29.3.12

Sukarno: Biography 1901-1945


Sukarno: Biography 1901-1945

Soekarno was born a hundred years ago, on 6 june 1901. More than anyone else, he came to embody the Indonesian struggle for independence. He proclaimed Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945 and led his country as its first president until after a coup that misfired in 1965, when he was betrayed by his subordinate, general Soeharto, a reactionary rightist who were fully supported by the whole Cold War machinery of the West. It was beyond the scope of American politcians to accept Soekarno’s independence and understand his inability to kow-tow to the West.
      Soekarno’s lofty ideas to emancipate and promote the living standard of his people were in the end quashed by a super-power who had superior numbers, firepower and wealth. To be fully independent and self-reliant were totally unacceptable ideas for the capitalist world. But indisputably he had put an indelible stamp on political developments in the great island nation from the late nineteen-twenties till the seventies.
      This biography describes his life from his formative years, crowned with a degree in engineering, through the ups and downs of his political career, to his cooperation with the Japanese conqueror of Indonesia. His opposition to Dutch colonial rule earned him the support of the urban masses, but also reprisal from the Dutch, who sent him to jail and into exile for more than ten years. The Japanese occupation in 1942 gave him opportunities to further his cause eventually resulting in the Proclamation of  Independence.

Bob Hering is a retired Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, who is now living in Stein, the Netherlands. This biography, drawing on many hitherto unknown sources, is the culmination of Hering’s almost  life-long study of Soekarno.

Subowo bin Sukaris
HASTA MITRA Updated at: 12:02 PM

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