Vummidi Ethiraju hails from a traditional jeweler family in Tamil Nadu and, 75 years ago, he crafted the ‘Sengol’ sceptre in collaboration with his brother. This distinguished artifact has been proudly placed within the newly constructed Parliament building.
On May 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building and ceremoniously positioned the revered Sengol sceptre beside the Speaker’s seat. The Sengol, regarded as a symbol of Independent India by the public, holds a rich historical significance. However, little is known about the creators behind this iconic sceptre.
It is not widely known, but the Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family from Tamil Nadu played a pivotal role in designing and crafting the historic Sengol sceptre. Their remarkable contribution earned them a special invitation to the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building, where Prime Minister Modi personally installed the sceptre.
The Sengol sceptre holds great significance as a symbol of Independence, as it was ceremoniously presented to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten. This act symbolized the transfer of power from the British to India, and the sceptre has since become an enduring representation of that historic moment.
Meet the jeweler who made the Sengol sceptre
Vummidi Ethiraju, a 95-year-old member of the esteemed Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family, had the honor of attending the Sengol installation ceremony. He holds the distinction of being the mastermind behind the design and creation of the Sengol. The Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family is widely acclaimed as one of the most renowned jeweler families in Tamil Nadu.
At the young age of 20, Vummidi Ethiraju, in collaboration with his brother, crafted the golden Sengol sceptre. The Sengol was skillfully constructed in Tamil Nadu by the Adheenams, who are associated with the Shaivite Matths in the region, as well as the renowned Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family.
Following the decision made by Prime Minister Nehru and C. Rajagopalchari to hold the Sengol ceremony in accordance with Tamil tradition, the latter took the initiative to reach out to Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a revered seer from Tamil Nadu. The Adheenam collaborated with the Vummidi family to jointly create and build the Sengol sceptre.
During a grand inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was presented with the Sengol sceptre by the revered seers of Tamil Nadu. Following an hour-long hawan (sacred fire ritual), the Prime Minister personally installed the sceptre near the seat of the Speaker in the new Parliament building. The event was truly majestic and marked a significant moment in the Sengol’s journey.