“Brother and sisters, the government wanted to cancel this mass rally. However, in response to your demand I have come here with all the members of the cabinet to show our loyalty. Now I am speaking to you as Bung Karno. I want you all to remain calm and to understand my difficult position as leader of this country. Please have faith in our Republic. Be assured that we will defend the independence we have proclaimed at all cost to the last drop of blood. Of that you can be sure. And since you all have faith in our leadership you all must follow our orders and keep up your discipline. So, I herewith terminate this mass rally and ask you all to leave in peace.
I knew the difficult position of our leaders who despite repeated threats of the Japanese showed their bravery in joining the crowd, although it was only for a fraction of time. And so, in the face of Japanese naked bayonets and poised machine guns Bung Karno had to dissolve that unprecedented mass rally in an abrupt manner. I understood the situation, but I could not help feeling disappointed, dissatisfied and disillusioned. These feelings were also shared by the teeming crowd as was clearly reflected in their faces. Having come to the rally with great expectations to hear the oratory of their leader that could shower which was most demoralizing indeed.
This feeling of being hemmed in was even more heightened by the fact that the Japanese, following the mass rally, began to launch a house to house search, confiscating everything which looked like potential weapons. This Japanese mopping up operation forced the people to the brink of riots and revolts. Till deep in the night of September 19, 1945 they were crowding the streets. They paraded in front of the house Bung Karno and Bung Hatta to demonstrate that they were ready to fight with all means at their disposal in the defense of the Republic.
The following day, September 20, 1945 Jakarta saw that Japanese troops ransack or headquarters at 31 Menteng. Whatever weapons were found in the floor. Darwins, Sidik, Hanafi, Aidit, Manafroni, Wahidin and Lukman who happened to be there on that particular morning were captured without an court warrant and driven away to Bukit Duri prison. Two days I way picked up and hurled into the same prison.
But in the meantime the people’s emotion exploded into widespread actions. They ignored all Japanese restrictions an prohibitions. This was the so-called “Bersiap” period – the time when everybody must be on guard and be ready to be on that deference against or even attack the Japanese. In no time at all running battles were fought all over the day. Clashes with the people’s vow: “ One Indonesia in the hands of the Japanese secret police must be countered with one dead Japanese in the hands the people”. The people’s action had its effect instantly. Indonesia prison wardens and prison officials left the Bukit duri prison hurriedly, leaving the front door wide open. The power of the people held supreme over Jakarta and we left the prison unhindered.
And so through constant clashes and conflicts with the Japanese troops people’s strength began to grow and grow until their power was supreme over the city, and thus providing more and more credibility to the existence of the Republic. This caused General Christi son, commander of the Allied forces to go one record as he landed in Jakarta by saying that he honored the ideas and ideals of the Republic and that the Allied forces had no intention to meddle in the domestic policy of the Republic. It only proved that the Republic had found sustenance from the power or the people.
But in the meantime the political situation in the Republic took a sudden turn which was beyond the control of the radical youth movement. This was manifested in the sudden acceptance by Sutan Syahrir of the Chairmanship of the National Commitee in which I functioned as the Third Chairman. Questioned why finally accepted the Chairmanship on October 17, 1945 and no earlier when we proposed him On Augusts 22 he simply said that he accepted the nomination which was proposed by the meeting on the National Committee. Thereby implying that the previous offer was merely a decision of the revolutionary youth. But to Mr. Syahrir’s policy was as transparent and clear as broad daylight. He rejected the August 22 offer simply because he realized that the power of the Japanese was still a reality to reckon with. But on October 17 the power in Jakarta was already held by the people what’s more, he realized too well that he could not afford to this golden opportunity pass by. He knew that were he to remain aloof much longer he would find himself out of the political mainstream which was rapidly moving forward in an increasing tempo.
As I recalled has was still hesitant to take part in political activities through the entire month of September and in the fist week of October. Until then he rejected every offer, even from his close associates amongst the youth found in the headquarters at 31 Menteng. To them he intimated that he needed more time to make a through assessment of the importance that a meeting with Tan Malaka was a necessity. We arranged his meeting with Tan Malaka in Bogor a few days before the opening session of the National Committee. It should be noted that Tan Malaka. A well-known political figure he was exiled abroad came back secretly during the period of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia and lived in hiding amongst the forced laborers of the Japanese-run gold mine of Baya, situated in the most western point of the island of java. He still lived in semi-isolation in the city Bogor, sixty kilometers south of Jakarta, when Sutan Syahrir wanted to consult him. They held two meetings one of which was also attend by the leaders of the radical youth. During this meeting Sutan Syahrir revealed his intention to accept the Chairman of the Indonesia National Committee but with the expressed hope that Tan Malaka would assist him from a distance in steering the political course of the Republic. Tan Malaka accepted this private arrangement which for the time being was kept from the public.
However, it became clear that a few months after this meeting Sutan Syahrir had completely depart from the original principles by concessions to booth the British and the Duct. It was only then did Tan Malaka surface from his seclusion and hurled himself on the central stage. He established Persatuan Perjuangan, the United Struggle in which hundred and forty one political and fighting organizations joined forces to oppose Sutan Syahrir’s polcy of accommodating the enemy.