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Ida I Dewa Agung Istri Kanya: Balinese Heroine  

by on Thursday, 21 April 2011No Comment | 1,478 views

Indonesian celebrated Kartini Day on 21th April annually. Kartini is a name of Indonesian woman that struggled for women emancipation. Because of her Indonesian women could go to school and their position are not lower than men anymore so that Indonesian appreciate her through celebrate her birthday as national holiday. Actually, Indonesia has several other National Heroines; Cut Nyak Dien, Christina Marthatiahahu, and many more.

Obviously, Bali also has heroine although not many people know about her and she is not admitted as a National Heroine yet. Her name was Ida I Dewa Agung Istri Kanya. Her father was a King of Klungkung. She had a step brother named Tjokorda Rai, the only one successor of Klungkung kingdom at that time.

In 1815 Tjokorda Rai ascended the throne entitled Ida I Dewa Agung Putra II while Istri Kanya assisted him leading the kingdom. Istri Kanya played a big role in wiping out the colonizer from Klungkung. She was known as a woman with outstanding characters, stubborn, and firm.

She resisted the Dutch openly. Although she was not the queen of Klungkung but she helped her brother in fighting the Dutch. The colonizer knew that there was a person who was anti-Dutch who affected the King apparently. When the Dutch sent their infantry to attack Klungkung, Istri Kanya commanded the Klungkung’s infantry to block the Dutch attack directly.

The Dutch launched some attacks to the Klungkung area. They started to take control of Kusamba, around the palace. The King, Ida I Dewa Agung Putra II was scared. There was no way except fighting the Dutch.

May 25th 1849, at night, Ida I Dewa Agung Istri Kanya composed a new strategy together with Anak Agung Ketut Agung and Anak Agung Made Sangging. Early in the morning on May 26th 1849, around 3 am Anak Agung Ketut Agung and Anak Agung Made Sangging launched their attacks. The Dutch was shocked by the sudden attacks. Major General of the Dutch, Michiels woke up and he wanted to counterattack. But he did not see anything because the day was still dark. Then Michiels instructed his infantry to shoot with tracer bullet. A very bright light enable all of people to see each other including Michiels. Klungkung infantry knew well where Michiel position was. As soon as possible Klungkung infantry shoot him but only able to wound his right leg.

The leader of the Dutch was seriously injured. The infantry had run out of food. Most of them were injured or killed. Colonel van Swieten, a leader that had been pointed by Michiels to continue the attack, refused to conduct the attack. He preferred to pull out the infantry. Klungkung was saved.

Istri Kanya’s strategy worked. She succeeded in protecting Klungkung from Dutch’s attack. Because of her great contribution, people of Klungkung propose her to be one of National Heroine. Do you agree?

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