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Jakarta Post

Gandhi, Machiavelli and the Omnibus Law

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Jakarta   /   Wed, October 14, 2020   /  09:20 am
Gandhi, Machiavelli and the Omnibus Law Protestors disperse themselves as police personnel shoot out tear gas to following clashes that break out during protest against the Jobs Law in Gambir, Central Jakarta on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga)

On Oct. 2, the birthday of Gandhi (1869-1948), I was one of 10 people invited by IndoIndians, an “information bridge” for the Indian community in Indonesia, to share our thoughts on the Mahatma (Great Soul). There are many things about Gandhi I admire, but he is most well-known for his use of nonviolence to achieve political and social change, even leading India to independence with this approach. Little did I know that Gandhi’s nonviolence ethic, inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s civil disobedience, would be invoked by civil society groups a few days later in Indonesia after the passing of the controversial omnibus Job Creation Law on Oct. 5 (see “Problems in jobs law not only about labor sector: What we know so far”, The Jakarta Post, Oct. 9). Despite the street demonstrations — by workers, students, activists — that rocked more ...

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