Shudhi Movement

85th Shardhanand Shudhi Divas- December 23rd

Courtesy, Kewal Ahluwalia


The word “Shudhi” is a Sanskrit word and it means cleansing, purifying and freedom from defilement and purification.


Repression and discrimination against minorities is as old as recorded history itself.  Historically, most conversions in India took place under the influence of Muslim and Christian conquerors.  Most of the conversions in India to Islam started during the Mughal Empire and the history is full of vast conversion. Islam did this with point of the swords, intimidation and force. Many people were beheaded for refusing to accept Islam as their faith. The incident of a young lad named Bal Hakikat Rai who refused to accept Islam was beheaded in front of his mother.  Many of Gurus of the Sikh faith and their siblings also suffered the same fate for refusing to convert to Islam.


There is was a period of lapping when during the fading days of the Mughal Raj and when the British Raj began and the real power in northern India passed into the hands of the British, but the conversions never stopped. Christianity adopted some cunning tactics to convert, targeting the ranks and taking advantage of poor, with threat, force, intimidation of the innocent and defenseless Hindus by luring them by false promises and monetary benefits and discrediting Hinduism as pagan and an inferior religion to Christianity. They also trashed our religious books as being mere myths and full of false stories with multiple of Gods.


The vast majority of Hindus, who had remained faithful to their religion despite defeat in battle, saw the converts as people who had betrayed the nation by going over to the side of the conqueror.


The Arya Samaj as a whole opposed conversion of Hindus to Islam and Christianity and was the most profound reform movement in the late 19th century India and Arya Samaj therefore advocated re-conversion of recent converts back to Hinduism. Arya Samaj launched shuddhi movement to bring non-Hindus back to Hinduism this process was called shuddhi. The concept of Shudhi played a major roll and a few Arya Samaj leaders recognized the unifying potential of shudhi. The slogan was “India for Indians”. Swami Dayanand Saraswati said that the Destiny of India lay in the revival of the Vedic religion, and gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”.

The first recorded shuddhi of a born Muslim was reported in 1877, when Dayanand Saraswati performed the shuddhi of a Muslim man from Dehra Dun, The first attempts by the Aryas at mass conversions of Muslim groups dates back to 1908, when Arya missionaries began touring certain area of India calling upon newly converts to Islam to renounce Islam which had been forcibly imposed on them.  Arya missionaries found that some who claimed to be Muslim but still followed several Hindu customs and beliefs, as their 'ancestral religion'.  Arya Samaj did excellent work on taking the depressed classes back into the Hindu fold during that period. The Arya Samajis never cut themselves aloof from the main stream of Hindu thought. There was vast difference in the scriptural authorities of these religions as Islam and Christianity claimed divine authority from their Quran and Bible respectively while Vedas of Hinduism didn’t put up such claims until the founder of Arya Samaj, Maharishi Swami Dayananda strived to give the Vedas the similar degree of supernatural authority.


This Vedic mission of Swami Dayanand Saraswati was carried on by Swami Shraddhanand still known as Mahatma Munshiram, took sanyas and become an active member of the Hindu reform movements with success with the help of new generations He left the social arena and plunged whole-heartedly into the shuddhi movement, which he turned into an important force within Hinduism.

This shuddhi offensive was thus seen as a grave challenge by Muslim leaders, and did not sit well with Muslims who responded to it by advocating a grand community-wide effort of Islamic reform, reaching out to the Muslim groups, seeking to draw them back into the fold of Muslim community. So on 23 December 1926 he paid the ultimate sacrifice when he was assassinated by a Muslim fanatic.

But all that changed on December 23rd  2011 on the Shardhanand balidan divas when a  mega Shuddhi (re-conversion) event organized by Agniveer.

Thousands returned to Hindu Home through Mega Shuddhi Event.