Lok Sabha — Here's All You Need To Know

Bhuvan Krishna

Jun 27, 2024, 02:02 PM | Updated 03:03 PM IST

The Chola dynasty Sengol was used in the New Parliament's inauguration and placed there permanently.
The Chola dynasty Sengol was used in the New Parliament's inauguration and placed there permanently.

The 'Sengol' placed next to the Speaker's chair in Lok Sabha has become a contentious issue in the current Parliament session. Some opposition MPs have questioned its relevance in a democracy, while the BJP has accused them of disrespecting Indian culture.

This debate was sparked by a letter from Samajwadi Party MP RK Chaudhary to Speaker Om Birla, suggesting that the 'sengol' should be replaced by a copy of the Constitution.

Chaudhary has argued that the adoption of the Constitution marked the beginning of democracy in India, making it the nation's symbol.

He also criticised the BJP government for installing the 'sengol', a 5-foot-long, handcrafted, gold-plated sceptre, during its last term, stating that it represents the era of kingship, which has ended.

He emphasised that elected representatives now govern India and that the Constitution should run the country, not a symbol of monarchy.

"The adoption of the Constitution marked the beginning of democracy in the country, and the Constitution is its symbol. The BJP government in its last term installed 'sengol' next to the Speaker's chair. Sengol is a Tamil word that means sceptre. Rajdand also means the king's stick. We have become independent after the age of kings. Now, every man and woman who is an eligible voter chooses the government to run this country. So will the country run by Constitution or by a king's stick?" he told news agency ANI.

Akhilesh Yadav, leader of the Samajwadi Party noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had bowed to the 'sengol' during its installation but did not do so while taking the oath of office this time.

"I think our MP wanted to remind the Prime Minister about it," the SP chief added.

Senior Congress leader B Manickam Tagore and RJD MP Misa Bharti also supported Chaudhary's demand, arguing that the 'sengol' symbolises kingship and should be replaced to celebrate democracy and the Constitution.

The Opposition's push against the 'sengol' coincides with the INDI Alliance bloc's emphasis on the Constitution as a counter to the Modi government.

Prominent Opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, and Akhilesh Yadav, have staged demonstrations holding copies of the Constitution, and many MPs took their oaths holding it as well.

In response, the BJP has defended the 'sengol', with a senior party leader reportedly criticising the Samajwadi Party's stance as an attack on Indian culture, specifically Tamil culture.

During the 'sengol's installation last year, Home Minister Amit Shah had stated that it was meant to connect cultural traditions with modern governance, reminding the administration to abide by the rule of law.

Also Read: NEET-UG Controversy: Supreme Court Seeks Exam Body NTA's Response On Petition By Learning App Over OMR Sheets

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.


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