Tuesday, May 9, 2017 was the day when incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama claimed his place in the pantheon of great individuals in history.
On that day, the judges of the North Jakarta Court crucified Ahok by sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment on blasphemy charges.
The sentence is a bitter farewell gift for Ahok, who successfully implemented significant bureaucratic reform within the Jakarta administration, improved public facilities, reduced floods, built affordable apartments for the poor, created more disable-friendly facilities and saw off hundreds of mosque marbots on their holy pilgrimage during his three-year tenure as governor.
Outside the court room, thousands of Ahok supporters mourned over the sentence, which they deemed as the death of justice and sanity. Conversely, fundamentalists cheered while at the same time demanding a heavier sentence for the fallen governor.
What happened to Ahok, who will end his governorship in October, might have been tragic but many before him experienced the same or even worse fate and history shows that their voices become even stronger, with their legacies further cemented in time, following instances in which injustice is imposed upon them.
Great prophets and leaders of change have always been rejected by their societies. Their names are forever etched in the hearts of millions and now, Ahok is officially paving his own way toward greatness and immortality.
Text by: Hans David Tampubolon