Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of the first President of Indonesia, has decided to convert to Hinduism from Islam. She will embrace Hinduism in a formal ceremony to be held on October 26th, reported CNN Indonesia. The conversion ceremony ‘Sudhi Wadani’ will be conducted at the Bali Agung Singaraja at the Buleleng Regency in Singaraja city of Bali, the ancestral land of the family. Bali Agung Singaraja is a monument to her late father Sukarno, built near the home of her grandmother in North Bali.
The conversion of Sukarnoputri has also received the approval of the family members. She is the daughter of Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno and the third wife Fatmawati. She is also the sister of the 5th President of Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri. She was married to Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara IX but got divorced in 1984.
Her decision to convert to Hinduism was influenced by her grandmother Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai Srimben, who hailed from Bali. Sukmawati Sukarnoputri is the founder of the Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia-PNI).
Interestingly, her conversion to Hinduism will coincide with her 70th birthday. The lawyer of Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, Witaryono Rejsoprojo earlier informed that his client is well versed in Hindu theology. “Yes, (her grandmother’s religion is the reason). The mother of ‘Bung Karno’ was Ida Nyoman, a Balinese noble person (bangsawan),” she said. As per reports, the head of the Sukarno Center in Bali, Arya Wedakarna, has been entrusted by Sukmawati Sukarnoputri herself for the smooth conduct of the event. However, it remains unknown whether she will settle permanently in Bali. She had often attended Hindu rituals in Bali when she used the visit the region.
According to a refugee of Bale Agung, Jro Made Arsana, the preparations are underway for the ceremony. “Everything has been decorated,” he stated. Arsana added that the pledge to convert will be made by Sukmawati Sukarnoputri in the presence of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) management. He also recounted how the daughter of the first President would come to Bale Agung along with her siblings.
Sukmawati Sukarnoputri had earlier attended several Hindu ceremonies and held talks with religious heads in Hinduism. Her decision to convert found the support of her brothers, Guntur Soekarnoputra, and Guruh Soekarnoputra, and sister Megawati Soekarnoputri. Even her children, namely, Muhammad Putra Perwira Utama, Prince Haryo Paundrajarna Sumautra Jiwanegara, and Gusti Raden Ayu Putri Siniwati have accepted her decision.
It is notable that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world.
Family denies sending an invitation to public
An invitation card inviting people to attend the Sudhi Wadani was published by some Indonesian media houses and circulated on social media. But the family of Sukarnoputri has said that due to Covid-19 protocol, it will be only a small private ceremony on Tuesday, and the invitation card is only for close family members and relatives. The family has requested the members of public not to attend the ceremony even if they have received the invitation.
The Sudhi Wadani ceremony is a special internal ceremony for the Dadia Pasek Baleagung Buleleng extended family,” said a family member. he added that due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baleagung Family has never issued an invitation related to the religious conversion ceremony, to avoid crowds at the Sudhi Wadani ceremony procession.