'Why does Congress hate Indian culture?' Amit Shah's retort to Jairam Ramesh on Sengol issue

Jairam Ramesh said there was no proof of 'Sengol' being a symbol of transfer of power

PTI05_24_2023_000080B 'Sengol', a historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu that will be installed in the new Parliament building | PTI

Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a  jibe at the Congress party on Friday on the 'Sengol' issue,  accusing it of hating Indian traditions and culture. 

Shah's sharp reaction came after Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said there was no evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the 'Sengol' as a symbol of transfer of power by the British to India.

"Why does the Congress party hate Indian traditions and culture so much? A sacred Sengol was given to Pandit Nehru by a holy Saivite Mutt from Tamil Nadu to symbolise India’s freedom but it was banished to a museum as a 'walking stick', " tweeted Amit Shah.

This came as the golden 'Sengol', kept at the Allahabad Museum, was moved to the national capital ahead of the inauguration of the new Parliament building. The saffron party plans to install the 'Sengol' in the Lok Sabha close to the Speaker's podium. It will be taken out on special occasions. 

The 'Sengol' was reportedly handed over to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of the country’s independence by the deputy chief priest of the Thiruvadutharai Adheenam — a Shaivite mutt located in Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, the mutt had handed it over to Lord Mountbatten first before taking it back.

According to the BJP leaders, Sengol symbolises the transfer of power to India from the Britishers on 14th of August 1947 and represents the values of fair and equitable governance.

However, Jairam Ramesh said there was no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the 'Sengol' as a symbol of the transfer of power by the British to India. 

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 claimed that a majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in the Madras province and crafted in Madras city (now Chennai) was indeed presented to Nehru in August 1947.

"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," 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.

BJP had earlier too hit out against the Congress for what it said was "disregard for Hindu traditions by calling the sacred 'Sengol' a "golden stick gifted" to India's first prime minister Nehru and tucking it away in a museum.

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