The opening of the new Parliament building on May 28, 2023, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will place a Sengol, or scepter, close to the Lok Sabha Speaker’s chair, is based on entirely bogus claims and storylines. The president of India and vice president of India, who serves as ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, were excluded from the inauguration, and it was purposefully denied that Lord Mountbatten ever gave Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru the Sengol, a symbol of the transfer of power from the UK to India, on August 14, 1947.

According to a fabrication by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Mountbatten questioned Nehru about a ritual or procedure used in India to transfer power. Shah vehemently argued that Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), who allegedly referred to the custom of Chola rulers handing over sovereignty to another king after the priest of the royal court gave the succeeding king a Sengol, was the authority Nehru went to understand the practice. According to Shah, Rajajaji organized a Sengol from a Shaivaite monastery, and Mountbatten gave it to Nehru. Modi echoed Shah’s story in his remarks at the dedication of the new Parliament building.

The Hindu newspaper, dated August 29, 1947, with two oversized images on the top, was disseminated in several WhatsApp groups on the morning of May 30. The image at the top shows the chief priest of the Saivaite mutt, while the appearance of a Sengol is on the other side. According to the information below, the top priest bestowed his blessings on Jawaharlal Nehru at his York Road home at 10 p.m. on the night before India gained its freedom.

Another image, immediately below the one in question, shows priests from the mutt posing at Central Station in Madras (now Chennai), most likely. The language in the WhatsApp message that contained the two images said, “The Hindu, which rigorously fact-checked other evidence and articles on Sengol using Zoo Bear creatures, failed to fact-check their newspaper headline published on August 29, 1947, Madras edition.”