Soekarno Background, The First President of Indonesia


Soekarno was born in 6 June 1961, in Surabaya, East Java, and passed away in 21 June 1970, in Jakarta, West Java. He is also called as Bung Karno. He was the first president of Indonesia in the period from 1945 until 1967. He was a son of a teacher of Javanese primary school, an aristocrat who named Raden Soekemi Sosrodihardjo, and his wife from Balinese Brahman caste, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai from Buleleng regency. His original name was Kusno, but because he got the illness when a child, his name was changed became Soekarno; it followed the Javanese tradition. In 1912, after he graduated from primary school, he continued his studied in Europeesche Lagere School, the Dutch primary school in Mojokerto. In 1920, Bung Karno got married with Siti Oetari, a daughter of Tjokroaminoto. In 1920, he studied at Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, learned about the civil engineering and focused in architecture. On March 1923, he divorced Siti Oetari and married Inggit Sanoesi, and later on, he divorced Inggit and married Fatmawati. Soekarno had the other wives; they were Hartini, Kartini Manoppo, Dewi Sukarno, Haryati, Yurike Sanger, and Heldy Djafar.


Soekarno was a leader of Indonesian’s struggle for the independence from Netherlands. He was a prominent Indonesia’s nationalist movement leader figure during the colonial period of the Dutch. He spent more than a decade under the Dutch detention until he was released by the invading of Javanese forces. His fellow nationalist and he collaborated to gather the support for the Japanese war effort from population, in exchange for the aid of Japanese to spread the nationalist ideas. Upon the Japanese surrender, he and Mohammad Hatta declared the independence of Indonesia on Friday, 17 August 1945, and he was appointed as the first Indonesia president. He led Indonesians to resist the Dutch re-colonization efforts in diplomatic and military way until the Dutch acknowledged the Indonesian independence in 1949.


After passing the chaotic period in parliamentary democracy, Bung Karno established the autocratic system which was called “Guided Democracy” in 1957 and successfully ended the rebellions and instability that were threatening the diverse and fractious country survival. In the early of 1960s, Bung Karno embarked on the series of foreign policies aggressiveness under the anti-imperialism rubric with aid from China and Soviet Union. The 30 September Movements in 1965 brought the destruction of PKI the replacement of his position by one of his general, Soeharto. Then, Soekarno remained under the house arrest until his death.


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