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By Anthony Reid

In northern Sumatra, as in Malaya, colonial rule embraced an extravagant array of sultans, rajas, datuks and ulèëbalangs. In Malaya the conventional Malay elite served as a barrier to innovative switch and survived the transition to independence, yet in Sumatra a wave of violence and killing burnt up the conventional elite in 1945?46. Anthony Reid’s The Blood of the folks, now to be had in a brand new variation, explores the conditions of Sumatra’s sharp holiday with the previous in the course of what has been labelled its “social revolution”.

        The occasions in northern Sumatra have been one of the such a lot dramatic episodes of Indonesia’s nationwide revolution, and taken approximately extra profound adjustments even than in Java, from the place the revolution is generally considered. a few ethnic teams observed the revolution as a well-liked, peasant-supported flow that liberated them from international rule. Others, although, felt victimised via a thorough, levelling time table imposed through outsiders. Java, with a comparatively homogeneous inhabitants, gone through the revolution with out major social switch. The ethnic complexity of Sumatra, against this, intended that the revolution demanded an altogether new “Indonesian” id to override the competing ethnic different types of the past.

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Extra info for The Blood of the People: Revolution and the End of Traditional Rule in Northern Sumatra

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Yet the defensiveness with which | the uleebalang reacted to these two threats thrust upon PUSA the role of harbinger of change. All of the anti-establishment forces gradually associated themselves with either PUSA or Pemuda PUSA, transforming them in the process into broader and more political organizations. The first clear sign that PUSA was headed for conflict with the ulee- ( balang came on predictable religious grounds. In September 1939 its ' executive politely requested that religious teaching be removed from 30 THE BLOOD OF THE PEOPLE the jurisdiction of the 'native chiefs'.

118 x /38. A sign of the changing times was the criticism of Dutch overreaction by the nationalist Soangkoepon in the Volksraad; Handelingen, 1938-9, p . 660. 14. J. Jongejans, Land en Volk van Atjeh, vroeger en nu (Baarn, Hollandia Drukkerij, 1939), p. 331. Paul van't Veer, De Atjeh-oorlog (Amsterdam, Arbeiderspers, 1969), p . 295. Less than a quarter of these attacks resulted in the death of the European victim. ^- 15. A. J. Piekaar, Atjeh en de oorlog met Japan (The Hague, Van Hoeve, 1949), p.

Founded in Surakarta in 1912 it quickly developed into the embodiment of ethnic Indonesian solidarity against European and Chinese pressures. By 1916 the younger, educated Acehnese were already aware of it as a growing force in the land. Government policy appears initially to have been indulgent toward the movement, which was rightly perceived as leading Aceh away from the increasingly negative and self-sacrificial pre-occupation with its lost freedom towards a positive movement of economic and political reform.

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