Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My next reading project

One of the forgotten duty as mu'min is to be a fair witness as stated in the Quran:
O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do. (Quran 5:8, Translated by Pickthall)

The problem is there are too many prejudice which veil us from the truth. Even if we did know the truth, it just a part of the whole truth, a jigsaw which lead us to the wrong conclusion.

One of the mystery of Indonesian history was the Indonesian Communist Party in 60s. Although there were other communist rebellion such as 1926 and 1948 rebellions but they were different stories. In 1926 and 1948, the communist didn't have power and their rebellions was prematured. And there were no religious-sentiment.. it is pure political problem.

After 1965, suddenly there were massacre, done by the mass, in the name religion such as Islam in Jawa and Hindu in Bali. Uniquely, as witnessed and recorded by some people (such as Mohammad Hatta), most of member of Communist party were not atheist. Some of them were Christian while others were Muslims.

And as we know, the religious sentiment in Java was not and is not that radical. It was and still a usual phenomenon to see there were lot of people with different religion (and beliefs) in a Javanese family. And I think it was usual to have a communist in a family in the past. And just like some people observed, a communist didn't have to be atheist no matter what Uncle Karl Marx and Uncle Lenin or Uncle Stalin said about religion.

So, in my hypothetical theory
  1. the 60s conflict was not about Theist vs Non-Theist
  2. and of course the 60s conflict was not about Islam vs Communist (remember the massacre was also happened in Bali)
  3. and I didn't believe conspiracy theory about CIA involvement in overthrowing Indonesian Communist Party. The conflict was real and it was not about Soekarnoism or Anti-US.

Some of the jigsaw can be read in discussion in Ajangkita Forum.

I'm interested in "Land Reform" issue and it mentioned in a flash by Hatta in "Bung Hatta Menjawab" (Bung Hatta Answered) about "aksi sepihak PKI" (Indonesian Communist Party's unilaterally action) to defend the Land Reform Law. A foreign scholar theorized this action probably triggered the conflict between religious people and communist member.

The keyword "aksi sepihak" (unilaterally action) and "hukum" (law) is also interesting since in present time, Indonesia also have a similar condition. The different is, today the law is 'shariah law' (or close to it because they don't mention Islam or Shariah in the law) and the parties are Islamic organization. I'm interested between those relationship because Hatta mentioned in Bung Hatta Menjawab, the enforcement of the Land Reform Law became a tools for Indonesia Communist Party's mass to unilaterally and illegally swept some people who didn't obey the law. Didn't it sound familiar to you?

Of course you'll remember some riots done by labour or farmer in some region because the injustice they receive. If 'aksi sepihak PKI' also triggered by the same motives, don't we have to be careful? I'm not talking about "beware of the danger of the communist" but I talk about "beware of the effect of our injustice society".

So I need some books and articles about the 60s conflict.
Maybe I should started from some articles which can be downloaded from Cornell University. Their list are:
  • Partai Nasional Indonesia 1963 - 1965
  • History and Social Structure in The Study of Contempory Indonesia
  • Disputing and Dispute Settlement Among the Minangkabau
  • Notes on The Islamic School at Gontor
  • The Economical Foundations of Political Conflict in Bali 1950-65
  • Teaching Modernity: The PKI As An Educational Institution
  • Cultures, Politics, and Economics in the Political History of New Orde
  • Jill Jolliffe's East Timo: Nationalism and Colonialism
  • The Influence of the US Army on the Development of the Indonesian Army (1954-1964)
  • Selected Documents Relating to the September 30th Movement and Its Epilogue
  • Am I PKI or Non-PKI

Does anyone have suggestion which articles or books should I read?

After scanning some of Cornell's articles, I think I have to learn about Class Struggle especially in Marx's perspective. I think I also need to learn Marhaenism. And I think I need to learn the Javanese socio-politics in agrarical community. Or any materials related to them.

updated (again):
Article 49, Undang-Undang Pokok Agraria No.5/1960 (Agraric Law No.5 1960)...
Basically, based on the rules, there should not be any unilaterally action (aksi sepihak) from BTI. How did they dare to provocate the mass? Did I miss something here?

updated (again.. and again):
There are new article about some government's plan to do landreform. Sometimes, real coincidence can be weirder than fiction. If you can read in Bahasa Indonesia, you can read the plan in

I hope the plan will be executed carefully, not recklessly.
Disclaimer: I'm neither student of history nor law.