INDONESIA SERIES -8
THE DUTCH RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL AWAKENING IN INDONESIA
The DUTCH responded to the growing national awakening among the INDONESIAN people after the first world war with repressive measures . The repression of the nationalist movement led to many arrests . SUKARNO (1901-70) , who became the first President of INDONESIA in 1945 , was imprisoned for political activities on 29th December 1929 . MOHAMMAD HATTA , later became the first Vice-President of INDONESIA , was arrested and put behind the bars . Similarly , on the same date SUTAN SJAHRIR , who later became the first Prime Minister of INDONESIA , was also arrested so that national movement could be frustrated . The DUTCH strongly repressed all attempts at change . This repression led to the growth of the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDONESIA (PKI) which had evolved in 1924 by the INDONESIAN communists who were associated with the THIRD INTERNATIONAL . The PKI-led revolt against DUTCH colonialism rocked INDONESIA from 1926 to 1927 . It was followed by strikes of the urban workers . However , the the revolt and the strikes were put down by the DUTCH government with arresting of about 13,000 nationalists and Communists of the country . About 4,500 people were given prison sentences . After about 12 years , SUKARNO was released in December 1931 to be re-arrested again on 1st August 1933 .
JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIES
The JAPANESE invaded the DUTCH EAST INDIES during the second world war and occupied it . It , now , started encouraging the previously suppressed nationalist movement . During the second world war in May 1940 , NAZI GERMANY occupied the NETHERLANDS . But the DUTCH GOVERNMENT-IN-EXILE continued to control the DUTCH EAST INDIES from its base in LONDON . The DUTCH EAST INDIES , declaring a state of seige , tried to redirect consignments of export for JAPAN to the US and BRITAIN . When the negotiations between JAPAN and DUTCH for supply of aviation fuel failed in June 1941 , JAPAN started its conquest of South-East ASIA in December 1941 . In the meantime a faction from SUMATRA sought for JAPANESE assistance to revolt against the DUTCH war time government . The JAPANESE military defeated the last DUTCH forces in the EAST INDIES in March 1942 . Simultaneously , in July 1942 the INDONESIAN leader SUKARNO accepted JAPAN’S offer to rally public in support of the JAPANESE war efforts in the EAST INDIES . For that SUKARNO and MOHAMMAD HATTA were decorated by the JAPANESE Monarch in 1943 . However , the JAPANESE occupation of the DUTCH EAST INDIES experienced torture , sex slavery , arbitrary arrest and execution , and other war crimes . Thousands of people were taken away from INDONESIA as ROMUSHA ( WAR LABOURERS ) either suffered or died due to ill treatment and starvation . Main targets of JAPANESE occupation were people of DUTCH origin or of mixed DUTCH-INDONESIAN origin .
INVESTIGATING COMMITEE FOR PREPARATORY WORK FOR INDEPENDENCE ( BPUPK ) OF INDONESIA
Now the entire DUTCH EAST INDIES were under the JAPANESE occupation . The JAPANESE , in March 1945 , established the INVESTIGATING COMMITEE FOR PREPARATORY WORK FOR INDEPENDENCE ( BPUPK ) . It was meant for establishment of independence of the areas under the control of the JAPANESE 16th Army . The BPUPK held two Plenary Meetings : 1. THE FIRST WAS FROM 28 MAY TO 1 JUNE , 1945 ; and 2. THE SECOND WAS BETWEEN 10 AND 17 JULY , 1945 . According to BENEDICT ANDERSON , an ANGLO-IRISH political scientist and historian who taught in the US , ‘ this was intended as concession to INDONESIAN nationalists , and the JAPANESE hoped it would redirect nationalist enthusiasm towards harmless arguments between factions .’ The membership of the Committee was to comprise of 30 INDONESIANS , 3 JAPANESE , and one representative each of the CHINESE , ARAB and DUTCH Ethnic Groups . The board agreed to the two stage of JAPANESE Plan of inivestigating commitee for JAVA followed by a preparation committee for all of INDONESIA . The committee also agreed that the territories of independent state would not be discussed . An interesting thing was that the BPUPK eventually met in the building called VOLKSRAAD ( PEOPLE’S COUNCIL ) set up by the DUTCH for the governance of the DUTCH EAST INDIES . The JAPANESE appointed 59 members representing the major groups in JAVA and MADURA on 29th April , 1945 , on the birthday of the JAPANESE Emperor . This included 8 JAPANESE including one of the Vice-chairman . The Chairman was Dr. RADJIMAN WEDIODININGRAT and the Vice-chairman was the JAPANESE called ICHIBANGASE YOSHIO . Unfortunate thing with YOSHIO was that he didn’t know the INDONESIAN language as such . At its first meeting in May , SOEPOMO , a lawyer by profession and who became Minister of Law and Justice in independent INDONESIA , spoke of national integration and against personal individualism . While MUHAMMAD YAMIN was of the opinion that BRITISH BORNEO , BRITISH MALAYA , PORTUGUESE TIMOR and all the pre-war territories of the DUTCH EAST INDIES should be brought under the United INDONESIA as such . The committee drafted the Constitution of INDONESIA in 1945 . When SUKARNO , MOHAMMAD HATTA and RADJIMAN WEDIODININGRAT were flown to meet MARSHAL HISAICHI TERAUCHI , the Commander of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group of the IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY on 9th August 1945 , they were told that JAPAN had intended to announce INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE on 24th August 1945 . However , after JAPANESE surrender during the second world war , SUKARNO ultimately proclaimed INDONESIA’S INDEPENDENCE on 17th August 1945 . But painful thing was that , as per UN report , four million people died in INDONESIA as a result of the JAPANESE occupation as such .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ……………..