SE Asian Nationalism
Nationalism is a process whereby the people living in a certain region
became more aware of themselves as a distinct group like a nation with
a shared purpose, destiny and common goals. Nationalistic movements in
SE Asia happened during the period of 1800s to 1942 by which in 1942
and most SE Asian nationalist movements ended up as failures. The
statement that “SE Asian Nationalism was largely a failure.” is true
because by 1942, none of the Nationalist movements had achieved their
aim of independence. However despite SE Asian nationalism being
largely a failure, nationalism did Asia a service – it helped to raise
political, social and economic consciousness amongst the people of SE
TS: There was much disunity in the leadership ranks of political
nationalist movements, this weakened the party and made it ineffective
especially when organizing strikes and rebellions.
(i) Disunity among PKI leaders, as there was no common agreement and
aims for the 1926 rebellion, and lack of unity, which also led to the
failure of rebellion. The Dutch response showed its effectiveness
when it suppressed the rebellion which outlawed the PKI.
(ii) As for Thakins, there was rivalry among Burmese leaders. Freedom
Bloc protested against U Pu and organized strikes in 1940 which saw
the arrest of Ba Maw and the escape of Aung San. U Saw rose to power
against Ba Maw’s govt and repressed Thakins.
Evaluation: Disunity within the ranks of various nationalist parties
saw the fall of various nationalist movements as the leaders of the
movements could not reach a compromise with each other.
TS: Another reason for the failure of SE Asian nationalism was the
over reliance of its members on its leader. Several radical
nationalist movements crumpled after the Colonial governments arrested
(i) Saya San Rebellion, led by Saya San himself, lasted for two
years from 1930 to mid-1932. The rebellion ended with Saya San’s
execution. It showed the effectiveness of the British response using
the “applying the stick” method, which put the movement to rest.
(iii) Sukarno was a leader of the PNI who was charismatic and had
excellent oratorical skills. The Dutch...