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Jakarta Post

In memoriam: Arief Budiman, architect of the democracy movement

  • Olle Törnquist


Kungshamn, Sweden   /   Sun, April 26, 2020   /  10:02 am
In memoriam: Arief Budiman, architect of the democracy movement Arief Budiman (Kompas/Hasanuddin Assegaf )

In the early 1980s while concluding my doctoral thesis on why the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) had failed, senior editor Joesoef Isak told me that if I really wanted to follow up by studying democratization– even though very few deemed this an option for Indonesia at the time – I must meet the scholar Arief Budiman in Salatiga, Central Java. Upon reaching Arief’s temporary house on the grounds of Christian Satya Wacana University, it was raining torrentially and the roof was leaking. The television was working fine, however, and an important sports tournament was in progress. So without the polite Javanese manners of which both of us were less inclined, Arief greeted me by shouting happily from inside that, while it was good to finally meet, political discussions must wait until the match was over. Meanwhile, I should squeeze in between him and his wife Leila and...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.