Sukarno

Writings

Written by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and was originally published in TIME. Aug 23, 1999


He united his country and set it free. He liberated his people from a sense of inferiority and made them feel proud to be Indonesian–no small achievement, coming after 350 years of Dutch colonial rule and three-and-a-half years of Japanese occupation. What Sukarno did on Aug. 17, 1945 was no different from what Thomas Jefferson had done for Americans on July 4, 1776. Perhaps even more: Sukarno was the only Asian leader of the modern era able to unify people of such differing ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds without shedding a drop of blood. Compare his record with that of Suharto, his successor, who killed or imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people to establish his New Order regime.

Read the full article here.