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Jakarta Post

Freedom from poverty: reflection on Heroes Day

PREMIUM
Oxford   /   Fri, November 10, 2017   /  12:44 pm
Freedom from poverty: reflection on Heroes Day Urban poor – A resident carries out her daily activities in a slum area in Kapuk Teko, Jakarta. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga)

It was on Nov. 10, 1945 in Surabaya, a day we cherish as Heroes Day, that Indonesia’s illustrious champion of freedom, Bung Tomo, inspired his people with an impassioned speech, galvanizing all to stand firm against the colonial invaders and to choose, “Freedom, freedom or death!” 

Instructing his followers not to shoot first, his aim was to respect all human life that day, while upholding the dignity and courage of his fellow countrymen, qualities that Mahatma Gandhi also sought to kindle through his peaceful non-cooperation movement, during India’s struggle for independence. 

The hold that poverty has on Indonesia today is no different from how colonists ruled us more than 72 years ago. To quote a recent World Bank report, “out of a population of 252 million, more than 28 million Indonesians still live below the pove...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.