Politician, Deceased Person
1914 – 2005
Who was Ruslan Abdulgani?
Ruslan Abdulgani his first name is also spelled Roeslan was an Indonesian government official and diplomat known for his role as a leader during the Indonesian National Revolution in the late 1940s, and as a key minister and United Nations ambassador in the Sukarno government during the 1950s and 1960s.
Ruslan was born and raised in Surabaya, East Java. He came from an upper-middle-class family; his father was a neighborhood shopkeeper and owned a small fleet of taxis. His mother, his father's second wife, was a religious tutor, giving reading and religion lessons from the Qur'an. According to a memoir of his childhood, which Ruslan wrote in the 1970s, his mother was also a strong Javanese nationalist, and it was from her that he first learned about Dutch colonial rule and the possibility of independence.
During the Indonesian fight for independence from the Dutch in the late 1940s, Ruslan was a key lieutenant under Sukarno, earning the future president's trust and ensuring him a secure place in the new government. In the 1950s he served most prominently as foreign minister, representing Indonesia abroad during the tumultuous decade when, under Sukarno's leadership, Indonesia tried to transform itself into a postcolonial, anti-imperialist success story.
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