In a significant development in the world of religions, society and politics, former President of Indonesia Sukarno’s daughter, Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, is undergoing a ritual of converting from Islam to Hinduism. The ritual will be held at the Sukarno Center Heritage Area in Bale Agung Singaraja, Buleleng Regency, Bali, on Tuesday, CNN Indonesia reported. The following is the profile of Sukmawati Soekarnoputri.
The Sukarnoputri sisters made news at times in India and the rest of the world where Hindus live for the Sanskrit-sounding “putri” (daughter) in their names. Hindus would say the name was one of many pieces of evidence that showed how far Hinduism was spread in history. But not much was known about her otherwise in the Hindu world.
Sukmawati Sukarnoputri has had a career in the arts. She tried to combine the world of art with politics just as Sukarno did during his life. This was different from the career choices of her two sisters, Megawati Soekarnoputri and Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, who chose to focus on politics alone.
Sukmawati was born in Jakarta on 26 October 1951. Her interest in art was nurtured from a young age. After completing high school education in 1969, Sukmawati continued her education at the Dance Academy at LPKJ, Jakarta. He graduated in 1974.
A few years later, Sukmawati decided to enter politics in 1998 by resurrecting the Indonesian National Party (PNI) under the new name PNI Soepeni.
In the 1999 general election, the party received only 0.36% of the vote in the Muslim-dominated south-east Asian country. Due to such poor performance, the party later changed its name to PNI Marhaenisme in 2002 with Sukmawati as the general chairman.
In the 2004 general election, the party was able to secure only one seat in the government after gaining 0.81% of the vote. Until the 2009 general election, the party lost its seat in the government after gaining 0.3% of the vote.
In 2011, Sukmawati, who was taking a break from politics, launched a book entitled Creeping Coup D’Tat Major General Suharto. The book bears testimony to the history of his life for 15 years at the Merdeka Palace.
The book reveals much about Sukmawati’s life since she was born at the Merdeka Palace when her father was still president until she was a teenager. Sukmawati also testified that Suharto had co-opted her father in 1965-1967.
According to Sukmawati, Pangkostrad Major General Suharto and other members of the military at the time used the 11 March 1966 warrant to overthrow President Sukarno.
On the sidelines of her political career, Sukmawati is an art activist. She likes dancing, painting and literature.
Sukmawati’s interest in the art world makes her often hang out with fellow artists at Taman Ismail Marzuki.
Sukmawati also often appears in various art events. One of them, she appeared reading her poem entitled Ibu Indonesia (Mother Indonesia) at the 29 Years of Anne Avantie Work event at Indonesia Fashion Week 2018.
The poem courted controversy as Muslims considered it blasphemous to question hijab, naqab, azan and promote kidung or singing.
A number of Muslim and Muslim-influenced organisations, including ACTA and GNPF, complained about her activities, which they alleged amounted to blasphemy, to the authority.
Sukmawati married the Crown Prince of the Duchy of Mangkunegaran, Prince Sujiwa Kusuma or the late Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adhipati Aria (KGPAA) Mangkunegara IX. They divorced after several years of marriage. From this short marriage, they had two children, namely GPH Paundrakarna Sukma Putra and GRA Putri Agung Suniwati (Menur).
Sukmawati then married Muhammad Hilmy bin al Haddad and had a son named Muhammad Putra Perwira Utama. After Muhammad Hilmy died in 2018, Sukmawati did not appear much in public.
Today, news of Sukmawati undergoing the ritual of converting from Islam to Hinduism spread rapidly across the world.
“Yes, that’s right. The event will be held in Bali on 26 October 2021,” said Arya Wedakarna, head of the Sukarno Centre in Bali and the person in charge of the event, when contacted last evening.