Cool heads!



Newspaper article by the Indonesian journalist Ratu Langie in the weekly 'De Indiër. Weekblad gewijd aan het geestelijk en maatschappelijk leven van Indië en Oost-Azië' ['The Indonesian. Weekly devoted to the intellectual and society life of the Indies and East-Asia'] dated 24 September 1914. Langie encouraged his compatriots to keep a cool head and remain loyal to Dutch rule in exchange for more political rights. To read the original article please click on the source above.


Shortly before the war, Dutch rule in the East Indies was confronted increasingly with lingering anti-colonial movements, such as the Indische Partij [Indonesian Party]. Founded by Ernest Douwes Dekker in 1912-1913, the weekly 'De Indiër' ['The Indonesian'] became its unofficial mouthpiece. When war broke out, radical, anti-colonial Indonesian intellectuals saw the global conflict as an opportunity to throw off the Dutch yoke and help their Indian friends to break free of British rule and give Asia 'back to the Asians'.

Just like the poet Raden Mas Noto Soeroto, the journalist and student Ratu Langie held a moderate view in contrast to what he saw as a too radical, anti-colonial position. He encouraged his compatriots to keep 'their heads cool', to support Dutch rule, and to stay neutral by declining their support for any belligerent party. Ratu Langie was a defender of more democratic rights for the East Indies and he believed that the colonials would be rewarded for their loyalty after the war.