The Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central government spent two years examining official records and media articles dating back to 1947, including a piece in Time magazine, to authenticate the importance of the ‘Sengol’ and the ‘Sengol Vesting Ceremony’ on the night of 14 August 1947, that symbolised the transfer of power to India.
The events were triggered by a article by S Gurumurthy in Thuglak magazine on 5 May 2021 that said the 'Sengol' was a symbol of Independence given to India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru by a Tamil pontiff.
Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, a noted classical dancer, sent an English translation version of the article to the Prime Minister's Office. She urged that the 'Sengol-vesting' ceremony, a significant, sacred, and historic event, has been hidden from public knowledge and history. She pleaded with the Modi Government to reveal this event on India's Independence Day in 2021.
The importance of the "Sengol" led the Prime Minister's Office and the Culture Ministry to search through past documents and media coverage for verification.
Information was gathered from newspapers, books by notable authors and the information from the internet regarding how the "Sengol" was presented to Nehru at his residence.
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library's Chairman, Nripendra Mishra, was requested to find if references or photos of the ceremony were available in the private papers at the museum, reports News18.
A crucial discovery was an article in Time magazine's 'foreign news' section on 25 August 1947, which detailed the Sengol ritual
On 26 April 2022, Nripendra Misra provided the government with information on two books: Perry Anderson's The Indian Ideology and Tai Yong Tan and Gyanesh Kudaisya's The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia.
DF Karaka's book date 1950 was also found by the government that corroborated that the ‘Sengol’ was given by Tanjore priests as symbol of traditional Indian way of obtaining ruling authority from holy men.
The government discovered additional evidence, such as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's 1955 writing, the book Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, and Yasmin Khan's Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan, regarding the ceremony.
Several media reports from 1947 also confirmed the ceremony.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Policy Note of 2021-22, published by the DMK government, also recounted the ‘Sengol’ ceremony of 1947.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly received a report on this by the DMK government during the 2021-22 session.
The 'Sengol' was finally found in the Allahabad Museum. It was categorised as Nehru's 'golden walking stick'. The 'Sengol' will now be placed in the new Parliament building in Delhi.
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