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Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo

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Title: Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo  
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Subject: Priyayi, Abdul Muis, Budi Utomo, List of Javanese people, Ki Hajar Dewantara, Ernest Douwes Dekker
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Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo

Dr. Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo or Cipto Mangunkusumo (4 March 1886 in Pecangakan, Ambarawa, Semarang – 8 March 1943 in Batavia) was a prominent Indonesian independence leader and Sukarno's political mentor. Together with Ernest Douwes Dekker and Soewardi Soerjaningrat he was one of the three founders of the influential Indische Party a political party disseminating the idea of self-government of the Dutch East Indies. After the party was labeled subversive by colonial court of law in 1913, he and his fellow IP leaders were exiled to the Netherlands.

Tjipto advocated an Indies-based nationalism rather than Javanese nationalism.[1] Unlike other Javanese nationalist leaders, Tjipto's belief in democracy remained strong until the end of this life and in his view the traditional character of feudal Javanese civilization had to change. He considered western education and its subsequent social and cultural dislocation as indispensable in creating a revolutionary atmosphere. He disagreed with Budi Utomo's emphasise on the reinvogoration of traditional Javanese civilization. In a 1916 debate he stated: “The psyche of the Javanese people needs to be changed to such an extent that a change of language, or more cynically a killing of a language becomes urgent. Only in this way will it be possible to build another language on its ruins and also another civilization."[2]

Tjipto married his Indo (Eurasian) wife Marie Vogel in 1920.

When the 3 IP leaders returned to the Dutch East Indies his two compagnons eventually took the path of education, while Tjipto always remained politically active. After his exile he was involved in the 'Insulinde (Political Party)' which was transformed into the new 'Nationaal Indische Party' of which he became one of the leaders and its representative in the Peoples Assembly (Dutch: Volksraad (Dutch East Indies)).[3]

When Sukarno, future President of Indonesia, moved to Bandung, he gradually alienated from his first political mentor and father in law Tjokroaminoto (leader of the Sarekat Islam). Tjipto then became his main political mentor and turned him into a convinced radical nationalist.

"In some ways this close relationship between Tjipto and Sukarno was not surprising; both were highly intelligent men and extremely sensitive to the reality of the colonial situation, an injustice they took as a personal insult."[4]

Both men were relentless and uncompromising independence fighters professing a deep concern with the plight of the poor peasant. However unlike his political pupil Tjipto's often courageous actions showed a proven track record of practically improving the social predicament of peasants.[5] As early as 1910 Tjipto had devoted his unstinting services to the Javanese people during an outbreak of the plague. For his efforts he was even awarded a Royal decoration in the Order of Orange-Nassau, by the colonial government.[6]

After the NIP's involvement in the farmers' strike in central Java the party was banned. Tjipto co-founded the 'National Party of Indonesia' (PNI), chaired by Sukarno. Soon thereafter he attempted to foment revolt among the Indonesians serving in the KNIL and was exiled again in 1927, this time to Banda. On Banda he was later joined by other leading revolutionaries like Hatta and Sjahrir. However during his 11-year long exile he was unable to further any significant political activity.

He died in 1943 and was buried in Ambarawa.

After Indonesian independence the 'Centrale Burgerlijke Ziekeninrichting Salemba' was renamed the 'Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital'.



  • Glissenaar, Frans D.D.: het leven van E.F.E. Douwes Dekker (Publisher: Van Strien, Dordrecht) [4]
  • Meijer, Hans In Indië geworteld. De 20ste eeuw. (Publisher: Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 2004) P.66 ISBN 90-351-2617-3

External links

  • Article in Britannica.
  • Biographical notes at the Open library.
  • International institute of social history.
  • JSTOR article.

Notes and citations

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