Indonesia Has Fallen?

Today is sad day for Indonesia. I don't know maybe not really, depending on which sides you are in. Obviously there are people who are so happy, then there are those who are devastatingly heartbroken and depressed like me, and then there's the kind like my mom who just shrugged it off and didn't really show any emotion. Well I don't know if she feels anything or not, text messages don't really convey emotion accurately.

So what happened today. It has something to do with Pak. Ahok who today is sentenced to 2 years in prison by the judges for being allegedly blasphemous to Islam. A sentence harsher than what the prosecutors asked by the way. On charges in which only truly stone-hearted, power hungry people can rationalize. Some weeks ago when he lost the Jakarta gubernatorial election (he got like 42% of the votes), it was already like we're being stabbed all over the place, especially for the minority like him and me. Today it feels like after we were stabbed and down, we're kicked all over the place, and let to roll off the cliff. I gasped loudly when I saw the news and then for every news article and tweets I read, I have to dab my eyes because of the tears that come out.

I texted mom and told her I'm heartbroken. She said what to do, either this or more protests by people who are using violence to make people submit to their demands. Our country is taken hostage by these people and apparently we're accepting it. You know, people who bully you are bad people, mean and evil, like I think many of the leaders of these protesters are. However if you keep on accepting being victimized, then you're also at a wrong. You must stand up for yourself. That being said, I wonder if it's even worth the effort. Today have shown that a person who stands up for what's right is easily taken off.

You know what I wish, I wish our president will make a comment on how stupid this is and make this go away. We elected him as a leader and he should lead the country. This country is going in the wrong direction and he should steer it off that cliff. However if anything I've read recently have some truth in them, he's in a precarious position and hence perhaps it's difficult for him to do anything.

Why do I care so much? I don't even live in Indonesia. What's with this very strong emotional response I'm having when my mom seems so calm about it. I don't know, maybe I guess I always think that's home and that's where I may eventually end up. God knows how many times I've said, no I'm not gonna stay in Singapore forever, I'm going to leave. So there's always Indonesia as home in my mind. Indonesia as a home, I want it to be a country I can be proud of, a country that can live up to its full potential and have truly wonderful people. After the election, the results make me think I guess there's truly are people who don't care about you the minority, who feel okay to put you at the bottom and don't give you a chance. Then today happens and I seriously don't feel like I can say I'm Indonesian proudly. I feel so ashamed and I feel like I need to hide somewhere.

What is this? If you look at what's happening in Indonesia and really look, we're going more and more to a path where it's hard to go back to. 20-25 years ago when I was a teen, TV series like Baywatch was shown in Indonesian TV without any censor. Today, that TV series wouldn't be able to get shown on TV. If they do, it will be blurred all over the place because of woman's cleavage and such and you think as a nation we would have been more mature now. We're actually going backwards. You may laugh at this example, but what if 10 years down the road, all women regardless if they're Muslims or not have to cover up like in some Middle Eastern Countries. Women actually should be more worried. Islamic laws practiced by overzealous Muslims tend to take away a lot of freedom from women. Do you want to always have a male permission or guardian to accompany you when you want to go places? Do you know that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive? That the first time women were allowed to vote is in 2015! Have you seen Iran's photos before their revolution? Google that and compare it to Iran now. I see that as the path Indonesia is going to. Some may think I am overly dramatic, but seriously, the minority are first to be thrown off that cliff today. Next, who knows? It could be the rest of you majority who's slightly different.

What can we do? I don't know. Going down to the street to protest is not productive. With what's happening today, I think anything we try also cannot make a difference - I am that depressed and heartbroken. Wait until the next election to put more tolerant people in power? Will it be too late? Will it even matter? I don't know. Does election matters in Indonesia when it's always about the same group of people holding actual power, people who have the money, who can always fund stupid protesters to fight their battle and bully us again and again? Are we only left with prayers and faith?

Everything looks so bleak and I feel like I have nowhere to go :'(

:) eKa @ 5:47:00 PM •

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