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Soebrata, Raden. Tan Malaka (1894-1949) was an Indonesian patriot and political activist. He was turned into a fictionalized crime-solver, “Raden Soebrata,” by “Matu Mona,” the pseudonym of Indonesian author Hasbullah Parinduri (Patjar Merah). Raden Soebrata appeared in at least eight story serials and novels from 1938 to at least 1940, beginning with the story serial “Patjar Koenig” (Doenia Pengalaman, Madjallah Boelanan Roman Dan Detective Roman, 1938).

Raden Pandiji Soebrata is a Great Detective based on Sherlock Holmes. Soebrata is a private detective located in Java. Soebrata is as skilled at solving crime as he is capable at opposing the colonialist oppressors. One advantage he has over his opponents and rivals is a very powerful radio of his own construction which he uses to gather information that neither criminals nor the colonial government wants him to have. Soebrata is aided by his wife Aida, who helps him on cases. Among Soebrata’s opponents is the vicious Lupin Patjar Koening, who is the personification of evil.

* I'm including the Raden Soebrata stories and novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of his historical importance. With Sir John the fictionalized version of Raden Soebrata helped establish the genre of detective and mystery fiction in Indonesia. Fictionalizing Soebrata and making him the protagonist of stories and novels helped spread his political views to the Indonesian reading audience and helped inspire his supporters. The use of Soebrata's wife Aida as his helper in the stories was a rare act of gender inclusivity in the Indonesian pulps, magazines, and novels. And creating stories in which the heroic Soebrata foiled the Dutch colonialist oppressors gave comfort to Indonesian independence activists. 

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