A book by Salman Rushdie ("Shame"), Hindu–Islamic tensed relations are described.

So there are several words starting/containing the word Stone

  • Stonewasher
  • Stone-gang
  • Stone-godly

'The one-godly went to these cinemas and the washers of stone gods to those; movie-fåns had been partitioned already, in advance of the tired old land. The stone-godly ran the movie business, that goes with- out saying, and being vegetarians they made a very famous film: Gai- Wallah.'

IMHO, these words refer to Hindu people. Correct me, if I'm wrong.

And if it's so, do these words belong to some sort of informal, offensive vocabulary, or not?

Thanks for your time.

  • 6
    Please provide context for these words. Quote at least the sentence where each word is used.
    – David D
    Apr 29, 2019 at 13:33
  • 3
    "Stone-washer" is an insult to describe Hindu people, and probably refers to some form of what Muslims would see as idolatry. Apr 29, 2019 at 14:50
  • 2
    But note that these terms were not familiar, or immediately understandable, to this British English speaker. I suspect they are little known outside Indian English.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:06
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is less a matter of language usage and much more a case of literary interpretation, and should therefore be migrated to our sibling site Literature. Apr 29, 2019 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


The words containing stone refer to the images of the gods that Hindus use in the the ceremony called Puja, or "pūjā" from the Sanskrit.

Generally speaking, in a puja, a deity, manifested in his image, is accorded the honour given to a royal guest. The attentions (upacharas) paid to him begin in the morning, when he is gently roused from sleep, and extend through the day, including ritual bathing and dressing...


It is used as an insult and refers to Hindu practices that the "one-godly" (Muslims) would consider idolatrous.

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