The documentary on the history of the Sengol, which the government claimed signified the transfer of power from the British to independent India, relied on government records, institutional memory, and contemporaneous media reports, Union Minister Anurag Thakur told Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
In a written reply, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said the documentary was produced by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and the cost of production was part of the overall assignment.
The Sengol, which was placed in the Lok Sabha chamber of the New Parliament Building on May 28, symbolised the transfer of power during the Chola empire. Thakurs said the sources referred for reconstructing the history and significance of Sengol included a policy note 2021-22 of the Minister of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment, Tamil Nadu.
He said the documentary makers also relied on the Thiruvavaduthaurai Adheenam records and its institutional memory; the recollection by Kanchi Paramacharya, (quoted - Thevaram Doctor R. Subramaniam; Ponnar Menianudan Ponnana-Naatkal, Vol - 3: Pages 120-121); Interview of Masilamani, the Secretary of 20th, 21st and 22nd Mahasannidhanam of the Thriuvavaduthaurai Adheenam.
They also relied on the Vummidi Family’s institutional memory and its website.
The documentary makers also referred to contemporaneous media coverage, including articles in The Hindu dated 11.08.1947; The Indian Express dated 13.08.1947; The Hindustan Times dated 13.08.1947; The Statesman dated 15.08.1947 and the TIME Magazine August 1947.
They also referred to the recent media coverage in Tamil and English Media such as Dinamalar dated 08.03.2019 & 04.05.2020; Junior Vikatan dated 13.04.2019; Deiva Murasu and Thuglaq magazine article dated 05.05.2021.
Also, books such as Betrayal of India by D F Karaka; Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches. Vol. I. Maharashtra brought out by the Education Department of the Government of Maharashtra (1979); Inequality in India: Caste and Hindu Social Order, Transience; Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.
Other books include The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia by Tai Yong Tan and Gyanesh Kudaisya; The Indian Ideology by Perry Anderson; Kolaru Pathigam by Saktiyavel Murugunar, and the ‘Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan’ by Yasmin Khan.