Solihin Gautama Poerwanagara: A Life of Service and Leadership

Solihin Gautama Poerwanagara, known affectionately as Mang Ihin, was a remarkable figure whose life exemplified dedication, courage, and leadership. Born on June 21, 1926, in Karangnunggal, Tasikmalaya, West Java, Solihin grew up in a large family, the 10th of 13 siblings, to parents of noble Sundanese descent, Abdulgani Poerwanagara and Siti Ningrum.

Solihin’s early education at the Europeesche Lagere School (ELS) and Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs (MULO) laid the foundation for his future endeavors. During the Japanese occupation, he continued his studies at the Technical High School in Bandung, demonstrating his commitment to education despite the tumultuous times.

His involvement in the independence revolution in Indonesia was profound. As a member of the Student Army and later the Siliwangi Division, Solihin displayed unwavering dedication to the cause of freedom. His experiences during this period, including participating in the Peristiwa Bandung Lautan Api and leading efforts to suppress the DI/TII movement, shaped his understanding of leadership and resilience.

After the revolution, Solihin’s career continued to flourish. He served as the commander of Kodam XIV/Hasanuddin in Makassar and later became the governor of West Java. In these roles, he implemented innovative development projects, such as transforming Tangerang into an industrial zone and popularizing the gogo rancah system to improve agricultural productivity.

Solihin’s commitment to public service extended beyond his official duties. He was actively involved in various organizations, including serving as the Chairman of Persib and the Indonesian Boxing Commission. His leadership and dedication earned him the respect and admiration of many, including Jusuf Kalla, who named his son after Solihin.

Despite his many achievements, Solihin remained humble and committed to his principles. He was known for his populist approach to governance and his willingness to listen to the needs of the people. His legacy lives on through the institutions he helped establish, such as the Council of Forestry and Environmental Concern of Tatar Sunda (DPKLTS).

Solihin Gautama Poerwanagara’s life is a testament to the power of service and leadership. His dedication to his country and his people serves as an inspiration to all who strive to make a positive impact in their communities.