Mohammad Hatta

Hatta, Mohammad (hătˈə) [key], 1902–80, Indonesian political leader. He was born on Sumatra into an aristocratic family. Interested in economics, he went to the Netherlands to study. There he joined the Indonesian independence movement and edited the journal Indonesia Merdeka. He was arrested in 1927 by the Dutch, tried, but released. Hatta returned to Sumatra in 1932. He became chairman of the Pendikan Nasional Indonesia, a nationalist organization. For his activities, Hatta was again arrested by the Dutch and exiled in 1935. He was freed by the Japanese early in 1942 when they occupied Indonesia. Hatta and Sukarno, another nationalist leader, decided to cooperate with the Japanese to further the purpose of Indonesian independence. In Aug., 1945, Hatta and Sukarno joined in proclaiming the birth of the independent Republic of Indonesia. Sukarno became president and Hatta was vice president. The Dutch resisted the nationalists, and Hatta became premier and defense minister in 1948 to direct the fight against the Dutch troops. Again imprisoned by the Dutch in 1949, Hatta was released to head a delegation to the Hague and there successfully negotiated a settlement. He was (1949–50) again prime minister before serving (1950–56) as vice president of the republic; he resigned 1956 after a dispute with Sukarno. Hatta withdrew from political life and devoted himself primarily to the cooperative movement in Indonesia. After Sukarno's fall from power, Hatta returned to government service as an adviser to President Suharto.

See his Portrait of a Patriot: Selected Writings (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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