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Consequences for West Java

Dutch troops first arrived in West Java in March 1947 to relieve the British in Cianjur, but connections between the western province and the rest of the island were not severed until early July.[1]

As the Dutch entered Cirebon on 21July, the Republican police were forced to move south to Ciwaru. When in 1948 the area officially came under Dutch control, the police force was dissolved and its agents offered the opportunity to work for the occupying forc- es.[2] This offer, however, was hardly an attractive choice, as it was in fact the only alternative to a forced withdrawal to Yogyakarta or final dismissal from the force. Facing two unsatisfactory options, several officers in Cimahi and Indramayu fled to other villages or to the mountains to avoid forced co-optation in the Dutch ranks.[3]

The Republican police from Bandung, having already been displaced to Ciparay since March 1946, were on 28 July again forced to move, this time to Bongkor (north of Garut), as the Dutch occupied Majalaya and Ciparay. The fall of Leles and Garut in early August caused them to move further to Wanaraja, whilst the Priangan police (usually stationed in Garut) sought refuge in the surrounding mountains, but only after being ordered to destroy all high-rise buildings they encountered en route.[4] As the Dutch advance from Tasikmalaya had compromised their retreat to Cilawu, the Priangan police did not reach Mount Cikurai until late September, where they hid until Dutch troops found them in mid November 1947.[5]

By now military tensions in West Java had become distributed among the invading Dutch troops, regular Republican Siliwangi soldiers, and those splinters of Sabilillah and Hizboellah militias that had refused to merge with the Republican Army. Despite their rapid expansion, the Dutch lacked territorial control beyond the Cirebon residency. The Republicans had equally limited control, as they ruled only over Liangjulang (Kadipaten). It was Masyumi and its militias that controlled most of the region, with strongholds in the Indramayu and Majalengka regions.[6]

In the Priangan, Masyumi was gradually positioning itself as - and assuming the functions of - a local independent government, attracting the attention of the Dutch resident Van der Harst, as well as of Tasikmalaya’s chief of police, Said Soerianatanegara.[7] Masyumi implemented a taxation system in the areas around Indi- hiang, Mount Cupu and Cisayong in order to buy weapons and supplies for its troops. In addition, the Islamic militias were in the habit of bartering food supplies with starving TNI soldiers in exchange for carbines and guns, as shortages of weapons were occurring across the region.[8]

According to Soerianatanegara, Masyumi’s army (namely, Sabi- lillah and Hizboellah) had as a final goal the establishment of a

‘New State’ (Negara Baru) that would be under the patronage of the Islamic party: ‘Until the government comes under Masyumi leadership, there will be no order.’[9]

  • [1] ‘Berita atjara tentang pelaporan R.Legino pembentoe Inspectour Polisian I dari Bandung,RS Joedoprawiro Insp.Polisi II’, 30 March 1948, KepNeg no. 526, ANRI. The C division of the7th December Brigade relieved the British W Brigade in Cianjur.
  • [2] ‘Berita atjara tentang pelaporan R. Legino’, 30 March 1948, and ‘Berita atjara tentangDjemino A.P. kl.I dari kantor Kepolisian Keresidenan Cirebon, RS Joedoprawiro Insp.Polisi II’,24 March 1948, KepNeg no. 526, ANRI.
  • [3] ‘Laporan perdjalanan anggauta Polisi Tjimahi A.P. Kl. I Selam CS dari daerah pendudukankedaerah Republiek, Mohamad Gondosoebroto’, 2 March 1948, KepNeg no. 534, ANRI; ‘Beritaatjara tentang Ngadiran pegawai Polisi Negara dari Indramaju’, 14 April 1948, KepNeg no. 526,ANRI.
  • [4] ‘Berita atjara tentang pelaporan Soekami Commissaris Polisi dari Bandung, RS Joedo-prawiro Insp.Polisi II’, 27 March 1948, KepNeg no. 526, ANRI; ‘Laporan, Effendi Ardipradja’,24 February 1948, KepNeg no. 534, ANRI.
  • [5] ‘Laporan, Doelkarnaen’, 16 February 1948, KepNeg no. 526, ANRI.
  • [6] ‘Laporan rahasia Kepolisian Keresidenan Tjirebon’, 14 November 1947, Arsip KabinetPresiden 1950-1959 [hereafter KabPres], no. 1926, ANRI.
  • [7] ‘Perihal politieke situasi, Kantor Polisi Tasikmalaya’, 9 December 1947, KepNeg no. 495,ANRI.
  • [8] ‘Laporan tentang keadaan didaerah Tasikmalaya Utara, Kan tor Polisi Tasikmalaya’,23 December 1947, and ‘Perihal keadaan di Tasikmalaya, Kantor Polisi Tasikmalaya’, 12 December 1947, KepNeg no. 495, ANRI; ‘Politiek-Economisch Verslag betreffende de Residentie Priangan over de maand November 1947, AMK: Rapportage Indonesie 1945-1950 [hereafter RI],no. 327, NA.
  • [9] ‘Laporan tentang keadaan didaerah Tasikmalaya Utara’, 23 December 1947, KepNegno. 495, ANRI.
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