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“Every Hindu is supposed to wear a Shikha (choti). Until recently, no one in Punjab was considered a Hindu until he had a tuft of hair on top of his head”. - Census of Punjab 1911

Shikha was a must for most Hindus irrespective of caste until the beginning of the 20th century.

When Gandhi left India, he got rid of his Shikha fearing ridicule from Englishmen who considered it barbarian. He even removed Shikha from his cousin. When Gandhi came back, Hindus were shocked to see him without Shikha. “It is a must for Hindus” they said.