Soekarno-Hatta. The word seems familiar to those who have visited Indonesia. Yes, Soekarno-Hatta is the name of Indonesian International Airport in Tangerang (close to Jakarta). Soekarno-Hatta is a compound name of two Indonesian historical figures; Soekarno and Moh Hatta. They are key persons for Indonesian Independence. They are the ones who declared our independence back in 1945.
Indonesia had been colonialized by foreign powers. In the sixteenth century, the Portuguese took over some parts of Indonesia but then were over powered by the Dutch that won the spice trade. The Dutch colonial took over 350 years which ended due to the sudden attack in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Japanese. Right after, Indonesia was taken over by the Japanese for 3.5 years. Only when Hiroshima and Nagasaki was bombed by the Western Allies, Indonesia made use of the critical time to fight for our Independence in 1945 which was proclaimed by Soekarno and Moh Hatta.
Both Soekarno and Moh Hatta were Indonesian historic figures. They both collaborated to organize a Japanese-backed Indonesian Army and both had been imprisoned and exiled by the Dutch for many times. And after the proclamation of independence, Soekarno and Moh. Hatta were chosen as the first President and Vice President of Indonesia.
Soekarno, born in 1901, a son of a school-teacher and Theosophist, began to think about independence while he was still in high school. During his college, he became the first leader of Partai Nasional Indonesia, an anti imperialist, anti capitalist independence party.
After he became the President of Indonesia, he introduced Pancasila as Indonesian philosophical foundations. Consisting of five inseparable and interrelated principles, Pancasila has become the blueprint of the Indonesian nation. The five principles are;
1. A belief in God but tolerance of all religions
2. Internationalization and just humanity
3. The unity of all Indonesia
4. Democracy through consensus
5. Social Justice for all
Moh Hatta, born in 1902, was a Sumatran with Rotterdam University degree in Economics. He was both a devout Muslim and a modern western-educated politician and economist. Together with Soekarno, Moh Hatta became the prominent Indonesia nationalist leader.
He was a Father of Cooperative Economic Enterprise in Indonesia through his idea of the cooperative movement. The Cooperative Movement is the only one and only means of raising the economic standards of the people of Asia that just freed from foreign domination. To him, the cooperative movement has the advantages of building on the customary mutual aid of the villages “gotong royong”, a deep rooted tradition that is invariably referred to by Indonesian leaders in any field as one of the hidden sources of strength from which nation will grow.
Soekarno and Moh. Hatta, different in personality but united in their desire to achieve independence for the nation, were patriots and nationalists that became Fathers of Nation of Republic of Indonesia whose spirits will remain with us all.
History Today Vol. 49 Issue 11 November 1999 by Richard Cavendish, www.historytoday.com
Sukarno, Indonesia’s First President: Rise and Fall of Soekarno by Kellie Szczepansky, www.thought.com
International Institute of Social History, www.iisg.nl
The Cooperative Movement in Indonesia by Hatta Mohammad, 1957, www.cambridge.org
Independence leaders Sukarno and Hatta become “National Heroes”, www.asianews.it
By Gina Ginarti Caslimaya, ASEAN Correspondent from Indonesia