I really do not intend to write any politics-related post even though we’re in the beginning of four-month campaign period for 2017 regional election and a lot of drama has happened to date. I held back. But the recent turmoil was so augh i needed to get these thoughts out of my system and dump it somewhere.
Oftentimes, i still wonder how people can be so dumb and gullible, but maybe you really can’t fix stupid, no matter how many bricks i’m itching to throw to knock some sense into them. Because words won’t work anymore — they’re too blinded for that. Especially when it comes to religion. People can get intensely worked up and defensive around it i wish we all could cool down a bit. Because nothing good will come out from having/being too much of something. Being religious is fine, but when you find yourself getting prickly at the slightest nudge, which then spurs you to make godawful speech/comments, spread the hate, and manipulate/provoke others due to that, maybe it’s high time to reevaluate if you’re being too devoted. Or using belief to validate your (mis)deeds.
Because i truly believe our quality as a human isn’t defined by how religious we are but how we treat others.
Although there are thousands of faiths and religions out there, six of which are formally recognized in this country, my sentiment is there is no bad ones, neither is one better than the other — it’s all a matter of interpretation and our attitude toward it. It may be the foundation of our private lives, but our social lives as a country’s citizen are still governed by laws and regulations. In my humble opinion, there is nothing more dividing than religion. We can share the same skin color, race, or even lineage, but once we embrace different faiths, disagreement is nearly inevitable. But then comes politics, which can easily turn us against one another, even those within the same religion groups. And i am so sick of it.
We’re all human, part of society making a living here. Why can’t we get along despite our
differences diversities? Why can’t we work toward building this nation up instead of harming our own land at every turn? Each rally and conflict hurts the country’s economy, stability, unity, and at the end of the day, we’re also the ones disadvantaged by it.
The problem isn’t in the demonstration itself, it is in the cause, means, and purpose. Quoting Mr. President: “Demonstrasi ialah hak demokratis setiap warga. Silakan, boleh. Boleh saja, mau demonstrasi. Tapi yg penting jangan memaksakan kehendak. Atau yg merusak, yg anarkis. [Itu] yg tidak boleh.” Which i agree wholeheartedly. And last Friday’s demonstration was not only arguably unnecessary but also misdirected. Not to mention ending on a bad note.
I heard about the alleged blasphemy some time ago but never really paid attention to it (since it wasn’t the first time the current governor is attacked due to his race, religion, and brusqueness) until news about the planned massive demonstration and precautionary measures prepared to guard the rally was widely reported in the media. A quick search brought me to the said video, which i watched in full, and i honestly couldn’t believe lots of people were so incensed over it. Granted, he mentioned a certain Quranic verse, but we must also take into consideration the context, tone, and intention of his words, which all in all sounded barely offensive to me. I also read that his statement became a controversy only after a cut of the video was reuploaded and went viral. Problem is, one word was edited out from it, which was enough to completely distort the meaning of his remark. And that’s the clip the antis are referencing and using as a basis for their argument. Which is *facepalm*
Come on, guys! We’re now living in an era where the world is literally in our palms! If you could access the short clip, you could definitely look the original up, right? Get your facts right, question things you read on the internet/media, be it good or bad, do some research before forming an opinion. For me, i don’t believe something 100% unless it’s accompanied by pictures or videos, because people can make mistakes and media can be biased.
I’m not saying Ahok is faultless. There are times i find him arrogant and his way of speaking too blunt, too, but he’s inarguably an efficient no-nonsense head whose programs have begun to bear fruit. Maybe we need this kind of strict leader to push us forward and he certainly doesn’t deserve the amount of backlash he’s receiving simply because he isn’t a majority.
Back to the controversial one-liner, various articles and videos have been published dissecting it so i shall not add my version. If it was indeed a peace rally, however, the target should’ve been the malicious uploader who deliberately fabricated then shared misleading information and incited the hoo-ha. What a feeble excuse it is to miss that one word because he didn’t wear any earphones and whatnots — oh please, the word was clearly audible even without it! If it was indeed a peace rally, mass would’ve dissolved themselves past the permitted timeframe instead of standing their ground because their demands weren’t all granted. If it was indeed a peace rally, we all should’ve discouraged others from attending in the first place. But no, it was an anti-Ahok rally, which inherently was a political movement, especially since the president was dragged into it. Like, seriously? What did he have to do with any of this?
Sure, religion is a private matter, but it shouldn’t be this much of a sensitive issue if we’re all a bit more open-minded and a bit less reactive. I can’t understand those who take offense at the littlest things others say concerning their belief yet tolerate racist remarks, fiery sermons, provocative orations, and spiteful name-calling directed at certain individuals or religion groups when delivered by their people. What’s with the double standard?
If everybody truly intends to play fair, there will be no black propaganda. Don’t like a candidate, then don’t vote for him/her — simple, right? If your preferred candidate has better programs, concrete actions plans, and track record, by all means please promote those; there’s no need to throw shade at another’s character. Election is not a battle of who has the best personality but who can benefit and better the region the most. Of course it’s nice to have our cake and eat it too, but ofttimes that’s not possible, and i’d choose someone who’s plain-spoken but walks the talk than someone who’s decorous but impotent or a wolf in sheep’s clothing any day.
That our country is one of the world’s richest and most diversified (home to over 300 ethnic groups and 700 languages) has been something i’m proud of. That our tourism slogan is “ultimate in diversity” is something i deem the perfect representation of our core values. However, the older i get, the more i realize the bitter truth of our national motto (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika) and philosophical foundation (Pancasila) being reduced to words on paper. Principles like “toleransi” and “tenggang rasa” have been drilled into us since young, we’ve also just commemorated 88 years of Sumpah Pemuda where we reaffirmed our pledge to stand as one, but recent incidents indicate the otherwise.
It’s saddening how few influential figures tried to clarify the misunderstanding or reason with the aggravated before the day (while others opted to add fuel to the fire), but maybe it would be a futile attempt. People only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear after all. This tendency, however, makes it really easy for me to filter people out. All i need to do is review their stance in either politics or religion matters and judge from there whether or not it’s worth following them. I don’t know how many people i’ve lost admiration, sympathy, or respect for due to their insensitive political/religious statements. I don’t agree to disagree — i just don’t deal with them.
That said, things will only get worse if this continues. So please please please keep politics and religion separate. Let’s not politicize religions, and let’s not religionize politics. One’s race or religion means little to me; one’s commitment to serve the people, improve denizen’s welfare, and root out deep-rooted corruption matter a whole lot more. After all, all i wish for is for this city and ultimately country to be better, safer, stabler, more comfortable and liveable to live in.
Appreciate what you have, before time makes you miss what you had.
~pics from google images~