Ahead of the inauguration of the new parliament on Sunday, nearly 30 pontiffs from different Adheenams of Tamil Nadu arrived in the national capital, and visited the Uttara Swami malai temple on Friday to offer prayers.
These heads of mutts from Trichy, Madurai and other places also changed Tamil hymns such as Thevaram, giving a glimpse of what the rituals of the inaugural would look like. Nearly 60 religious heads have been called for the event, many of whom are from Tamil Nadu.
Adheenams or mutts of Tamil Nadu have a history of resisting upper caste domination, and are known for taking religion to the masses. Many of them are hundreds of years old.
The Thiruvavaduthurai adheenam that was given the task of getting the Sengol or sceptre ready for the transfer of power is itself 400 years old. Representatives of the mutt have also started arriving in Delhi.
V Balasubramanian, president of the temple, said these mutt heads were extremely knowledgeable about Tamil traditions and customs, and the parliament will only be enriched with the presence of the Sengol and Tamil rituals.
"They say in Tamil that the Sengol should not bend... It's a symbol of fairness and we should be proud such traditional symbols are getting their rightful place," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Congress raised questions on the claims made by the BJP on the history of the Sengol and its importance in India's Independence.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the claim that the Sengol at the insistence of freedom fighter C Rajagopalachari was made the symbol of transfer of power was bogus. The RJD and the DMK have also raised similar questions.
But the mutt in question, Thiruvavaduthurai adheenam, issued a clarification citing disappointment with the claims made by the Congress.
Home minister Amit Shah said the Congress was being disrespectful not just of ancient Hindu symbols, but also of holy men.