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By Anthony Reid

In northern Sumatra, as in Malaya, colonial rule embraced an extravagant array of sultans, rajas, datuks and ulèëbalangs. In Malaya the conventional Malay elite served as a barrier to innovative swap and survived the transition to independence, yet in Sumatra a wave of violence and killing burnt up the normal elite in 1945?46. Anthony Reid’s The Blood of the folks, now on hand in a brand new variation, explores the conditions of Sumatra’s sharp holiday with the earlier in the course of what has been labelled its “social revolution”.

        The occasions in northern Sumatra have been one of the so much dramatic episodes of Indonesia’s nationwide revolution, and taken approximately extra profound adjustments even than in Java, from the place the revolution is generally considered. a few ethnic teams observed the revolution as a well-liked, peasant-supported circulation that liberated them from overseas rule. Others, even though, felt victimised by means of a thorough, levelling schedule imposed through outsiders. Java, with a comparatively homogeneous inhabitants, gone through the revolution with no major social switch. The ethnic complexity of Sumatra, against this, intended that the revolution demanded an altogether new “Indonesian” identification to override the competing ethnic different types of the past.

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51 The Dutch continued to be worried by Muhammadiah, the only organizational threat they perceived in the 1930s. Yet despite the politicization of its uleebalang leadership Dutch officials were anxious that they should retain control, to prevent the greater danger of a challenge to uleebalang dominance of Acehnese society. T o the great majority of Acehnese Muhammadiah and the national movement it represented were extremely remote. The young westernized uleebalang of Kutaraja had hardly more claim on their support than the 'foreign' Minangkabaus and Javanese.

Although a few uleebalang were associated with its foundation, 59 Jamiatul Diniyah could not rely like most of the other new schools on a single powerful uleebalang patron. The rivalries among the fragmented Pidie statelets were too great, and the richest of them, Keumangan, was hostile. This weakness became a strength in the hands of Daud Beureu'eh, who took his appeal to the people by extensive use of tabligh (public sermons). 60 It was especially the young leader of the movement that people wanted to hear.

16. Liefrink report, 31 July 1909, pp. 66-7, Mailr. 1280/09. 17. Broersma, p. 123; MvO Atjeh, Goedhart, 1929, pp. 31-2, Mailr. 28 x /29: M. H. du Croo, General Swart: Pacificator van Atjeh (Maastricht, NeiterNypels, 1943), pp. 130-1. 18. I use this artificial word for an artificial concept which in Dutch was rendered landschap or (in Aceh) uleebalangschap. It was that part of Netherlands India over which the Dutch had acknowledged the hereditary claims of a ruler, who had signed either the Korte Verklaring of complete submission or (in the case of six East Sumatran rulers) a long Political Contract.

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