National Party of Indonesia

National Party of Indonesia

 

(NPI; Indonesia). (1) A left radical petit bourgeois party founded in Bandung on July 4, 1927, by a group of nationalists headed by Sukarno. In addition to making general democratic demands, the party advocated a struggle for the political and economic independence of Indonesia. The party leadership believed that Indonesia could free itself from Dutch rule through large-scale popular actions, without resorting to violence. The party pursued a policy of noncooperation with the colonial authorities and developed a social and economic program. Its growing influence in the country led to repression by the colonial authorities, and in 1931 the party dissolved itself.

(2) A party of the national and petite bourgeoisie founded on Jan. 29, 1946, in Kediri, in eastern Java. The NPI vigorously opposed colonialism and imperialism. It adopted Sukarno’s Five Principles as its program for national unification and for the creation of an independent Indonesian state. Its leaders headed the government of Indonesia from 1952 to 1957, with the exception of a six-month period in 1955–56. After the elections of 1955, internal dissension within the party intensified, and in August 1958 members of the party’s left wing seceded to form the Party of Indonesia. In 1960, Ali Sastroamidjojo, the leader of the left wing, was elected general chairman of the NPI. The party’s ideology was based on marhaenism (from marhaen, “common man”), a type of petit bourgeois socialism. The program adopted by the party in 1952 contained a number of social demands, including the abolition of feudal vestiges, nationalization of the major industries, and a higher living standard for the population. After the events of September 1965, an extraordinary congress of the NPI, held in April 1966, expelled the left wing from the party’s directing bodies, and politicians willing to collaborate with the new regime took control of the party. In 1973 the NPI merged with the Christian and Catholic parties, the Murba Party, and the League of Defenders of Indonesian Independence to form the Democratic Party of Indonesia.

V. A. ZHAROV

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