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Biography of Soekarno, the Founding Father of Indonesia

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Ir. Soekarno is the first president of Indonesia who served from 1945 to 1967. He is also considered to have been the founding father of Indonesia as he, together with Moh. Hatta, declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945.

Soekarno was born to a Javanese father, Raden Soekemi Sosrodiharjo, and a Balinese mother, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai, as Koesno Sosrodiharjo on June 6th 1901 in Surabaya, Indonesia. Because of his being sick too often, his name was changed into Soekarno. When he was a child, he lived with his grandfather, Raden Hardjokromo in Tulungagung, East Java while his parents lived in Blitar. Before finishing his study in Tulungagung, he followed his parents and moved to Mojokerto.


In Mojokerto, Soekarno studied in Eerste Inlandse School, in which his father worked as a teacher. In 1911, he was moved by his parents to ELS (Europeesche Lagere School), the same level as elementary school, and was prepared to enter HBS (Hogere Burger School) in Surabaya. Graduated from HBS, he stayed with Haji Oemar Said Tjokroaminoto, better known as H.O.S Cokroaminoto, a friend of his father.

In Cokroaminoto’s house, young Soekarno started to learn about politics. He also learned to give speech by standing up in front of mirror and talking to himself. After he graduated from HBS in 1921, Soekarno continued his study in Technische Hoogeschool (THS), which is now known as Bandung Institute of Technology. In the same year, he married Siti Oetari, Cokroaminoto’s first daughter. He quit his study two months after entering the university before finally continued in 1922 and graduated on May 25th1926 as an engineer.

In Bandung, on July 4th 1927, Soekarno founded Algemeene Studie Club (ASC), which later became Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI), Indonesian National Party, in order to advocate Indonesia’s independence from The Netherlands and oppose imperialism and capitalisms that worsened the life of Indonesia people. Through PNI activities and his motivational speech, Soekarno was able to raise people’s spirit to fight for national independence. Two years later, in December 1929, Soekarno and other leaders of PNI were arrested by The Dutch colonial authorities and PNI was disbanded.

The other former members of PNI then formed two different parties; Partai Indonesia (Partindo) under Soekarno’s associate Sartono to promote mass agitation and Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia (PNI Baroe), under Moh. Hatta and Soetan Sjahrir to promote long-term strategy by providing modern education to the uneducated Indonesians.

Soekarno spent more than a decade under Dutch detention before finally released when Indonesia was invaded by Japanese forces. Altogether with his fellow nationalists, he tried to gather support from the Japanese by promising to help them during the world war. In exchange, the Japanese government promised to give Indonesia its Independence.

Upon Japanese surrender, Soekarno and Moh. Hattta declared Indonesian Independence on August 17th 1945, and Soekarno was appointed as the president of Indonesia while Moh. Hatta was appointed as the vice president.

Soekarno was said to be the only Asian leader who was able to unify people from different ethnic, cultural and religious background without even shedding any drop of blood. He established an autocratic system called "Guided Democracy" in 1957 during the chaotic period of parliamentary democracy, which successfully overcame the instability and rebellions across the country.

In the early 1960s, Soekarno veered Indonesia to the Left and provided support for Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). He also embarked several policies under the rubric of anti-imperialism with aid from the Soviet Union and China. Five years later, during the 30 September movement, PKI was dissolved and Soekarno was replaced by one of his generals, Soeharto. He remained under house arrest until he died on 21 June 1970 at age 69 because of kidney failure. He was buried in Blitar, East Java.

Name: Soekarno
Served as president: 18 August 1945 – 12 March 1967
Date of Birth: 6 June 1901
Place of Birth: Surabaya
Died: 21 June 1970
Height: 1.72m

1. Spouse(s):
  • Oetari
  • Inggit Garnasih
  • Fatmawati
  • Hartini
  • Kartini Manoppo
  • Dewi Sukarno
  • Haryati
  • Yurike Sanger
  • Heldy Djafar

Children:

A . From Inggit:
  • Ratna Juami (adopted children)
  • Kartika (adopted children)

B. From Fatmawati:
  • Guntur Soekarnoputra
  • Megawati Soekarnoputri
  • Rachmawati Soekarnoputri
  • Sukmawati Soekarnoputri
  • Guruh Sukarnoputra 
C. From Hartini:
  • Taufan Soekarnoputra
  • Bayu Soekarnoputra 
D. From Ratna:
  • Karina Kartika Sari Dewi Soekarno
E. From Haryati:
  • Ayu Gembirowati
F. From Kartini M:
  • Totok Suryawan Soekarnoputra
Soekarno's Photos :