Diponegoro (Mustahar) (Born 1785, Yogyakarta. Died 1855, Makassar, Dutch East Indies) was a Javanese prince who opposed Dutch colonial rule. He played an important role in the Java War (1825–1830). He was the eldest son of Sultan Hamengkubuwono III of Yogyakarta.
Being a devout Muslim, Diponegoro was alarmed by the relaxing of religious observance at his half brother’s court, as well as by the court’s pro-Dutch policy. Diponegoro he started a holy war (Jihad) against the Dutch. The beginning of the war saw large losses on the side of the Dutch, due to their lack of strategy in fighting Diponegoro’s guerrilla warfare. Ambushes were set up and food supplies were denied to the Dutch troops.
The Dutch finally increased the number of troops. From 1829, Diponegoro lost the initiative and he was put in a defensive position. Many troops and leaders were defeated or deserted. In 1830 Diponegoro’s military was as good as beaten and negotiations were started. He was invited to negotiate under a flag of truce. He accepted but was taken prisoner. The Dutch exiled him to Makassar where he eventually passed away.
Today Diponegoro is a National Hero of Indonesia , and the Central Java Military Region is named after him. The Indonesian Navy had named two ships after him. He had 3 wives, 17 sons and 5 daughters.