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Did Indonesia's 'Queen' Convert to Hinduism With 30,000 Followers? No!

The photo is from 2017 and doesn't show Sukmawati Sukarnoputri converting to Hinduism.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The claim states that the photo shows Sukmawati Sukarnoputri along with 30,000 of her followers converting from Islam to Hinduism.</p></div>
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A photo is being shared massively on social media platforms with the claim that the Queen of Indonesia Sukmawati Sukarnoputri has converted to Hinduism from Islam with her 30,000 followers.

However, we found that the photo is from 2017 and shows KRA Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi Paramasari, a member of Karaton Solo Palace in Central Java, who had converted to Hinduism on 17 July 2017.

Sukmawati, daughter of Indonesia’s founding father and first president, had on 26 October converted from Islam to Hinduism in Bali, Indonesia, at the age of 70, according to CNN Indonesia.

But, contrary to the claim, Sukmawati is not a queen and she didn't bring 30,000 followers to embrace Hinduism from Islam, as confirmed to The Quint's WebQoof team by Indonesia-based fact-checking organisation Tempo.

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CLAIM

The photo is being shared along with the claim in Hindi that reads, "इंडोनेशिया की रानी सुकमावती सुकार्णोपुत्री का आज विधिवत अपने 30 हजार समर्थकों के साथ इस्लाम छोड़ हिंदू धर्म अपनाना एक बडे बदलाव का सूत्रपात है। बिना तलवार, बिना भय, लालच के लोग सनातन की संतान बन जाते है...आखिर एक दिन अपनी जड़ों की ओर लौटना होता है."

(Translation: Queen Sukmavati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia, along with her 30,000 supporters, adopting Hinduism from Islam is the beginning of a big change. Without sword, without fear, without greed, people have become the children of Sanatan (Hindu) dharma. After all, one day we have to return to our roots.)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the tweet can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/BE94-YCRG">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the tweet can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The photo along with the claim has been massively shared on Facebook and Twitter and the archived links can be found here, here and here.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The claim is widely shared on Facebook.&nbsp;</p></div>

The claim is widely shared on Facebook. 

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND

We conducted a reverse image search on the photo and found it in a news website called Tribun Bali published on 18 July 2017.

The report read that KRA Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi Paramasari, a member of the royal family in Solo, Central Java had converted to Hinduism to go back to her ancestors' religion, in Denpasar, a city in Bali, Indonesia.

However, the report makes no mention about 30,000 supporters converting to Hinduism alongside her.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Photo from July 2017.</p></div>

Photo from July 2017.

(Source: Tribun Bali/Screenshot)

When we looked with keywords of the royal member, we found one news article by Indonesia-based daily Bali Express published on 18 July 2017 which had carried the viral photo.

The photograph is credited to Bali Express' photographer Agung Bayu.

This report also didn't mention anything about 30,000 of her followers embracing Hinduism.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Photo from 2017.</p></div>

Photo from 2017.

(Source: Bali Express/Screenshot)

Further, we looked for news report of the ex-president's daughter Sukmawati converting to Hinduism and found it on CNN Indonesia published on 26 October.

She had embraced Hinduism in a ritual called 'Sudhi Wadani' and the report had no mention of 30,000 of her supporters converting to Hinduism.
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Sukmawati Sukarnoputri had converted to Hinduism.&nbsp;</p></div>

Sukmawati Sukarnoputri had converted to Hinduism. 

(Source: CNN Indonesia/Screenshot)

A video of the conversion story was carried by Hindustan Times on 27 October.

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We got in touch with an Indonesia-based fact-checking organisation Tempo who confirmed the news by 'Tribun Bali' about the conversion of the member of the royal family in 2017.

They told The Quint's WebQoof team that ex-president's daughter Sukmawati is not a queen and that it was her personal decision to convert to Hinduism. Further, she also didn't bring 30,000 of her followers to convert to the Hindu religion.
"She is not a queen and she did not bring 30,000 followers to convert, it's her own personal decision."
Tempo told The Quint

Clearly, an unrelated photo from 2017 is being shared with the claim that Indonesia's 'queen' has converted to Hinduism from Islam along with 30,000 of her supporters.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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