Role Short story writer
Name Putu Sukanta
|Born 29 July 1939 (age 76)
Singaraja, Bali (1939-07-29) |
Pen name Putu Oka Sukanta 29 July 1939
Occupation writer, journalist, practitioner
Books Lies, Loss, and Longing
Putu oka sukanta merajut harkat
Putu Oka Sukanta (born 29 July 1939 in Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia) is one of the Indonesia’s literary figures. He wrote poetry, short stories and novels while still in Bali and after he moved to Yogyakarta and Jakarta. In 1966 during the time of New Order (Indonesia), he imprisoned because he had been considered as a member of LEKRA (one of the organizations of Communist Party of Indonesia PKI) without trial. After his release in 1976, he has come to be known as a writer, journalist and an expert in the field of traditional medicine as well.
- Putu oka sukanta merajut harkat
- Lifting dignity a short note of putu oka sukanta
Lifting dignity a short note of putu oka sukanta
Putu Oka Sukanta started writing at age 16. He actively wrote poetry, short stories, novels and children's stories while still in Bali and after he moved to Yogyakarta and Jakarta. In 1966 he was imprisoned in Salemba in Jakarta because he had been considered as a member of LEKRA (one of the organizations of Communist Party of Indonesia PKI). The years 1965 and ’66 were tumultuous ones in Indonesian history. Three weeks prior to Putu Oka’s arrest, a failed coup had been launched, allegedly by the Indonesian Communist Party, in which six high-ranking military officers were killed on a night known as the 30 September Movement. The Indonesian National Armed Forces subsequently retaliated with a massive purge of suspected communists.
Putu Oka, a high school teacher and freelance journalist, was a member of LEKRA, a cultural organization affiliated with the Communist Party. He had been dismissed from the school where he was teaching about a week earlier due to his involvement in LEKRA, so he suspected he might soon be targeted for arrest. He spent the next 10 years behind bars with no idea of how long he would be there.
After his release in 1976, his works which had been written during the period of supervision were censored. Nevertheless, he kept writing. Some of the articles was not available in Indonesia but in Germany and Australia, hence not surprisingly he was less known in Indonesia.
In 1982 and 1983, Putu had an opportunity to attend the Popular Theatre Workshop in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Some of his works are published in foreign languages. He is also a contributing editor and a senior staff member of an alternative magazines. They are also available in Indonesian Progressive Contemporary Poetry (Indonesia, 1963), The Prison Where I Live (London, 1996), Voice of Consciences (USA, 1995), Bali Behind The Seen (Australia, 1997), Black Cloud Over Paradise Isle (USA, 1997), Manageri IV (Indonesia, 1998), and Silenced Voices (Hawaii, 2000).
He is also the producer of many documentary films, one of which portrays the social impact of the tragic events of 1965 when hundreds of thousands of Indonesians fell victim to nationwide massacres.
Besides being known as a writer, he expertised in the field of traditional medicine. During the time being captured in Salemba jail, Putu studied acupuncture and acupressure from a Chinese doctor who placed in the same cell. After his release from prison in 1978, he went to Taipei and Hong Kong to deepen the knowledge. In 1980, he established the Foundation for Traditional Medicine in Indonesia. He was married to Endah Lasmadiwati in 1987. In 1990, he was put back in jail due to his efforts to teach traditional medicine on the people suspected by the government. Throughout the New Order regime, he was never released from surveillance even while abroad. After his release from prison, Putu and his wife continued to gather herbs grown in Indonesia for their foundation. His expertise in acupuncture and herbs has taken him around the world in 23 countries. Now Putu Oka Sukanta to the Central Executive of the Association of Indonesian Naturopath Ikatan Naturopatis Indonesia. The Foundation facilitates to conduct research on traditional treatment methods for patients with HIV / AIDS.