Govt. claims of

The Hindu Bureau
Govt. claims of

(From right) K.S. Alagiri, N. Ram, A. Gopanna and G. Ramakrishnan addressing the media in Chennai on Wednesday.M. VEDHAN

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Thursday, 1st June 2023
Page No. 2
Chennai Print Edition

N. Ram, veteran journalist and Director, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited, on Wednesday said many claims made by the Union government about the Sengol (sceptre) — installed in the new Parliament building with much fanfare — being a symbol that signified the ‘transfer of power’ in 1947 were “manufactured lies”.

He was addressing journalists at a press conference in Chennai on ‘What truly transpired on August 14-15, 1947?’, organised by National Thinkers’ Forum. Mr. Ram said there is no evidence to back up the claim that the last Viceroy of India, Mountbatten, asked Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (if there was any ritual to signify the transfer of power), who, in turn, sought the advice of C. Rajagopalachari, or Rajaji, (the last Governor-General of India). “The crux of the claim is that the last Viceroy, Mountbatten, came to India with a specific mandate: to hand over power to Indians to enable the British to exit India as quickly as possible. He asked the soon-to-be Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, how should this moment of transfer of power be conducted, and whether there was a ceremony. There is no evidence for this,” he said.

Mr. Ram said the claim that Nehru sought the help of Rajaji, and that the representatives of the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam went to New Delhi in a special flight and met Mountbatten before meeting Nehru, lacked evidence. “There was no way that the Adheenam representatives could have met Mountbatten in Delhi. It is true they met Nehru, there is evidence for this; but the claim that Nehru sought the advice of Rajaji, who then consulted the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam...a Sengol was made by Vummidi Bangaru Chetty; why and when was it given and whether it had any connection to ‘transfer of power’ — there is no evidence. At that time, nobody considered it as a transfer of power. The Indian Independence Act, passed in the British Parliament, says that on August 15, India became independent, and the moment of ‘transfer of power’ happened when Nehru was sworn in as the Prime Minister by Mountbatten,” he said.

Explaining why the Adheenam representatives could not have met Mountbatten, Mr. Ram said, “According to Mountbatten’s programme for August 14, he would fly to Karachi to oversee the transfer of power and reach New Delhi by 7 p.m. There was no way that the Adheenam delegation could have met him before meeting Mr. Nehru.”

TNCC president K.S. Alagiri, vice-president A. Gopanna and CPI(M) leader G. Ramakrishnan were present.

(For the full report, visit

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