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In the era of Dutch political repression and the nationalist restiveness of the early 1930, the PKI receded into the shadows,outlawed and disorganized. Altough later it made several attempts at recovery, it did not emerge as a serious political factor in Indonesia until after WW 2.

In the half-world, PKI struggled with Tan Malaka for control of Indonesia left, Gradually, the schism in the Communist movement widened and distinct line appeared. The PKI emerged as supranational Soviet instrumentality and PARI as a revisionist movement espousing what was later to be characterized as ‘national communism’. Despite his nationalist orientation, Tan Malaka was mpt averse to seeking support from abroad. Whereas PKI viewed the rise of Japan with misgivings –in part because of the threat it posed to Soviet Asia– Tan Malaka saw in Tokyo a lever for riding the Indies of Dutch rule. Whereas the orthodox communism took the global view that they served Indonesia by serving Moscow’s goal of reshaping the world in the Indonesia by supoprting Tokyoo’s goal of Asia for the Asians. Altough aware of the atrocities commited in China by the Japanese, Tan Malaka visited Tokyo and arrived at an accomodation with the Japaneese.

The contest between Tan Malaka and PKI coincided with Great Depression, which had a severe impact on Indonesia raw material economy. An isolated political incident dramatized the temper of discontent. On February 2, 1933 the Dutch and Indonesian crew of 6500 ton naval training ship “Zeven Provincien” mutinied in SUmatran waters in againts a series of pay reduction. The mutineers seized the vessel and steamed for Surabaya naval base. The adventure ended four days later when Royal Natherland Air Force bombed the ship and killing 23 ratings and wounding 35. Although it was later found that the incident had been inspired by non-Communist labour union, it has assumed epic propotion in PKI lore. Its immediateee effect was to generate new demands among the Dutch ultra-conservative for a tighter colonial rein on native activies. Shortly thereafter, SUkarno, Hatta and Sjahrir were interned.

Brackman, Indonesia Communism (1963) page 28