Oemar Said Tjokroaminoto

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Tjokroaminoto 1962 Indonesia stamp.jpg

(Raden Mas Hadji) Oemar Said Tjokroaminoto (August 16, 1882; Ponorogo – December 17, 1934; Yogyakarta),[1] better known in Indonesia as H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto, was an Indonesian nationalist. He was one of the leaders, after the founder Haji Samanhudi, of Syarekat Dagang Islam (Islamic Trade Union), which became Sarekat Islam.[2][3]

Early life

The second of twelve children,[4]:12 he was born in Ponorogo as the son of RM. Tjokroaminoto (district chief of Kleco), grandson of RMA. Tjokronegoro (regent of Ponorogo), and grand-grandson of Kyai Bagus Kasan Besari of Tegalsari pesantren. According to his genealogy, his education was directed towards civil service.

After graduating in 1902 from OSVIA (Dutch: OpleidingSchool Voor Inlandsche Ambtenaren; training school for indigenous government employees) in Magelang, the then-highest civil servant education, he worked as a civil servant in Ngawi for three years (1902-1905).[4] He moved to Surabaya, where he met H. Samanhudi, founder and leader of the Islamic Trade Unions (SDI).[4] At night, he attended BAS (Burgerlijke Avond School) for some years. After graduating, he worked in a sugar refinery (1907-1912). He wrote for Bintang Soerabaja daily and became a staff assistant.



H. Samanhudi had founded Sarekat Dagang Islam (Islamic Trade Union) (SDI), in late 1911, in Surakarta. Tjokroaminoto was asked to prepare needed regulations for the organization and to handle the management. The statuten (statute) was prepared and notarized in Surabaya (September 10, 1912).


At Tjokroaminoto's suggestion, the word Dagang (trade) in the organization's name was removed and SDI became SI (Sarekat Islam; Islamic Union).[4] Its chairman was H. Samanhudi, while Tjokroaminoto became commissioner. Few days later its statute was sent to Governor-General to be legalized as a corporate body (rechtspersoon).

A central committee was formed with H. Samanhudi as chairman and Tjokroaminoto as vice-chairman. In explaining organization's aim, Tjokroaminoto stated that SI would not oppose Dutch East Indies Government. For organization's interest he and other manager went to the then-Governor-General, Alexander Willem Frederik Idenburg (March 29, 1913). Idenburg stated that for public importance (algemeen belang) SI legalization couldn't be granted, but local SIs can be granted corporate-body status.

The membership of SI rapidly increased, to about two and a half million.[4]


Because of rapid development of local SIs, it was necessary to establish a central SI coordinating them. On 1915, the Centraal Sarekat Islam (CSI) was founded with Tjokroaminoto as its chairman, Abdoel Moeis as vice-chairman, and Samanhoedi as honorary chairman. Since then Tjokroaminoto was continuously chairman or a member of the SI Board of Administration until his death.

The 1st CSI national congress (the 3rd SI congress) during his chairmanship was held in Bandung (June 1916). The usage of word national signified the issue Tjokroaminoto had voiced, which was the necessity of the unity of all Indonesians. Sarekat Islam gained acknowledgement of its power with the inauguration of Tjokroaminoto and Abdoel Moeis as members of the newly opened Volksraad (1918).

SI under Tjokroaminoto progressed, but inner opposition arose, while the colonial government's trust decreased. The hardest challenge came from Marxist/Leninist faction led by Semaun, who faced off against Tjokroaminoto. Eventually the Marxist–Leninist faction broke off and formed Red SI, which later became the Communist Party of Indonesia.


In 1921 Tjokroaminoto was arrested for the charge of (assassination by) SI-afd. B in Cimareme, Garut, West Java; he was released ca. 9 months later without trial (August 1922).


CSI became weak, and its name was changed to PSI (Partai Sarekat Islam; Islamic Union Party) on February 1923. Tjokroaminoto made an effort to unite outer Javanese group.[clarification needed] After a propaganda, insurgency broke out wherever, until he and Abdoel Moeis was forbidden to visit some areas. In that time, Pan-Islamism was launched. Tjokroaminoto and KH. Mas Mansoer of Muhammadiyah was delegated to attend Islamic conference in Mecca (1926). In that time Tjokroaminoto made a hajj, the 5th Islamic pillar.

Political suggestion of hijra, non-cooperative attitude to colonial government eventually accepted by Congress, caused Tjokroaminoto's refusal when he would be elected as Volksraad's member (1927). Relationship with Dr. Soetomo of Indonesische Studieclub (PBI) became tense. Ulema Committee was founded to discuss Tjokroaminoto's Qur'anic interpretation that don't obtain agreement (1928).


Later PSI was changed to PSII (Indonesian Islamic Union Party, Partai Syarikat Islam Indonesia) in early 1929. There was a confrontation between nationalist Soekiman and religious Tjokroaminoto that led to Soekiman's departure to form a new party, the Indonesian Islamic Party (Partai Islam Indonesia).

Later life

After the 20th PSII Congress in Banjarmasin (May 1934), Hadji Oemar Said Tjokroaminoto was sick and died in Yogyakarta (17 December 1934). PSII's leadership was succeeded by his brother Abikoesno Tjokrosoejoso.


  1. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=4CNNBAAAQBAJ
  2. ^ Tarling N. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia. page 236. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 9780521663717
  3. ^ Keat Gin Ooi, editor. Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 3 page 1180, Page 1226, Page 1334. Publisher ABC-CLIO, 2004 the University of California. ISBN 9781576077702
  4. ^ a b c d e Pranadipa Mahawira. Cinta Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia: Terlengkap & Terupdate pages 12-13. Publisher WahyuMedia, 2013. ISBN 9789797957513 [1]

Further reading

  • 1993. Ensiklopedi Umum. Yogyakarta: Kanisius.
  • Mirnawat. Kumpulan Pahlawan Indonesia Terlengkap Publisher Cerdas Interaktif, 2012. ISBN 9789797883430
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