According to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, there is no proof that Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, or Lord Mountbatten ever referred to the “Sengol” as a sign of the British transferring control from India to Britain.
He further said that Tamil Nadu’s ceremonial sceptre is being used for political purposes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his drumbeaters.
After PM Modi inaugurates the new Parliament building on May 28, the “Sengol” will be placed adjacent to the Lok Sabha speaker’s chair. Twenty opposition parties, including the Congress, are boycotting the event.
The BJP had said on Thursday that the Congress had disrespected Hindu customs by referring to the revered “Sengol” as a “golden stick gifted” to India’s first Prime Minister Nehru and hiding it in a museum.
According to BJP leader Amit Malviya, the handing over of the “sacred ‘Sengol'” to Nehru on the eve of India’s Independence marked the precise moment when control of India passed from the British to the country.
On Twitter, Ramesh said, “The sceptre is now being used by the PM (prime minister) and his drum-beaters for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives. The real question is why is President Droupadi Murmu not being allowed to inaugurate the new Parliament.”
He asserted that in August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru was given a magnificent sceptre that was designed by a religious organisation in the Madras region and made in Madras city (now Chennai).
“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 — bodgus,” he said.
“Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media. Two of the finest Rajaji scholars with impeccable credentials have expressed surprise,” the Congress general secretary communications said.
While announcing the boycott, the Opposition parties had said the prime minister’s decision to inaugurate it by himself, “completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response”.
“Is it any surprise that the new Parliament is being consecrated with typically false narratives from WhatsApp University? The BJP-RSS distorians stand exposed yet again with maximum claims, minimum evidence,” Congress general secretary communications Ramesh said in his tweet.
He claimed that the sceptre that was given to Nehru was thereafter stored at the Allahabad Museum for display. No matter what labels may claim, Mr. Ramesh added, what Jawaharlal Nehru said there on December 14, 1947, is a part of public record.