Sukarno was a major figure in the Indonesian nationalist movement and independence struggle as well as the first President of Indonesia. Sukarno was born on 6 June 1901 in the village of Surabaya, East Java, Dutch East Indies. In his early years he helped establish the Indonesian National Party (PNI). The PNI would eventually help lead to full independence from Dutch colonial rule and establishment of Indonesia as an independent nation state; Sukarno played a leading role in this process. Because of this, Sukarno was imprisoned by the Dutch for his involvement in the PNI and anti-colonial rhetoric but, was released after a short stay in prison.

Sukarno During His Trial, 1930 | Source: Wikipedia

An eager Sukarno also served as a political leader during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, while at the same time he supported independence for Indonesia. He then became President of Indonesia after its proclamation of independence in 1945. Sukarno was an influential leader who promoted the development of Indonesian culture, nationalism, and international relations. He also led Indonesians in resisting Dutch re-colonization efforts via diplomatic and military means until the Dutch acknowledgment of Indonesian independence in 1949.

Sukarno & Hatta Giving Declaration of Independence Speech, 1945 | Source: Wikipedia

 His administration was responsible for major developments in agriculture, industry and education. Although Sukarno led Indonesia to victory against Dutch imperialism and colonialism; he was also accused by critics as being authoritarian. Western nations considered Sukarno’s close ties to communism too radical and began planning his overthrow which came to fruition in 1967. Sukarno died in custody in 1970 because lack of proper medical care.

Indonesia 1 Rupiah | 1945 | Source: Banknote World

Banknotes Featuring Sukarno

He is still a respectable figure today and his portrait remains on Indonesia banknotes. One of the first banknotes to feature him is the Indonesia 1 Rupiah from 1945. In addition to a volcano erupting and rice plantations. The reverse also shows an erupting volcano. Today he is most notable on the 100,000 Rupiah banknote which is the largest denomination of the Rupiah banknote family. The latest Indonesia 100,000 Rupiah, 2022. Its obverse features Mohammad Hatta and Sukarno. It also shows a moth orchid flower, the map of Indonesia and the nation’s coat of arms. The reverse depicts the bank logo, the Raja Ampat islands, a moth orchid flower, and Tari Topeng Betawi dancer.

Indonesia 100,000 Rupiah | 2022 | Source: Banknote World



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