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Pre-war Nationalism in Indonesia

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Aska Lim

on 14 May 2012

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Transcript of Pre-war Nationalism in Indonesia

Pre-war Nationalism in
Indonesia
Expectations
Late-coming
Medical Certificates (MCs)
Assignments / Tests
Consultation Sessions
My Teaching Style

1st Phase: Initial cooperation by the nationalists with the Dutch
2nd Phase: Radicalisation and non-cooperation
Why did the Indonesian nationalists turn towards radicalisation and non-cooperation after 1918?
The turn towards radicalisation and non-cooperation by the Indonesian nationalist movements after 1918
The decline of Sarekat Islam (SI) into political insignificance after 1921
The outbreak and failure of the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) revolts in 1926-1927
Demonstrated the success of a modern nationalist revolution

Rise of Chinese nationalist sentiments provoked Indonesian response to assert their identity and rights (Sarekat Dagang Islam)
Tried-and-tested revolutionary strategy to achieve independence based on the communist model
Boost to nationalist aspirations and confidence
1. To what extent did external events contribute to the rise of nationalist sentiments in Southeast Asia?

2. To what extent did external events influence the development of pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia?

How far do you agree that pre-war nationalism in Southeast Asia was home-grown or influenced by / a response to external events?
Dutch concessions to Indonesian demands for representation in the government
Could only give advice to the Dutch governor-general

Not a representative forum for Indonesian opinion or a true parliament

Political opinion towards the Dutch became more radical
1. What measures/policies were adopted by the colonial governments in response to the demands of the pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia?

2. To what extent did these measures / policies succeed in dealing with the nationalist challenge?

How effectively did colonial governments deal with the challenge of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia in the period before World War Two?
Indische Sociaal-Demokratische Vereenigning
(ISDV)
Hendricus Sneevliet
Initially European membership and limited support -> Dutch crackdown and exile in 1918

Replacement by Indonesian leaders -> sought a mass support base

Linked itself successfully with the established and popular SI to increase its base of support --> “radicals” became very influential in SI from
1917
Modernism and Islamic reform faction led by Agus Salim

Communists withdrew from SI to form Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI)

SI faded into political insignificance
1. What were the fundamental weaknesses of the pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia?

2. How did these weaknesses impact on the effectiveness of the pre-war nationalist challenge to colonial rule?

How far do you agree that the pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia failed to pose a serious challenge to colonial rule?
Key leaders: Semaun, Darsono, Tan Malaka (Soviet Comintern agent)

Support base: Trade unions (urban labourers)
Launched revolts in Banten and West Sumatra but was comprehensively suppressed by the Dutch

Lack of support from Comintern / Soviet Union

Not all PKI branches agreed to it (lack of unity)

State monopoly on the use of force

Over-estimation of its actual support base
PKI was extinguished as a nationalist force in Indonesia and did not recover until after World War Two

Dutch effectively shelved the Ethical Policy and became less accommodating to Indonesian nationalist demands
1. What measures/policies were adopted by the colonial governments in response to the demands of the pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia?

2. To what extent did these measures/policies succeed in dealing with the nationalist challenge?

How effectively did colonial governments deal with the challenge of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia in the period before World War Two?
1. How did external events and domestic developments impact on pre-war nationalist movements in Indonesia?

2. Why did pre-war nationalist movements in Southeast Asia fail to pose a serious challenge to colonial rule?
g
Pre-war Nationalism in
Indonesia

Partai Komunis Indonesia
Tan Malaka (1897-1949)
How important was the role of communism in pre-war Southeast Asian nationalism?
1920s: A Period of Non-Cooperation with the Dutch
Perhimpunan Indonesia (1908, 1925)
Mohammad Hatta
Sutan Sjahrir
"It was the introduction of Western education that led to the rise of nationalism in pre-war Southeast Asia." How far do you agree?
Partai Nasional Indonesia (1927)
"Fight" for independence
Call for unity among Indonesians
Advocate non-cooperation with the Dutch
Sukarno
Tjokroaminoto
Indonesia Raya
Dutch Response

Sukarno and other PNI leaders were detained in 1929 and imprisoned

PNI was dissolved in 1931

In view of its short existence (1928-1931), how significant was the Sukarno-led PNI in the development of pre-war nationalism in Indonesia?
1. How important was the role of nationalist leaders in nationalist movements in pre-war Southeast Asia?

2. ‘Ideology was more important than religion and culture for the growth of nationalist movements in the period before World War Two.’ How far do you agree?
It was in the
____s (year)
that students in Indonesia became politically active, showing the unpredictable effect of
W______ e________
on the indigenous population in Southeast Asia. They made use of
P_________ I________
(Indonesian Association), formerly a student society, to discuss political issues and spread political ideas. [5]
It was in the
1920s (year)
that students in Indonesia became politically active, showing the unpredictable effect of
Western education
on the indigenous population in Southeast Asia. They made use of
Perhimpunan Indonesia
(Indonesian Association), formerly a student society, to discuss political issues and spread political ideas. [5]
Administrative Issues
Late-coming
Lecture Notes
Medical Certificates (MCs)
Email:
lim_weili@moe.edu.sg

12A08
Make-up Tutorial + Test
13 March 2012 (Tuesday)
12pm to 1.30pm
Venue: G1-39
COMPULSORY

Kahin's model
2nd Phase: Radicalisation and non-cooperation
3rd Phase: Moderation and "grudging" cooperation, strongly dictated by the Dutch

Attitude of Dutch Governor-General
ACD de Graeff (1926-1931)
Attitude of Dutch Governor-General
BC de Jonge (1931-1936)
Re-appraisal of Ethical Policy
Agricultural School for Indonesians
Map of Europe on the eve of WWII
How would you describe the nature of the Dutch response to the rise of Indonesian nationalism?

Carrot and/or Stick Approach?

4 Levels of Colonial Response

Supportive and Encouraging

Accomodating to some extent

Tolerant to some extent

Uncompromising
Sukarno with fellow defendants and attorneys during his trial in Bandung (1930)
Sukarno and Partai Indonesia (Partindo)
Partai Indonesia Raya (Parindra)
Husni Thamrin (1894-1941)
Autonomy
Independence
How successful were the nationalists in achieving their aims / objectives in pre-war Southeast Asia?
Dutch East Indies
Muhammadiyah (1912)
Nahdatul Ulama (1926)
Ethnic Divisions
Anti-Chinese Riots in Jakarta (1998)
Prijayis (Traditional Javanese Aristocrats)
1.‘Ideology was more important than religion and culture for the growth of nationalist movements in the period before World War Two.’ How far do you agree? (2008)

2.How effectively did colonial governments deal with the challenge of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia in the period before World War Two? (2010)
How effectively did colonial governments deal with the challenge of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia in the period before World War Two? (2010)
Pre-war Nationalism in
Indonesia
1. State and elaborate on
Sukarno’s key contributions as a nationalist leader in pre-war Indonesia
.
2. Identify the
overall strengths and weaknesses of the pre-war Indonesian nationalist challenge to Dutch colonialism
.
3. Infer relevant information from the sources provided regarding the overall strengths and weaknesses of the pre-war Indonesian nationalist challenge to Dutch colonialism.
4. Construct a balanced and well-supported argument about the
overall effectiveness of the pre-war Indonesian nationalist challenge to Dutch colonial rule
using information from the sources provided.
How important were Sukarno’s contributions as a nationalist leader in pre-war Indonesia?
In 1926, Sukarno entered the risky world of anti-colonial politics.
He founded the Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI) the following year. This was the first anti-colonial organisation in Indonesia to have one nationalist goal – independence – and one national constituency – all those who were indigenous to the archipelago.
In 1929 Sukarno and other PNI leaders were arrested and the party was beheaded.
Nevertheless, nationalism was now widely accepted as the dominant ideology. In 1928 a Youth Congress in Batavia (Jakarta) declared three objectives: one fatherland, Indonesia; one nation, Indonesia; and one language, Indonesian.
By 1942 a generation of Indonesian leaders had established their credentials as popular leaders, but there seemed no prospect of Indonesia ever achieving independence. Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta, Sutan Sjahrir and hundreds of others were in prison or internal exile and posed no significant threat to a determined and repressive colonial regime.

Taken from A New History of Southeast Asia, by M. C. Ricklefs, et al. (2010), p. 283.
The Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI) was formed in 1927 and rapidly became the strongest nationalist organisation. Its objectives were the full independence of Indonesia and the establishment of democratic political institutions.
Its leader, Sukarno, excelled at using an inclusive rhetoric that drew from Western, Islamic, and Hindu-Buddhist concepts.

With a programme based on the unity of all Indonesians and Sukarno’s abilities to appeal to a broad constituency, PNI membership and strength grew rapidly, especially after establishing an alliance with Sarekat Islam.


Taken from Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia, by Jacques Bertrand (2004), pp. 30-31.
The PNI was the first of the major religiously neutral nationalist parties, and was important for that reason alone. But it was also important because it was the political vehicle that brought Sukarno to national prominence.
A measure of his standing, and of his commitment to the idea of unity in the nationalist movement, was his formation in December 1927 of an association representing all the major Indonesian-based political parties, including Partai Nasional Indonesia, Sarekat Islam and Budi Utomo: the Union of Political Organisations of the Indonesian People or PPPKI (Permufakatan Perhimpunan Politik Kebangsaan Indonesia).
For a political party to join the PPPKI required simply a commitment to the achievement of Indonesian independence, and to the unity of the Indonesian people in pursuit of that goal.
Within Indonesia it now seemed as if the nationalist movement was beginning to recover from the disasters of earlier in the decade, to find some degree of unity at last and—probably even more importantly—to have found a leader who had wide popular appeal.

Taken from A Short History of Indonesia: The Unlikely Nation?, by Colin Brown (2003), p. 128.
Based on the sources, it could be argued that Sukarno made three key contributions as a nationalist leader in pre-war Indonesia.
First, he played a critical role in creating the Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI) in 1927.
This was a significant development in pre-war Indonesian nationalism because the PNI was the first anti-colonial organisation in Indonesia to have one nationalist goal – independence – and one national constituency – all those who were indigenous to the archipelago.
Second, Sukarno was able to capture the imagination of the masses with the idea of an Indonesian nation and spread nationalist sentiments through his oratorical ability.
He excelled at using an inclusive rhetoric that drew from Western, Islamic, and Hindu-Buddhist concepts, which enabled him to appeal to a broad constituency in Indonesia.
Finally, Sukarno was able to establish in December 1927 the PPPKI (an association representing all the major Indonesian-based political parties), which was the first genuine attempt to forge a united nationalist front in pre-war Indonesia.

Based on my contextual knowledge, I know that PPPKI was short-lived and never became a cohesive force (due to divisions over the issues of cooperation with the Dutch and the role of Islam).
Even so, it demonstrated the possibility of creating a united Indonesian nationalist front and was testimony to Sukarno’s wide popular appeal among Indonesians.
How secure was Dutch colonial rule in pre-war Indonesia in the face of the nationalist challenge in the 1930s?
In the years leading to the end of the Second World War, the nationalist movement in Indonesia was stunted by Dutch resistance and, later, the Japanese Occupation. No sooner had the Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI) gained strength than Sukarno was imprisoned in 1930 and the party outlawed. Other nationalists became prominent, such as Sutan Sjahrir and Mohammad Hatta, who formed alternative organisations with the same objectives as the PNI. After they had gained much influence within nationalist circles, they were arrested and exiled in 1934. Sukarno, who had been released from prison in 1931, was also exiled in 1933 after he had begun to rebuild a strong political base.

Taken from Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia, by Jacques Bertrand (2004), p. 31.
What does this source tell you about the nature and effectiveness of the Dutch response to the pre-war Indonesian nationalist challenge?
We first observe Sukarno’s suffering from the quiet or from desolation upon his initial arrest, on December 29, 1929. This occurred after a hectic period of campaigning for independence as leader of Partai Nasional Indonesia. The event proved shocking to him: “When that heavy door (of Bantjeuj Prison in Bandung) locked me in that first time, I died.” Sukarno was sentenced to four years in jail by the Bandung District Court in December 1930 and was then moved to the even less-hospitable Sukamiskin Prison. After a remission of part of his sentence, he was released from jail on December 31, 1931.

…Just eighteen months later, on August 1, 1933, he was arrested again and sent back to Sukamiskin. He recalled being locked in “a special cell set up in the midst of a large hall that had been stripped.” He added, “There I sat penned in a small cage within a large room. And all alone. For eight months I lived like a dumb hermit.”

…When the colonial authorities plucked Sukarno for a second time from the centre of the nationalist movement and replaced the orator’s podium with solitary confinement, he all but collapsed. As he later recalled, his exile on the island of Flores, beginning in February 1934, only served to prolong his suffering. “Besides idleness, loneliness, and friendlessness, I was also suffering from acute depression. Flores was utter torture in the early days. I needed something stimulating, or I should kill myself.”

Taken from The Indonesian Presidency: The Shift From Personal Toward Constitutional Rule, by Angus McIntyre (2005), pp. 40-41.
What does this source tell you about the response of Sukarno in particular and Indonesian nationalists in general to Dutch suppression in the 1930s?
Sukarno’s followers suffered a brutal blow in November 1933. After a few weeks in prison, their leader, in several letters to Dutch Governor-General BC de Jonge, announced that he was resigning from Partindo and that he no longer stood for the principle of “uncompromising non-cooperation.” Portraits of Sukarno were torn down from the walls.

Taken from Sjahrir: Politics and Exile in Indonesia, by Rudolf Mrazek (1994), p. 115.
What does this source tell you about the effectiveness of the Dutch response to the pre-war Indonesian nationalist challenge in the 1930s?
Of the members of the so-called moderate left in the Volksraad, the most prominent was Soetardjo, a member of the Javanese aristocracy and the spokesman in the Volksraad for the Association of Indigenous Civil Servants. This group ought to have been supporters of the colonial government, whose interests they served in the course of their employment. However, the 1930s had seen the public service hard hit by a variety of government policies—salary reductions, forced redundancies and the like—intended to help overcome the effects of the Great Depression. Colonial government policies were having the effect of not only alienating the enemies of the colonial state, but also the very Indonesians who in the past had been the backbone of that state.

In July 1936 Soetardjo presented a petition to the Volksraad calling for the convening of a conference to arrange Indonesian autonomy within a Dutch-Indonesian union within ten years. Over two years later, in November 1938, the Petition was rejected. While this was not unexpected, by the same token it left the nationalists in something of a dilemma. Non-cooperation was obviously not a viable political option; but it was looking as if cooperation was not likely to lead to any gains in the struggle for independence either.

Taken from A Short History of Indonesia: The Unlikely Nation?, by Colin Brown (2003), pp. 134-135.
What does this source tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of Dutch colonial rule over Indonesia in the 1930s?
….Early in September 1932, the new Dutch Governor-General, BC de Jonge, arrived in Indonesia. A horoscope published by a Dutch East Indies newspaper as a welcome saw in de Jonge’s stars that by his strong hand “the extremist movement shall be crushed.” To historians, de Jonge was an “unashamed conservative”, “a die-hard colonialist of the pre-‘white-man’s burden’ vintage.” The arrival of de Jonge marked the outset of “the most reactionary and the worst government” in the history of the Dutch East Indies.

The new Governor-General was “determined to tolerate no nonsense from upstart Indonesian political agitators.” On August 1, 1933, Sukarno was arrested for the second time. A special decree by de Jonge, issued at the same time, made it extremely difficult to organise any public meeting whatsoever in Indonesia. On August 14, the Governor-General warned even advisory bodies to the colonial government that “open debates of a political nature” were “undesirable.”

Taken from Sjahrir: Politics and Exile in Indonesia, by Rudolf Mrazek (1994), pp. 108-109.
What does the source tell you about the motivations and fears behind the Dutch response to the Indonesian nationalist challenge in the 1930s?
Sample Writing Format

Notwithstanding the nationalist challenge in the 1930s, Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia still appeared to be relatively secure because ......
(at least 2 reasons)
.

However, it was not entirely a rosy picture for the Dutch as we could also identify signs of weaknesses in their control over Indonesia ......
(at least 2 reasons)
.
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