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The Batons Tale

The Queen's Baton is the biggest symbol of the Commonwealth Games. Mithun Mukherjee takes you on a journey to find out more about this important symbol…

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2010 22:54 IST
Mithun Mukherjee

The baton has been a symbol of most International Events in modern history. It serves as a binding force and a signage of the trust and harmony that the participating nations hold between them. It also functions in carrying Her Majesty's Queen Elizabeth II's 'message to the atheletes' from Buckingham Palace in London to the opening ceremony of the Games. The composition and its journey indeed make for an interesting tale.

The baton, unveiled in Delhi on March 8, 2009 , is a combination of handcrafted excellence and precision engineering. It represents a blend of our ancient roots and present vibrant modern identity. The baton's colour scheme showcases 'soils' from every corner of the country, a rich palette ranging from white sands to yellow clay, deep reds to dark browns and an array of other hues.

The baton has been created using a triangular section of aluminium which is twisted in the form of a helix and coated with soil in a graduating pattern. It symbolises the very essence of India with its diversity and unrelenting endeavour towards being a harmonious and progressive nation. The Queen’s message is symbolically engraved onto a miniature 18 carat gold leaf, representative of the ancient Indian 'pathras'. It uses modern laser technology, known as micro calligraphy, to inscribe the message this way, for the very first time. At 664 millimetres high, 34 millimetres wide at the base and 86 millimetres wide at the top it weighs in at a mere 1,900 grams.

The journey of the baton symbolises the unity and shared ideals of the commonwealth of Nations, and enables communities beyond the host city to share the celebrations of the Games. It symbolises the pride that we hold in the games and binds us in a feeling of celebration.