Dr. Natawisastra worthy of national hero label: historian

Internal Affairs

National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) historian Asvi Warman Adam has contended that Dr. Rubini Natawisastra is worthy of being declared a national hero.

“Throughout his life, ever since he was little until he died, he fought for Indonesia’s freedom,” he noted during a webinar entitled ‘National Hero Candidate Dr. Rubini, Indonesian Humanitarian and Freedom Fighter,’ held on Friday.

“Moreover, he also did more work outside of his job,” he added.

Natawisastra was a medical graduate during the STOVIA colonial era. He was appointed as the Pontianak medical chief in 1934.

While carrying out his duties, Natawisastra came across many instances of violence against women and children and worked hard to save them.

When the Japanese arrived, the doctor could have evacuated to a safer place. However, he remained in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, to take care of his patients.

Natawisastra also initiated the freedom movement in the region. However, he died during the Foreman Incident in 1944, which claimed 21 thousand lives. The incident was orchestrated by Japanese soldiers against suspected revolutionaries.

Indonesian Women’s Congress (Kowani) Chairwoman Giwo Rubianto Wiyogo said that Kowani had proposed the induction of Natawisastra’s name in the list of national heroes in 2022.

This aligned with Kowani’s struggle in the effort to ratify the Sexual Violence Crime (TPKS) bill, which was passed recently. As part of the effort, Kowani had proposed that Natawisastra be declared a national hero.

“In addition to initiating Indonesia’s freedom movement, Dr. Rubini also played a role in fighting violence against women and children during the colonial era,” Wiyogo noted.

Earlier, Kowani had proposed that Admiral Malahayati and Rohana Kudus be declared national heroes. The two women were accorded national hero status in 2017 and 2019.

Source: Antara News