Proclamation of Indonesian Independence

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The Proclamation of Indonesian Independence (Indonesian: Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia, or simply Proklamasi) was read at 10.00 a.m. on Friday, August 17, 1945. The declaration marked the start of the diplomatic and armed-resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution, fighting against the forces of the Netherlands and pro-Dutch civilians, until the latter officially acknowledged Indonesia's independence in 1949. In 2005, the Netherlands declared that they had decided to accept de facto 17 August 1945 as Indonesia's independence date.[1] In a 2013 interview the Indonesian historian Sukotjo, amongst others, asked the Dutch government to formally acknowledge the date of independence as August 17, 1945.[2] The United Nations, who mediated in the conflict, formally acknowledge the date of independence as 27 December 1949.[3]

The document was signed by Sukarno (who signed his named "Soekarno" using the older Dutch orthography) and Mohammad Hatta, who were appointed President and Vice-president respectively the following day.

The Declaration[edit]

Sukarno, accompanied by Mohammad Hatta (right), proclaiming the independence of Indonesia.

The draft was prepared only a few hours earlier, on the night of August 16, by Sukarno, Hatta, and Soebardjo, at Rear-Admiral Maeda (Minoru) Tadashi's house, Miyako-Doori 1, Jakarta (now the "Museum of the Declaration of Independence", JL. Imam Bonjol I, Jakarta). The original Indonesian Declaration of Independence was typed by Sayuti Melik.[4][5] Maeda himself was sleeping in his room upstairs. He was agreeable to the idea of Indonesia's independence, and had lent his house for the drafting of the declaration. Marshal Terauchi, the highest-ranking Japanese leader in South East Asia and son of Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake, was however against Indonesia's independence, scheduled for August 24.

While the formal preparation of the declaration, and the official independence itself for that matter, had been carefully planned a few months earlier, the actual declaration date was brought forward almost inadvertently as a consequence of the Japanese unconditional surrender to the Allies on August 15 following the Nagasaki atomic bombing. The historic event was triggered by a plot, led by a few more radical youth activists such as Adam Malik and Chairul Saleh, that put pressure on Sukarno and Hatta to proclaim independence immediately. The declaration was to be signed by the 27 members of the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) symbolically representing the new nation's diversity. The particular act was apparently inspired by a similar spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence. However, the idea was heavily turned down by the radical activists mentioned earlier, arguing that the committee was too closely associated with then soon to be defunct Japanese occupation rule, thus creating a potential credibility issue. Instead, the radical activists demanded that the signatures of six of them were to be put on the document. All parties involved in the historical moment finally agreed on a compromise solution which only included Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta as the co-signers 'in the name of the nation of Indonesia'

Sukarno had initially wanted the declaration to be read at Ikada Plain, the large open field in the centre of Jakarta, but due to unfounded widespread apprehension over the possibility of Japanese sabotage, the venue was changed to Sukarno's house at Pegangsaan Timur 56. In fact there was no concrete evidence for the growing suspicions, as the Japanese had already surrendered to the Allies, The declaration of independence passed without a hitch.

The proclamation at 56, Jalan Pegangsaan Timur, Jakarta, was heard throughout the country because the text was secretly broadcast by Indonesian radio personnel using the transmitters of the JAKARTA Hoso Kyoku radio station. An English translation of the proclamation was broadcast overseas.

Draft[edit]

Indonesian[edit]

PROKLAMASI

Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan,d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempoh jang sesingkat-singkatnja

Djakarta, 17-8-'05

Wakil-Wakil Bangsa Indonesia

Amendments[edit]

Three amendments were made to the draft, as follows:

  • "tempoh": changed to "tempo", both meaning "time period".
  • 17-8-05: changed to "hari 17, boelan 8, tahoen 05" ("day 17, month 8, year 05" of the Japanese sumera calendar); the number "05" is the short form for 2605.
  • "Wakil-Wakil Bangsa Indonesia" (Representatives of the people of Indonesian nation): changed to "Atas nama bangsa Indonesia" ("in the name of the nation of Indonesia").[6]

Final text[edit]

The original Indonesian Declaration of Independence
Sukarno reading the proclamation. According to Rushdy Hussein, Indonesian historian, this record was made in 1951, not 1945.[7]
The monument commemorating the Indonesian Declaration of Independence
PROKLAMASI

Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.

Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen 05

Atas nama bangsa Indonesia,

Soekarno/Hatta.

Sukarno Signature.svg

Mohammad Hatta signature.svg

English translation[edit]

An English translation published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of October 1948 included the entire speech as read by Sukarno. It incorporated remarks made immediately prior to and after the actual proclamation. George McTurnan Kahin, a historian on Indonesia, believed that they were omitted from publication in Indonesia either due to Japanese control of media outlets or fear of provoking a harsh Japanese response.[8]

PROCLAMATION

WE THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA HEREBY DECLARE THE INDEPENDENCE OF
INDONESIA. MATTERS WHICH CONCERN THE TRANSFER OF POWER AND
OTHER THINGS WILL BE EXECUTED BY CAREFUL MEANS AND IN THE
SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME.

DJAKARTA, 17 AUGUST 1945

IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA

SOEKARNO—HATTA

Banknote[edit]

A 100,000 Rupiah banknote, containing the Proclamation of Independence.

This proclamation is printed in the back of the Rp.100,000 Indonesian banknote of the year 2004 series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dutch govt expresses regrets over killings in RI". Jakarta Post. 2005-08-18. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Indonesië wil erkenning onafhankelijkheidsdag" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/nonselfgov.shtml
  4. ^ "Former governor Ali Sadikin, freedom fighter SK Trimurti die". Jakarta Post. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  5. ^ Yuliastuti, Dian (2008-05-21). "Freedom Fighter SK Trimurti Dies". Tempo Interactive. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  6. ^ The draft picture
  7. ^ Tweet from an Indonesian talkshow
  8. ^ Kahin, George McT. (April 2000). "Sukarno's Proclamation of Indonesian Independence". Indonesia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project) 69 (69): 1–4. doi:10.2307/3351273. JSTOR 3351273. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson, Ben (1972). Java in a Time of Revolution: Occupation and Resistance, 1944-1946. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0687-0. 
  • Ricklefs, M.C., 1981, A History of modern Indonesia Macmillan Southeast Asian Reprint, p198
  • Lembaga Soekarno-Hatta, 1984 Sejarah Lahirnya Undang Undang Dasar 1945 dan Pancasila, Inti Idayu Press, Jakarta, p19
  • Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan,1991:52-53.

External links[edit]