Courtesy Reuters

Toward a New Order in Indonesia

The most dynamic factors in Indonesian politics today are the action fronts of university and high school students, KAMI and KAPPI. Many of their members were born after the August 17, 1945, Proclamation of Independence. Unlike their elders, who are still inclined to blame "imperialism" for the mess their country finds itself in, the new generation holds President Sukarno personally responsible. For them the man who led the nationalist movement forty years ago is neither a father-figure nor a charismatic leader, but the creator of a bankrupt and dishonorable Old Order.

For years almost all articulate adult Indonesians had been caught in the cobweb of slogans and acronyms spun by Sukarno. Even his political enemies used his language of phantasy in criticizing him. The Sukarno régime exposed all students to massive doses of indoctrination, but the students choked on what their elders had relished. The new generation has a mind of its own, hostile to ideology and pragmatically interested in deeds rather than words. They abhor hypocrisy, for which they have coined the term plin- plan, and reject the notion that past achievements can buy anybody permanent absolution from present sins.

A year ago KAMI and KAPPI acted as the catalyst which precipitated the Army's first measures against the old order. After the assassination of Army Commander Achmad Yani and five other senior generals on October 1, 1965, the Army reacted in military fashion: viewing the Indonesian Communist Party (P.K.I.) as the enemy, they rounded up and killed or imprisoned all leaders, cadres and followers whom they were able to capture. Party Chairman D. N. Aidit, about half of the politburo and of the central committee, and no less than 200,000 persons associated with the P.K.I. lost their lives. While many communist cadres were killed by the Army, which was determined to prevent the resurgence of the P.K.I., the mass murders were perpetrated primarily by the villagers themselves. They took place mostly in East and Central Java and in

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.