Sukarno was an Indonesian statesman, politician, nationalist and revolutionary who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 to 1967.
Sukarno was the leader of the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Dutch colonialists. He was a prominent leader of Indonesia's nationalist movement during the colonial period and spent over a decade under Dutch detention until released by the invading Japanese forces in World War II. Sukarno and his fellow nationalists collaborated to garner support for the Japanese war effort from the population, in exchange for Japanese aid in spreading nationalist ideas. Upon Japanese surrender, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, and Sukarno was appointed as its president. He led Indonesians in resisting Dutch re-colonisation efforts via diplomatic and military means until the Dutch recognition of Indonesian independence in 1949. Author Pramoedya Ananta Toer once wrote, "Sukarno was the only Asian leader of the modern era able to unify people of such differing ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds without shedding a drop of blood."