Letter: Communism is not atheism
Paper Edition | Page: 8
Several comments in the article titled “Is there room for atheists in Indonesia?” (The Jakarta Post, June 16) reflect the common lack of education about atheism and communism among Indonesians.
Communism is not atheism. It’s a fallacy purported by US congressmen and successfully extrapolated and propagated among the Indonesian population through US foreign policy during the Cold War against the Eastern bloc. Have you heard of Russian Orthodox? Or Chinese who pray to their ancestors and Kuan Yin, aka Shiva, for good fortune?
Saying that Indonesians have stigmatized communism due to the 1965 G30S is like blaming the victim. The stigma is not from communism. The stigma is from the massive, indifferent culling of Indonesian people.
Every person’s life is of equal value in the eyes of God, be they atheist, communist, Muslims or thugs. How can anyone equalize the seven revolation heroes lives with millions, and thousands more in jail and tortured? The injustice for those people is still upheld today, yet they are near the end of their days.
Why is it that so many Indonesians hate communists, atheists and even extend their hatred toward the ethnic Chinese? It is not for alleged subversion, but propaganda and pressure by the Soeharto government, which reflected the US fear of losing Indonesia to communism after the demise of Korea and Vietnam.
There was really no foreign Communist subversion, as the procurement and sale of rifles from China, ordered by Omar Dhani — a Sukarno loyalist, to arm the 5th force — was an inter-government procurement.
The date of the arrival of these weapons was obviously leaked, which was why the move against the generals started before the weapons arrived at Tanjung Priok. The history behind the G30S is questionable as the majority of Indonesians only have the victor’s version in easily accessible local textbooks.
Even if, and it’s a big if, communists really killed the seven Indonesian revolution heroes, it would have been meaningless to the millions of communist sympathizers who were slaughtered. It’s a dark page in Indonesian history, where native Indonesians exercised their democratic rights and lost their lives for believing in social equality — the fifth tenet of Pancasila.
Pancasila is not some flawless state philosophy. How would Moh. Yamin or Sukarno know which religions could take you to heaven? Or why are only five religions, which have primarily survived by sidelining other cults, recognized in Indonesia?
Yet, all these five religions were introduced by foreign countries. On the other hand, home grown animism has always been given a devil’s image.
The first tenet in fact rules out secular governance; that’s why the government is a lame duck in controlling religious people who object to other types of worship. In reality, in Indonesia it is the dominance of the religious majority over the minority.