Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yogya’s Popular Line of Sultans

Unlike many former Indonesian rulers who have retreated to their palaces or plunged into the world of commerce and industry, The hamengkubuwono rulling family of Yogya has managed to forge a new and dynamic role for itself in modern Indonesia – a role based on public service and deep concern for the commonweal. In the process, they have not oly retained the great respect and loyalty historically accorded them by their own Yogyanese subjects, but have also developed a nationwide following. Much of this is due to the unusual energy and talent of the late Hamengkubuwono IX (r. 1940-1989).

From its founding in 1755, Yogya’s rulers have been quick to adapt to the new situations. Hamengkubuwono I (r.1755-1992) was a dynamic military commander who fought the Dutch and his own ruling family to a stand still through nine years of war, then negotiated to recieve half of the Mataram Kingdom with Dutch blessings as the price of a peace settlement. As an innovative city planner and builder throughout the remaining 37 years of his reign, he carefully selected a site for his new kingdom and then constructed not only an elegant palace, but a unique pleasure garden surrounded by a vast, artificial lake ( Taman sari), Both complexes are imbued with a symbolism and powerful aura which the centuries have not obscured.

Following Hamengkubuwono I’s death, the thorne fell to one of his sons, an intelligent but arrogant ruler whose reign was marred by intrigues . Hamengkubuwono II had unique misfortune of being deposed three times (once by the Dutch and twice by the British), and exiled twice – once to Penang and once to Ambon – only to be restored to the throne each time. He was also an extremely prolific father; his two queens and 31 concubines bore him 80 children.

Hamengkubuwono III inherited neither his grandfather’s great authority, nor his father’s arrogance. And during his tenure an unfavorable agreement with the British under Rafles led to unrest among the Yogya nobility. The ascendency to the throne of his 13-year old son. Hamengkubuwono IV, in 1814 brought on a flurry of court intrigues, and poisoning was the suspected cause of the young ruler’s untimely death 1822.

A three year old son succeded him under the tutelage of a Dutch appointed commitee, which include one of the young sultan’s uncles, Prince Diponegoro, Land disputes and religious zeal led Diponegoro into a bloody 5 year rebellion against the Dutch and his own family between 1825-1830.

Thereafther, Yogya lived in peace under the reign of four successive sultans, all of whom became wealthy patrons of the arts. Like most of Asia’a traditional rulers at this time, the sultans hob nobbed with foreign dignitaries and styled themselves afther the manner of European royalty.

0 komentar: