ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Great but Not Wise

Vol V, No 26 jUNE 27, 1970

Great but Not Wise

Sukarno, the man, is dead. Sukarno, the politician, died five years ago. The man got a state funeral. The politician got utter humiliation and disgrace. The builder of a nation was presented by his pigmy successors as the wrecker of a nation. Westerners in their usual patronising manner wondered how he held Indonesia together. His successors found his dreams unbearable. They involved too much of sacrifice. They liked the swelling ­defence budgets but did not like the idea of alienation from the West. They liked the ­Konfrontasi with Malaysia as it placed heavy emphasis on the army. But they also disliked it because it was alienating them from their patrons in the West. The military bureaucratic elite in Indonesia as anywhere else liked the soft, pragmatic, West-leaning way of life. They found Sukarno’s rhetoric cutting into their interests. They had to liberate Indonesia of Sukarno’s power dreams. Newly emergent elites in Asia do not like power.

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Updated On : 10th Jul, 2020

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