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Monday, January 28, 2008

Soekarno vs Soeharto : My Dad

When my dearest Dad was still alive, I was not very close to him. He was a kind of old-fashioned parent who probably thought that he didn’t need to be close to the children, to make the children respect him. No wonder, as far as I remember, I never had a chance to talk heart to heart to him.

In the beginning of 1980s, after my family moved to our present dwelling place, I found a small book containing the story of Soekarno. I didn’t have any idea who bought it. But of course it must have been either my Mom or Dad who did it. For days after I found that book (I don’t remember the title), I made myself preoccupied to read the book. Reading the book made me know how great Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia, was. With several women falling in love with him and becoming his wives, I was thinking if I would fall in love with him too if I got to know him personally. :-p

In the general election 1984, the first election I joined, my Dad seemed worried that I would vote PDI. “Nana seemed to enjoy reading that book about Soekarno,’ he said to my Mom. “Tell her not to vote PDI. I don’t like Soekarno for his being polygamous. Not to vote Golkar either. We are Muslims. We are supposed to choose a political party that represents Islam, that is PPP.” He further said.

When my Mom told me what my Dad said, I complained, “My choice is my own choice, right? I am supposed to keep it for myself, aren’t I?” I showed my being rebellious.

“But don’t forget you are your Dad’s kid. He feeds you. You are to listen to what he says!” my Mom showed her authoritarian look.

Behind it, in fact I felt very surprised. My Dad used to work for state-owned bank, (used to be called Bank Pembangunan Indonesia). As a civil servant, he was to vote Golkar, if he wanted to go on working there. How could he not vote Golkar?

But my Mom told me that was my Dad. I never knew his political vision. He frankly told my Mom that he didn’t like the first nor the second president of Indonesia. As a very religious person, I believe he mixed his worldly life with his religion. Everything done must be based on religion. Abusing religion for someone’s worldly life seemed illogical to his opinion, perhaps. (Like we often see from many politicians nowadays.) He strongly believed that religion would really save someone’s life.

After I grew up, and I could see clearly many people abused religion for their own benefit, and especially after claiming myself as a feminist, sometimes I want to have a heart to heart discussion with my Dad. I want him to see me as an adult—no longer kid. Something impossible to happen though. :)

(For example, when I was in senior high school, the New Order regime produced a movie about 30 September 1965 bloody event, to promote the heroic struggle of Soeharto to “save Indonesia from Communist”. All students, civil servants, as well as their spouses had to watch the movie in the cinema. I was very bothered with what I saw in the movie at that time. I easily “got led” by the main theme of the movie: DN Aidit with his allies under the Communist Party was the cruelest group of people. On the contrary, Soeharto was the hero. When I told my Dad about this opinion of mine, he easily said, “Don’t get cheated easily. The reality was not like that.” However when I asked him to explain what really happened, using his point of view, he didn’t say anything. He said that I was still too young to “know everything”.

I have a very different relationship with Angie. I often have heart to heart discussion with her, about anything. Besides, I also often treat her as an adult when discussing something.)

What I remember from my late Dad was that he was not the supporter of both Soekarno and Soeharto. However, since we never had a deep discussion, I never know his reason.

PT56 13.13 280108

1 comment:

johnorford said...

your dad sounds like he was pretty knowledgeable person. i reckon he was right, both suharto and sukarno were complete washouts!