Hindu term
(Redirected from Shudhi)

Shuddhi is Sanskrit for purification. In Hinduism it is a part of worship. It also refers to converting to Hinduism.


  • It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shudhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans. First to suffer was Swami Shradhanand, who was shot by Abdul Rashid on 23rd December 1926 when he was lying in his sick bed.
    • B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • Swami Shradhanand relates a very curious incident which well illustrates this attitude... He says :— "It was from the beginning a Hindu Conference in all walks of life. The only Mahomedan delegate who joined the National Social Conference was a Mufti Saheb of Barreily. Well! ... Then the Mufti asked permission to speak.... There was no loophole left for the President and Mufti Saheb was allowed to have his say. Mufti Saheb's argument was that as Hindu Shastras did not allow remarriage, it was a sin to press for it. Again, when the resolution about the reconversion of those who had become Christians and Musalmans came up. Mufti Saheb urged that when a man abandoned the Hindu religion he ought not to be allowed to come back."
    • B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • In my opinion, they are not examples of real conversion. If a person through fear, compulsion, starvation or for material gain or consideration goes over to another faith, it is a misnomer to call it conversion. Most cases of mass conversion, of which we have heard so much during the past two years, have been to my mind false coin… I would, therefore, unhesitatingly re-admit to the Hindu fold all such repentants without much ado, certainly without any shuddhi... And as I believe in the equality of all the great religions of the earth, I regard no man as polluted because he has forsaken the branch on which he was sitting and gone over to another of the same tree. If he comes to the original branch, he deserves to be welcomed and not told that he had committed sin by reason of his having forsaken the family to which he belonged. In so far as he may be deemed to have erred, he has sufficiently purged himself of it when he repents of the error and retraces his step.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, The Collected Works Volume 66, New Delhi, 1976, pp. 163-64. As quoted in Goel, S.R. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • [Asymmetry was the principle as in the case of Islam;] conversion was held to be and acted upon as something that was an essential principle of Christianity; but when a person like Swami Shraddhananda argued in favour of taking back into the Hindu fold the converts who wanted to return, they were condemned as persons who were inventing a practice for which there was no warrant in Hinduism.”
    • Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). RIFT IN THE LUTE, in Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121
  • If the agitation in the Andamans . . . had only awakened the conscience of the Hindus to the possibility that a Mussalman can also be converted to Hinduism, I would have achieved a great deal. For up to that time the question that was always put to us was, ‘A Hindu can become a Mussalman, no doubt; but how can a Mussalman be admitted into Hinduism?’ Hundreds of Hindus had asked me that question and sincerely believed that there was no answer for it. But none put such a conundrum before us any longer. For the Shuddhi movement had shown that it could be done, and we had done it. The food touched or prepared by the Muslims could be eaten by the Hindu without tarring his stomach and making him lose his caste and religion. Hinduism was not so anaemic as that; and the Hindus in the Andamans had realized the fact, as they had not done it before. This was a great achievement of the Shuddhi movement in that part of the world. For there are in the so-called wise and liberty-loving Hindus of India bigoted champions of Hinduism who, seriously enough, still seek to confound us by the same conundrum. This awakening in the Andamans was not confined to the few but had spread all over the place and the roots of the new feeling had gone deep down into the soil of the Andamans.
    • V. D. Savarkar, quoted in Vikram Sampath - Savarkar, Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924 (2019)
  • The salvation of man lies in dying in his own religion . . . We will no longer let any Hindu boy or girl, man or woman, however fallen they may be, pass into another religion, and we shall not fail to re-convert those whom you may have duped into embracing your faith . . . It is the duty of every Hindu to persuade a Hindu to remain a Hindu. It is a principle to be followed as vital to his community and culture for the preservation and progress of both.
    • V. D. Savarkar, quoted in Vikram Sampath - Savarkar, Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924 (2019)
  • The folly of disallowing reconversions to Hinduism is a self-destructive one. How easily Hindus converting to Islam or Christianity merge in their new milieu. Yet the same facility is not available to a non-Hindu who might earnestly wish to return to his or her fold or adopt Hinduism as a matter of faith. This shackle seriously depletes our numbers and makes the Hindu community a ready preying ground for the conversion factories that are always looking at swelling their numbers, many times by stealth or inducements. I have nothing against those who convert to another faith by sheer conviction. But such examples are rare. Why should we not allow the enhancement of our numbers due to some antiquated idea that does not even have any scriptural sanction that we cannot convert to Hinduism?
    • V. D. Savarkar, quoted in Vikram Sampath - Savarkar, Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924 (2019)
  • “I want to see you, Swami,” I began, “on this matter of receiving back into Hinduism those who have been perverted from it. Is it your opinion that they should be received?”
    Certainly, they can and ought to be taken... And then every man going out of the Hindu pale is not only a man less, but an enemy the more. .... Again, the vast majority of Hindu perverts to Islam and Christianity are perverts by the sword, or the descendants of these. It would be obviously unfair to subject these to disabilities of any kind.
  • "Then as to names," I enquired, "I suppose aliens and perverts who have adopted non-Hindu names should be named newly. Would you give them caste-names, or what?"
    "Certainly," said the Swami, thoughtfully, "there is a great deal in a name!" and on this question he would say no more.
  • Muhammad Ali's observation on the sudden manifestation of zeal by the Muslims and Hindus for conversion and reconveision to their faith is worth quoting : “My own belief is that both sides are working with an eye much more on the next decennial census than on heaven itself, and I frankly confess it is on such occasions that I sigh for the days when our forefathers settled things by cutting heads rather then counting them'
  • The Hindus naturally resented the attitude of the Muslims toward the Suddhi movement and felt themselves perfectly justified in converting or reconverting otherL to their own faith, — a right which the Muslims had fully exercised all along without any restraint, and which alone accounted for their number in India.
  • Shaukat Ali to Savarkar: But you do realize that you polarize the minds of Muslims with your activities. Muslims have been converting Hindus for such a long time. It is not a new thing that has come up now. It is your shuddhi that is a new phenomenon that sows seeds of discord amidst tranquil society. Isn’t it blatantly anti-Muslim?
    Savarkar: But whose fault is this, Maulana Sahab? If a religion as tolerant and peace-loving as Hinduism—that never proselytized anyone forcibly and even forgave or forgot the coercive and violent attempts made on its faith—has to today take the help of shuddhi, where should the blame lie? On the victim or the aggressor? Till date we trusted people and kept the doors of our houses open. Thieves from across the world came in and looted our possessions. Today we have gathered some sense, become alert and have decided to keep our doors locked. And if the same dacoits come and tell us, ‘We have been looting for so long, putting a lock on your doors is being unfair to us and this will spoil relationships between us’, what are we to reply? Such a lethal unity is best broken in my view.
    • Shaukat Ali in conversation with V.D. Savarkar, quoted in Vikram Sampath - Savarkar, A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966 (2021)
  • A letter I received from a Hindu leader in Sindh makes it clear that the condition of Hindus in Sindh is worrisome. There is a caste called Sanyogi in Sindh who were converted by force centuries ago, but they have retained their Hindu roots and customs. They want to become Hindu again, but their Hindu caste panchayats are not willing to accept them back. The organizations that want [sic] to get these people back into Hinduism face a stiff resistance from the Muslim organizations of Sindh, who are saying that such efforts will go against ‘Hindu Muslim unity’ in the region. But the unity that tells only Hindus that they shouldn’t propagate their religion even by talking about it, but we are free to spread our religion using force, you should not do ‘shuddhikaran’ but we will do ‘bhrashtikaran’, is not unity. It is a division that must be fought.
    • V.D. Savarkar, in the periodical Swatantrya on 16, 19 and 23 March 1924, under a pseudonym of ‘TaLamaLanara Aatma’ (A Troubled Soul). These were titled ‘Kaay Ajoonahi Nijalaat?’ (Are You Still in Deep Slumber?). quoted in Vikram Sampath - Savarkar, A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966 (2021)
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