SC, UIN News Online – Recently, sectarianism is considered a threat to democracy. Sectarianism that develops prioritizes the interests of the majority group by obtaining more rights in the social, economic and political fields as the cause. This was stated by Virdika Rizky Utama in a surgical book entitled titled Democracy and Tolerance in the Repression of the New Order at the Student Hall, Wednesday (12/5/2018).
The event presented former Democracy Forum activist Paulus Januar and senior journalist Nanang Syaikhu as resource persons. “Of course that can be a threat to minority groups in Indonesia,” he said.
Virdika said that in a country that adheres to a democratic system it should not recognize the terms majority and minority, this is because democracy highly upholds the egalitarian principle which is a system to guarantee basic human rights and become an important element in the state. This is what makes democracy always a topic that has never been used up for research.
“There is a lot of research on the course of Indonesian democracy, especially the journey of democracy in the leadership of Sukarno and Suharto. From the results of the research, it is not uncommon for the two leaders to be considered undemocratic by some parties, “he explained.
Soekarno carried out guided democracy to maintain political stability because it needed an authoritative government in carrying out democracy. Then in practice, Soekarno dissolved the party, imprisoned people who disagreed, and silenced the press who had different opinions from him. “As a result, many elements of power want it to step down because it tends to lead to dictatorial government,” explained the former Gatra journalist.
After Soekarno stepped down and was replaced by Suharto whose government was known as the New Order (Orba), he brought the idea of Pancasila democracy as the antithesis of guided democracy. It turned out that Suharto also presented a strong and authoritative government by taking actions that did not reflect a demoratic attitude, especially during the guided democracy.
“The proof is that Suharto did the same thing with Soekarno,” he said. However, according to Virdika, the silencing of democracy is intended to maintain economic and political stability in order to launch various types of development. For the sake of development, Pancasila democracy was interpreted singly and made a shield by the New Order to silence critical voices against the government.
Paulus Januar corrected what the author wrote about the presence of the Forum Democracy as a form of resistance to Soeharto’s undemocracy when he led the government. He said, it is not true what the writer said that the birth of the Democracy Forum was suggested as a form of reaction to the establishment of the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI).
According to Paulus, the series of discussions that developed into the Democracy Forum had been carried out several years before the establishment of ICMI. At its inception, the Democracy Forum did have a critical view of ICMI supported by the New Order rulers. However, this was stated in the context of the discourse to build democracy. “Due to mass media coverage, there is often a false view that the establishment of the Democracy Forum is a reaction to the establishment of ICMI,” he said.
Nanang Syaikhu argues that what was written by the author of the book on democracy during the New Order was actually only a past story that had been buried. However, as part of the history of the Indonesian nation’s journey, the dark stories of the New Order era can be used as lessons on how to build a democratic government going forward. “We still have a lot to learn how to become a country that upholds democracy. Because even though we are now in the reform era, the values of democracy have not been fully implemented,” he said. (usa)