Sitharaman calls on opposition parties to reconsider boycott, says Sengol is a symbol of civilization

Sitharaman calls on opposition parties to reconsider boycott, says Sengol is a symbol of civilization
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Saying that transfers of power never happen simply with a handshake, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday called on opposition parties to reconsider their decision to boycott the opening of the new parliament building scheduled for on May 28, calling it a “temple of democracy.” “

Addressing reporters in Chennai, he said that 20 “aadeenams” (pontiffs) from Tamil Nadu have been invited to the inauguration, where the ‘Sengol’ will be installed, as it was done in 1947 to symbolize the transformation of power from the British. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the new Parliament building on Sunday.

Sitharaman addressed a press conference at the Raj Bhavan here in the company of TN Governor RN Ravi, his Telangana and Nagaland counterparts Tamilsai Soundararajan and La Ganesan respectively Union Minister L Murugan and Minister from TN, PK Sekar Babu.

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, one of 19 opposition parties in the Center boycotting the takeover, called the Sengol (scepter) a symbol of the monarchy and insisted it had nothing to do with democracy.

Responding to the opposition’s objection to the inauguration of Prime Minister Modi, instead of President Droupadi Murmu, Sitharaman said in a veiled attack on Congress that his former boss Sonia Gandhi had laid the cornerstone for the assembly building of Chhattisgarh instead of the governor of that state before.

It was strange that those who censured the president now find themselves morally motivated, Sitharaman said.

“I am surprised by his accusation. These parties saw the president as coming from a tribal background and waged a bitter campaign against her. The leaders of her opposition parties spoke ill of her and said that she will be a rubber stamp and that she represents the forces of evil,” Sitharaman said.

“But the prime minister gave him due respect. Those who ran a bitter campaign back then are now suddenly speaking up for it,” the finance minister said.

When asked for his comments on the boycott of the inauguration by various political parties, he replied: “Parliament is a temple of democracy and these parties should reconsider their decision and participate.” Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan said that certain political parties seem to be in the habit of doing politics at their convenience.

“I was not invited to the inauguration of the Assembly complex which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister (K ​​Chandrasekar Rao). Some parties know how to do politics, when to invoke the name of the governor or the prime minister, as it suits them,” he added.

Sitharaman said the inauguration of the golden Sengol marks an important event in the history of Indian parliamentary democracy.

“The Rajya Sabha is part of the Parliament complex and the Sengol will be placed in the Lok Sabha, signifying an important event in the temple of democracy and also Tamil Nadu’s connection to the symbolic transfer of power through the Sengol.” , said.

“Never, ever, are transfers of power done with a handshake. There are many things that make events hallowed and the Sengol represents one of those hallowing events. This speaks to the civilizational link,” she said.

Asked whether the embossed images of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi on the scepter will be accepted by people of all faiths, he said that when the British left India there were both Christians and Muslims in the country. No one had objected to those images when they were handed over to Lord Mountbatten and later handed over to the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

“Indonesia, a Muslim-majority nation, for example, has Ganesh and Lakshmi on its banknotes. They find nothing wrong with showing their symbols of civilization,” he said, expressing his hope that the Sengoles would also find acceptance. Sitharaman further said that TN has a “great share of pride” in the episode of the Sengoles being handed over to Nehru, who symbolizes power transfer from the British to the people of India in 1947.

This was done on the advice of Tiruvavaduthurai adheenam after the late CR Rajagopalachary discussed it with the Shaivite pontiff following Nehru’s consultations with him.

Up to 20 ‘aadeenams’ from Tamil Nadu including Tiruvavaduthurai, Perur and Madurai have been invited for the inaugural event on May 28, he said.

In Tamil, the word ‘Aadeenam’ refers to both a Shaivite monastery and the head of such a mathematician.

“Pontiffs will attend the event, there will be Oduvars (scholars in Shaivite scriptures and hymns) who will recite the Thevaram. In 1947 also the Sengol was given to Nehru when othuvargal recited Kolaru Pathigam,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DMK lashed out at the government over inviting pontiffs, asking if religious leaders from other faiths have been invited.

DMK spokesman and former TKS MP Elangovan said Sengol represents the monarchy.

“Sengol is an identity of a monarchy. In a monarchy there was no separate judicial system, the king was the head of justice, the king was the head of defense, the head of administration; The king controls the entire nation. The king does justice to his subjects,” he told PTI. He said that in a democracy there is no role for the Sengoles.

“Sengol represents the monarchy, he talks about how a monarch works, how he must be upright when doing justice among his people. In 1947, some people gave Sengol to Pundit Nehru when India gained independence. It’s just a symbol, a gift,” he added.

On the invitation extended to the 20 adheenams, he said that “they are opening a Parliament by inviting a religious group, let them respond to that”, and stated that the Center was “violating the Constitution”.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency – PTI)


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