Fueling the fighting spirit
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In the face of so much bad news, some people fire up the nationalist spirit the way they know best — by spreading good news.
At the time when most people were getting in a frenzy over the rivalry between the Corruption Eradication Commission and the police, they chose a different approach.
A story on Andrea Hirata’s novel Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Warriors) being used as a reference at several Australian universities became top story at indonesiaberprestasi.web.id.
Separately, @GNFI tweeted that the Global Corruption Index listed Yogyakarta last year in the top 10 cities in
Asia that is clean from corruption.
They are not alone.
Out there, more people, individually or in groups, continue to stand by the country they believe in — by staging their counter-attack against bad news with good news, online or through their products, about the country and
University of Indonesia’s communication lecturer, Pinckey Triputra, attributed the rise of such a social movement to concern over many bad reports coming from the country.
Day after day, people are overwhelmed with bad news — from the impossible traffic congestion, die-hard corruption cases and bribery scandals to dirty politics. These people, he said, hoped the movement could trigger a change.
“They want to counter the bad news with positive news. Every country has strengths and weaknesses, but their image depends on the media,” he says.
The Twitter account @GNFI, which stands for Good News from Indonesia, has gathered 138,028 followers so far and has created 16,741 tweets since it was first set up in May, 2009.
Its founder, Akhyari Hananto, who was listed in the 100 most influential netizens by the Marketeers research magazine last year, said that through his news he simply wanted to show that there was good news in the country.
“Indonesia is from Sabang to Merauke, which in distance is similar to between London and New Delhi. But mainstream media mostly dig up negative sides and give little exposure to our people’s achievements,” he says.
Akhyari said he was always proud of being an Indonesian, a spirit that fired up inside him even more following his conversation with his late grandfather, a war veteran who fought the Dutch during the war of independence.
“My grandpa died in 1991 when I was in high school. A month before he died, I asked him whether he was not afraid of being hit by bullets in the war. I cried upon hearing his answer,” he says.
“My grandpa said, ‘Why should I be afraid? I only have one life. If I had two, I would give them all to Indonesia.’” — JP