Part of the Japanese propaganda efforts had been the promise of independence, to be granted the Indonesian nation by Japan “some time in the future”. A committee — the comm ittee for the Preparation for Independence
— was formed to lay the groundwork for the future free Indonesia. Its two most prominent leaders were Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, who were later to be the nation’s first presid ent and vice president.
In the confusion following the unexpected Japanese surrender, hwever, impatient radical young leaders of the Indonesian underground movement urged Sukarno and Hatta to proc laim the independence of Indonesia without further delay, and certainly without seeking the blessings of the Japanese authorities.
The original plan proposed by the youthful leaders was for the proclamation of ind ependence to take place at the Ikada Stadium, now Merdeka Square in front of the president ial palace. ft was abandoned because word of the plan seemed to have somehow leaked and the square was crawling with the Japanese
soldier in complete battle dress. So it was agreed to read out the proclamation at Sukarn o’s residence on 56, JI. Pegangsaan Timur, in Jakarta. At 10 a.m. sharp on August 17, 1945, listeners could hear over a clandestine broadcast by Radio Jakarta, the following text of the proclamation of Indonesia’s ind ependence announced:
“We, the people of Indonesia. Herewith declare the independence of Indonesia. All matters pertaining to the transfer of authority and other subjects will be exe cuted with care and within the shortest possible time.
Jakarta, August 17, 1945
On behalf of the people of Indonesia:
Under such circumstances, the Republic of Indonesia was born, with Sukarno as President and Mohainmad Hatta as Vice President. For the infant Republic, however, the period of trial had only just begun. In the four years that followed, a host of further sacrifices would have to be made and hardships endured in order to defend the nation’s newly won freedom against attempts made by its prew ar colonial master, the Netherlands, to re
Category: Discover Indonesia