Time has been passing by very quickly since 17th of August 1945. Now it has been 64 years since the declaration of independence was proclaimed. Speaking about the declaration of independence, some of us maybe puzzled with the simplicity of the proclamation text. Especially recalling that Sukarno was known as great orator. Hence, in my opinion, it is not too much for us to expect a more "heroic declaration", isn`t it?
Actually Sukarno did say something before and after reading the proclamation text. The full text of the speech wasn`t published widely due to some unclear reasons. According to the famous Indonesianist from Cornell University, George McKahin, it was done to prevent harsh respond from the Japanese army and the military police/kenpentai who had nearly zero tolerance for any assertive Indonesian nationalism. The full text of the speech was obtained by Kahin from Haji Agus Salim, The minister of foreign affairs, in 1948 along with its English translation. Unfortunately in his publication, Kahin only quoted the English translation only. Nevertheless, the English translation is quite sufficient if we want to know at large about the Soekarno`s speech.
Here is the English translation of the speech
Brothers and Sisters All!
I have asked you to be in attendance here in order to witness an event in our history of the utmost importance.
For decades we, the People of Indonesia, have struggled for the freedom of our country—even for hundreds of years!
There have been waves in our actions to win independence which rose, and there have been those that fell, but our spirit still was set in the direction of our ideals.
Also during the Japanese period our efforts to achieve national independence never ceased. In this Japanese period it merely appeared that we leant upon them. But fundamentally, we still continued to build up our own powers, we still believed in our own strengths.
Now has come the moment when truly we take the fate of our actions and the fate of our country into our own hands. Only a nation bold enough to take its fate into its own hands will be able to stand in strength.
Therefore last night we had deliberations with prominent Indonesians from all over Indonesia. That deliberative gathering was unanimously of the opinion that NOW has come the time to declare our independence.
Brothers and Sisters:
Herewith we declare the solidarity of that determination.
Listen to our proclamation:
WE THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA HEREBY DECLARE THE INDEPENDENCE OF
INDONESIA. MATTERS WHICH CONCERN THE TRANSFER OF POWER AND
OTHER THINGS WILL BE EXECUTED BY CAREFUL MEANS AND IN THE
SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME.
DJAKARTA, 17 AUGUST 1945
IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA
So it is, Brothers and Sisters!
We are now already free!
There is not another single tie binding our country and our people!
As from this moment we build our state. A free state, the State of the Republic of Indonesia—evermore and eternally independent. Allah willing, God blesses and makes safe this independence of ours!
Merdeka !! ^_^
Kahin, G. 2000. Sukarno Proclamation of The Indonesian Independence. Indonesia: volume 69. South East Asia Program Publication. Cornell University