Yogyakarta- UGM historian, Prof. Dr. Suhartono, urged the Central Government not to ignore the historical fact that Yogyakarta was formerly the capital of Indonesia that had a role for the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia at that time. Precisely for four years from 4 January 1946 – 27 December 1949, Indonesia’s capital was located in Yogyakarta. In addition, Yogyakarta politically became the place for the central government that had strategic position during independence period.
“Regarding its historical background, Yogyakarta’s position with its specialty can not be separated and eliminated. Its specialty includes the Sultan’s position as King and Paku Alam as Adipati Pakualam,” Suhartono said in the Commemoration of “Yogya Republic” at Koesnadi Hardjasoemantri Cultural Center on Tuesday (4/12).
According to this UGM Professor of History, the move of Indonesia’s capital at that time was reasonable due to Jakarta’s condition which was not safe and that Indonesian government was totally paralyzed because there were contradictory elements. On the one hand, Japanese army still held the status quo while on the other hand there was the NICA (Dutch troops) coming behind the Allies. As Jakarta’s condition was getting critical and the safety of the national leaders was threatened, Sri Sultan HB IX offered an initiative to move the capital to Yogyakarta. “Here (Yogyakarta), the infrastructure for the elite was adequate. How if the young republic had not been protected in Yogyakarta with the goodwill of HB IX? The result would have been different,” he said.
He said that national political problems at that time were dealt with from Yogyakarta. All was handled well under the leadership of HB IX. “It is not secret anymore that HB IX played a big role in managing Yogya so that all ran well and the ideal towards national unity and recognition of sovereignty can be implemented well,” he said.
Yogyakarta was chosen as Indonesia's capital due to the Sultan HB IX's political view and bravery in taking the risk. It can be said that HB IX and his people were the successor of Republic of Indonesia’s continuity against Dutch Millitary Agression. “HB IX was an intellectual actor with multistatuses. Besides a king, he was a regional leader, Minister of Defense, key person and negotiator with the Dutch, also key figure in Indonesian civil bureaucracy,” he added.
HB IX, by the name of G.R.M. Dorodjatun when he was little, was inaugurated as Sultan on 18 March 1940 to succeed his father, Sri Sultan HB VIII. He was very close to his people. “Young Dorodjatun was very close to the people. Certainly, he understood people’s aspiration, their suffering and hope during the Dutch and Japanese colonization,” he said.
The popular principle of HB IX “throne for the people” marked an extraordinary change in paradigm as it refers to the obligation of a king to protect his people sincerely, making moral and material sacrifices. “His honesty and modesty were the basis of his personality for the unity of Sultan and his people. This is a model that should be followed by the young generation,” he said.