COIMBATORE: Whenever there was a change in regime in Tamil Nadu and a new person came to power, there was an old tradition of passing the sengol (sceptre), said governor R N Ravi in Coimbatore on Friday.
The governor was speaking at the International Millet Conference organised by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Ravi said when the British were to leave the country, they wanted to know whether there was any ritual for transfer of power. “Nehru was not familiar with the country’s tradition. He asked C Rajagopalachari, who arranged for a ritual where a sengol was handed over to Jawaharlal Nehru as a mark of transfer of power. Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam recited Thevaram on that occasion and carried out the ritual,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we have somehow forgotten that ritual. Now the sengol is located in Prayagraj. This sengol will be reinstalled in the new parliament building,” he said.
Talking about the importance of switching to millet cultivation, the governor said that because of large production of rice it led to health problems. Doctors say Tamil Nadu has the largest number of diabetic patients. “One of the reasons they say is our excessive dependence on rice. Our cuisine is delicious and wide ranging, but everything is made of rice. Excessive consumption leading to diabetes. Consumption of millet is the best solution,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 2018 as the year of millet to promote millet cultivation and consumption. “Five years down the line the world has declared 2023 as the year of millet. They have realized that the future of humanity lies in millet which is more nutritious and more nature friendly,” he said.
“We all know that millets are nutritious and climate resilient. We all know that they are easy to cultivate compared to other crops. We can grow them in water deficient areas too,” he said.
“India has to show the way to the world in millet production. The role of agricultural scientists in producing qualitatively advanced millets, high yielding ones is important. They have to create awareness to farmers. Contribution of industry and young entrepreneurs for the promotion of millets is very important.”
During a discussion session, a farmer suggested an all India tour for members of Farmers Producer Organisation to see the successful models in other parts of the nation. The governor assured that the idea would be taken up to relevant authorities at the Centre.

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