Indonesian politics can not be separated from the role of youth. The New Order regime was toppled when young people urged former President Suharto 18 years ago to go down. Young people bring new direction history of Indonesian politics. New Order replaced the Reformation.
Long before that, the young leaders like Bung Karno, Sutan Sjahrir, Hatta as well as Bung Tomo was very influential among young people in politics. They are listed as in politics from a young age. This nation’s independence was not separated from their efforts.
Behind this fact, the involvement of youth in politics is relatively small. Currently the political map is still dominated by old faces. This situation is further exacerbated by the number of party cadres involved in corruption cases. The lack of political education, to spout his idealism of youth as agents of change is one factor.
According to sociologists also professor of The Australian National University, Ariel Heryanto, lack of interest young people in politics was based on two factors. One is the growth of a prosperous economy. Ariel also said that if until now politics in Indonesia have not changed much.
“Political Indonesia this period still dominated by legacy of the New Order, which is a legacy of the colonial state. But the situation is now much better than they were 30 or 40 last year, “he told merdeka.com via electronic messaging, Wednesday.
Here are excerpts of an interview Ariel Heryanto to Marselinus Gual of merdeka.com regarding the role of young people in politics in Indonesia.
situation is what makes the interest of young people lacking a role in politics?
Two possible. A single, very violent political repression accompanied the growth of prosperous economy. For example, Singapore within two or three decades. The second possibility, liberal democracy which makes centralized political power only in the hands of the elite. For example, the United States at certain times.
We have a history of youth role in achieving independence, how do you think the political situation and young people today?
I guess, “history” you mean the official history told in the mainstream media and the history that was passed by the government. I understand the history somewhat different. As far as my understanding, the majority of the population in any less interested in politics. Also in Indonesia, past or present. Interested in politics is always in small numbers. A sort of minority. Except in times of crisis.
Young voters in Indonesia account for about 50 per cent, while the younger generation in government and parliament still little, how do you think about this?
Politics Indonesia this period still controlled legacy of the New Order, which is a legacy of the colonial state. But the situation is now much better than they were 30 or 40 years ago.
Are politics in Indonesia still does not give room for young people today?
Institution political official opening small spaces. But young people do not always wait for incoming invited. At certain times they break down the walls and the doors closed political. This is most striking in the 2014 Presidential Election Jokowi can win not because of the political party that controlled the elderly and young people who have mortgaged their idealism, but he supported young people outside the party. The same is visible among supporters Ahok.
How the importance of political education for young people to you?
Of course it matters. Not just for the young, but for all citizens.
Do cultural factors such as respect to elders affected by the lack of interest of young people in politics?
I do not see it as the dominant factor.
Modernism and lifestyle pop trend, what you see with the fortune and political interest in young people?
Please look at my book Identity and Enjoyment; The Cultural Politics of Display Indonesia (2015).