Some members of the public have suggested the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in North Jakarta to be renamed after the national hero Mohammad Husni Thamrin, who hailed from Jakarta.
Historian J. J. Rizal stated that the stadium’s name must be dedicated to figures, who played a greater role in various national aspects apart from sports, which Thamrin had exemplified by utilizing football to advance his nationalistic struggle for Indonesia’s independence.
“The name will match the grandeur of the building with Husni Thamrin’s monumental role and struggle in the national football and nationalism movement as a single face of Indonesia,” Rizal stated during the online seminar “Why MH Thamrin must be the official name of JIS” here on Monday.
The historian highlighted that Thamrin understood the potential of sports to advance the national movement. He was the founder of Jakarta-based football club Voetbalbond Indonesische Jacarta (VIJ), the first football club with the “Indonesia” name, which the Dutch colonial authority at that time raised a warning to, he pointed out.
Thamrin, who was a member of the colonial administration’s People’s Council, was also among the pioneers in football in Jakarta, Rizal remarked while stating that the point proves that the youth-driven nationalism movement was closely related to the national football sports.
During the independence struggle, football was the arsenal of national politics, and Jakarta was the heart of Indonesia’s nationalist football, he noted.
By assessing the historical accounts of Thamrin, it can be concluded that he had indirectly established Indonesia’s national football that is thriving until now, Rizal stated.
Meanwhile, Thamrin’s granddaughter, Dieny Tjokro, expressed optimism that by anointing MH Thamrin’s name to JIS, a stunning soccer stadium built by the Jakarta administration under the leadership of Governor Anies Baswedan and his deputy Ahmad Riza Patria, Thamrin’s integrity and professionalism will be propagated to the Indonesian football athletes.
“He had fought for the nation, and (I believe), for the good of the Betawi community and the national independence, this is something profound that must be instilled (in the hearts and minds of) our football athletes,” Tjokro remarked.
Source: Antara News