The Biography and Profile of Ki Hadjar Dewantara

Born with the real name as Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat (read: Suwardi Suryaningrat) but from 1922 also known as Ki Hadjar Dewantara (read: Ki Hajar Dewantara) which is also written as Ki Hajar Dewantoro to reflect the sense of Javanese name there, was born on 2nd May 1889 in Yogyakarta. He led Indonesian independence movement writer, activist, politician, columnist, and pioneer of the education for native Indonesians at the times of Dutch colonial. He founded Taman Siswa School; it is an institution which provides the educations for native commoners that was limited to the Dutch colonials and Javanese aristocracy. He was declared as one of the Indonesia national heroes by the first president, Soekarno, on 28 November 1959.

Ki Hadjar Dewantara was born in an aristocrat Javanese family. his family ranked to the Yogyakarta royal house. Because of his family had a priyayi background, he could access the colonial public education when at that time was a special treatment which many people of Indonesians could not get it. He studied in ELS (Dutch Primary School) for basic education and then continued to study in STOVIA (a medical school for native students) but he could not graduate because of his illness. He once became a journalist and wrote many articles in newspaper, among others are, Midden Java, Oetoesan Indies, De Express, Sediotomo, Tjahaja Timoer, Poesara, and Kaoem Moeda. During his career as a journalist, he was known as an accomplished and talented writer. His writing style was popular among people because he used a communicative language and inspired with anti-colonialism and freedom idealism sentiments.

Besides the tenacious young reporter, Ki Hadjar Dewantara was also active in political and social organizations. Since the establishment of the organization called Boedi Oetomo in 1908, he was became the activist in propaganda service to promote and socialize the public awareness of the Indonesia as a national unity, at the time, he emphasized about the importance of the national unity. He organized the Boedi Oetomo in its first congress in Yogyakarta. Young Dewantara was also one of the members in Insulinde organization, the multi-ethnic organization which is dominated by the activist from Indonesians. The Insulinde organization was advocating for self-rule in Dutch East Indies. One of the important and well-known figures was Earnest Douwes Dekker. Later on, Dewantara had been invited to join the party which Earnest Douwes Dekker was established it; the name of the party was Indische Partij.


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