Biography of Achmad Soebardjo: Background of His Life and Struggle History

President Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta while in Rengasdengklok.

On August 15, 1945 at 23.00 WIB, there was a great debate between the old and the young. They expressed their respective opinions about the implementation of the proclamation. Both the old and the young groups agreed that Indonesia’s independence should be proclaimed immediately, but they disagreed on how to present it and how to implement it.

The older group was of the opinion that the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence had to be carried out without bloodshed and wanted the first PPKI meeting to be held on August 16, 1945. The younger group, on the other hand, disagreed on the grounds of the old group.

Young people think PPKI is a body formed by Japan. They also did not approve of the birth of the proclamation of independence because of General Terauchi’s promise. Instead, they argued that the proclamation had to be made on its own and free from the Japanese government. They believed that the Japanese promise was just a ruse.

After going through a long debate, the older group still insisted that the proclamation of independence must be discussed first at the PPKI meeting which was to be held the next day, August 16, 1945. The young group who felt disappointed then held a meeting at around 24.00 WIB at Jalan Cikini 71.

The young people at the meeting decided to get Soekarno and Hatta out of town so that these two figures would be free from the influence of the Japanese and the old groups. In the early morning of 16 August 1945 at around 04.00 WIB, the youth group assigned Sukarni and Singgih along with several youths to pick up Soekarno and Hatta at their respective residences to be taken to Rengasdengklok.

Rengasdengklok was chosen because it felt safe and far from the reach of the Japanese army, and the place was under PETA’s surveillance area. It was they there who tried to urge Soekarno and Hatta to immediately declare Indonesian independence.

On the morning of August 16, Soebardjo was shocked by the news that Sukarno and Hatta had been kidnapped. He was confused because soon PPKI members would hold a meeting regarding the implementation of the proclamation of Indonesian independence at 10.00 WIB.

Without wasting too much time, he immediately tried to find out the whereabouts of Soekarno and Hatta. He met Wikana and tried to pressure her to tell him where Soekarno and Hatta were hidden.

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Through lengthy discussions, Soebardjo was finally able to convince Wikana that the proclamation of independence would soon be implemented. The proclamation could not be carried out if Soekarno and Hatta were not in Jakarta. After getting information from Wikana, he asked that he be taken to Rengasdengklok immediately to pick up the two of them back to Jakarta.

Arriving at Rengasdengklok, Soebardjo was then brought to see Major Subeno who immediately held a brief discussion, at the same time asking for guarantees for the proclamation of independence as soon as possible. Major Subeno asked for the proclamation of independence to be carried out right away. The request was refused because it did not make sense.

Soebardjo then convinced Major Subeno that the proclamation of independence would be carried out as soon as possible and gave a guarantee that if he failed, he was willing to be shot dead by Major Subeno himself.

This guarantee succeeded in convincing Major Subeno and he was finally allowed to bring Soekarno and Hatta back to Jakarta to proclaim Indonesia’s independence.

Formulation of the Proclamation Text

After Soebardjo’s group arrived in Jakarta, they immediately proceeded to the residence of Admiral Maeda to hold a meeting related to the affairs of the Indonesian nation’s independence.

The figures present in the room of the house were Soekarno, Hatta, Soebardjo, Maeda, Myoshi, while those who were a little further back near the table were Sukarni, BM Diah, and Soediro.

Soebardjo and Hatta expressed their opinions verbally in formulating the text of the proclamation. Soekarno then Sukarno wrote it down on a piece of paper. Soebardjo contributed his main ideas in the first paragraph of the proclamation text, “We, the People of Indonesia, hereby declare our independence”.

Hatta then expressed his opinion, “This is not enough and is an abstract statement without content. We must bring our independence to a practical exercise and we cannot possibly do so without the power in our hands. We must add the thought of transferring power from Japan into our own hands.”

Then a number of considerations arose regarding the correct formulation of the idea of ​​handing over power. Hatta then stated, “Matters concerning the transfer of power and other things will be carried out in the most careful way possible, and in the shortest possible time.”

The formulation of the text of the proclamation in the latter form is simplified more sensibly, namely “We, the Indonesian people, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia. Matters concerning the transfer of power and other matters shall be carried out in a thorough manner and in the shortest possible time.”

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After it was finished and some words had to be replaced, the text of the proclamation was then submitted to all participants present for approval. On the suggestion of Sukarni, it was enough for the text of the statement to be signed by Soekarno and Hatta, who represented the Indonesian nation.

The text of the proclamation was then given to Sayuti Melik to type. In the typing process, Sayuti made several changes. These changes are as follows:

  1. The word “tempoh” is changed to “tempo”;
  2. The word “representatives of the Indonesian nation” was changed to “on behalf of the Indonesian nation”;
  3. The formula “Djakarta 17-8-’05” is changed to “Djakarta hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen ’05”.

The typed manuscript was then submitted to Soekarno and Hatta to be signed. After everything was finished, Hatta asked BM Diah and the youth from the press to immediately reproduce it and announce that the text of the proclamation of Indonesian independence had been successfully formulated, and would be read at 10.00 WIB at Soekarno’s residence at Jalan Pegangsaan Timur 56.

Well, that’s a brief explanation of Achmad Soebardjo’s Life History . Appreciating the services of national figures, like Achmad Soebardjo, is not only by remembering and thanking them in their hearts, but also by emulating their attitudes and actions.

Sinaumed’s can visit sinaumedia’s book collection at to get references about other heroes, starting from their life background, education, and struggle history.

The following is a recommendation for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to learn about Indonesian history so they can fully interpret it. Happy reading.

Author: Fandy Aprianto Rohman

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