The Doodle of today honours Rasuna Said, known as the Lioness of the Indonesian Independence Movement, on her 112nd birthday. She was a journalist, a teacher, and a prominent voice on social problems, particularly women’s rights. She became the ninth woman to be honoured as an Indonesian national hero.
On this day in 1910, Rasuna was born in West Sumatra, close to Lake Maninjau. She was opinionated about current events from a young age. Her intelligence and tenacity as a student paved the way for her to become an assistant teacher who inspired young girls to pursue their dreams.
Rasuna was given the opportunity to join the Sarikat Rakyat, or People’s Movement, in 1926. Later, in 1930, she was invited to join the Islamic Movement, which inspired her to found the Persatuan Muslim Indonesia (PERMI), a group that opposed Dutch colonialism and the unfair treatment of women.
Rasuna relocated to Padang in 1931 to start the PERMI’s women’s division. It centred on establishing literary schools for girls across the whole of West Sumatra. Rasuna was detained in 1932 for speaking out against Dutch control. In 1932, thousands of people watched her trial in Payakumbuh. Her speech in defence was motivational and delivered without hesitation.
After being released from prison in 1934 at the age of 24, Rasuna started a career as a journalist and contributed to the campus publication Raya. She spoke on behalf of numerous Muslim women’s organisations throughout the period of the following few years while also opening more girl’s schools.
Indonesia achieved independence in 1945 as a result of her hard efforts to instil nationalism and anti-colonialism through her poetry. Rasuna received recognition as an Indonesian National Hero in 1974 for her contributions.
Happy birthday, Rasuna Said!