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Jakarta Post

Ahmad Tohari: "If only our leaders read literary works"

  • Agus Maryono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 21 2009   /  01:17 pm

Ahmad Tohari is very familiar to all literary buffs as a novelist, short story writer and essayist critical of various social and religious issues. With a big name through his 1982 village dancer trilogy, Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk, the author expressed his concern over Indonesian national leaders, whom he said were less literature-conscious. "If only our leaders read a lot of literary works, the nation would not be in the throes of difficulty. Their conscience gets dull for being unaccustomed to literary insight," Ahmad Tohari told The Jakarta Post recently. The lack of literary awareness among most officials, according to Tohari, has led to widespread corruption. "They become insensitive to the suffering of ordinary people, tending to be arbitrary," said Ahmad Tohari. By reading literary books, Tohari expressed his belief that one's characte...