Indonesia’s founding father and first president Sukarno's daughter Sukmawati Sukarnoputri converted to Hinduism from Islam on Tuesday. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country.


The 69 year old converted to Hinduism at the Sukarno Centre Heritage Area in Bali's Buleleng Regency at a ritual known as 'Sudhi Wadani.'

Sukmawati's Balinese grandmother, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai Srimben is said to have had a major influence on her decision to convert to Hinduism. It should be noted that Hinduism is the predominant religion in Bali, however, it differs significantly from Hinduism as practised in India.

Sukmawati's lawyer stated in a press conference on her decision to convert to Hinduism that she is well-versed in all Hindu doctrines and rituals.

Her relatives had given their blessings for her religious conversion, says a close friend. Sukmawati's conversion, according to her friend, was a "courageous demonstration" and a beautiful example of the Sukarno family's "religious tolerance."

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She had been interested in Hinduism for the past 20 years, according to the friend, and had visited major temples in Bali as well as read great Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Sukmawati is a member of the Sukarno family, which is powerful and well-respected in Indonesian politics. Her parents were instrumental in Indonesia's fight for independence from colonial rule.

Sukarno's father became the country's first president after independence in 1945, and he served for 22 years until he was deposed in 1967.

Megawati Sukarnoputri, Sukmawati's elder sister, was Indonesia's fifth president, and she created the Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia-PNI), which contested in multiple national elections.


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