Sukarno destroyed Indonesia

833 Words4 Pages
His actions in 1965 have left a mark on today’s Indonesia, as they are still having a turbulent time with finance and government, writes Julie Kumar.

Human poverty is a major factor in society, and yet the developed world is oblivious to the way some people survive. The novel, The Year of Living Dangerously, by C.J. Koch, reveals the poverty of the Indonesian people in year 1965. Showing the culture and the political disturbance, he makes the reader consider how most Australian’s do not know about the culture of Indonesia, even though Indonesia is one of our neighbouring countries. The author portrays the Indonesian people as trying to adopt progressive views, while still clinging to their own unique cultural identity. The struggle between traditional and modern culture is represented as an undercurrent throughout the novel, influencing the thoughts of readers and projecting the author’s ideas about the culture of Indonesia.

Sukarno’s ideas and propaganda projected toward his people could be the reason for all the danger, protests and upheaval. Trying to separate Indonesia from the ‘West’, his intention was to rise in power. “We carried our faces through the streets like ridiculous badges, ignoring insults and jeers and malevolent brown-eyed stares that had the intensity of religious fervour” (pg 9).

The poverty caused from his actions, made the already hard life for the kampong (rural villagers) even harder. This event further proves that the author didn’t want to make the book fictional, uncovering true facts and unveiling the true representations of the Indonesians; proud of their country, secretive, mysterious and trustworthy. Dramatising the novel; Koch creates themes in the book to keep readers on the edge of their seat...

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...ls to follow and the fear that we would die for expressing our beliefs.

This novel has shown the true effects and damages that Sukarno established trying to improve the country. “He is more than a puppet-master, and these are more than puppets: their shadows are souls” (pg 123). It is further more proven from the fact that Indonesia banned the book and movie from entering its country. Even today, as foreigners holiday in Bali and different parts of Indonesia, they are willing to use money and relax, but are still oblivious to the living conditions of the natives. The Bali bombing is an example of the horror that we have brought upon Indonesia. As the nine men bombed the ‘foreigners’ bar, Indonesia’s reputation was once again shunned. This incident could result in the Western versus Indonesia theme once again, meaning we start back at square one just like in 1965.
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