Updated: May 29
Home Minister Amit Shah announced that a Sceptre will be installed in the new parliament building. But, did you know the real story behind it?
When we think of Indian independence, the iconic speech of Pt. Nehru rings in our ears. But have you ever wondered how the power was symbolically transferred?
If you think it was by lowering the Union Jack and hoisting the tricolour, think again! At least not officially in New Delhi and not by the then leaders of the nation.
So, how did it happen? Here's the story…
A few weeks before 15th August, the then-viceroy Lord Mountbatten asked Pt. Nehru, on how he wished to symbolize the transfer of power. In dilemma, Nehru asked his trusted friend C. Rajagopalachari.
Rajaji then enlightened Nehru about an ancient Tamil tradition where the head priest of the state would hand over a sceptre to the new king assuming power after the victory in war.
They then decided to adopt this ritual where a priest would hand over the sceptre from Mountbatten to Nehru. Rajaji roped in Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a Saivite mutt in Tamil Nadu, to prepare a sceptre and to carry on the ritual on the eve of independence. A sceptre worth Rs 15,000 in those days was designed and forged in gold and gems by a jeweller named Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers in Madras.
At 11:45 PM on the 14th of August 1947, in the central hall of the parliament, Sri Kumaraswamy Thambiran, a priest from Thiruvaduthurai Mutt, received the sceptre from Lord Mountbatten, sprinkled the holy water on it and recited the hymns from Tamil Thevaram.
The closing verses of which were Adiyargal Vaanil Arasalvar Aanai Namathe, which meant, "We command that His Humbleness shall rule the Heavens", and handed it over to Nehru by smearing the ashes on his forehead. That symbolically represented the end of English rule over this great land. And a few minutes later was delivered the speech that will be remembered for ages to come!