In the run-up to Sept 30, the discourse on the abortive PKI coup detat, popularly known as the G30S/PKI movement, has begun to spark positive and negative reactions.
The public is, of late, increasingly resorting to polemic over the need to screen a documentary film on the G30S/PKI insurgence. The documentary film has always been screened on the eve of Sept 30 during the New Order government to remind the nation of the cruelty of the communist party rebels, who in their move to seize power, killed seven Army generals.
Hence, observing the abortive PKI insurgency, should not adversely serve as a new trigger and source of disunity in the country.
"The people should not easily become provoked by various irresponsible issues and agitation," Wiryanti Sukamdani, a member of the Peoples Consultative Assembly of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, had remarked on Thursday (Sept 21).
She said that currently, several issues had been raised and activities conducted, with the defunct PKI symbols. They should not harm the countrys cohesiveness. All elements in society should support and reinforce the state ideology of Pancasila, the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or unity in diversity, and the 1945 Constitution and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Most importantly, several aspects could pose a threat to Indonesias unity, as it is a plural nation that is home to various religions, races, ethnicities, and groups.
"Hence, we need to maintain the nations unity and integrity as well as uphold the unity in diversity slogan in high esteem," she affirmed.
In this case, diversity should continue to be strengthened by gaining a broader understanding of the nations past, so that matters that could disrupt and harm the countrys unity, such as the PKI insurgence, would be avoided.
Hence, the 30S/PKI documentary film needs to be screened for the younger generation to give them an insight into the dangers of communist movement, which in the past, had tried to seize power, including that on September 30, 1965.
Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo said the G30S/PKI film needs to be shown to the younger generation, so that they would not be provoked and be disunited easily.
Nurmantyo said he had ordered the public screening of the film.
He noted that the aim of screening the documentary film is not to discriminate against any party but instead to help the younger generation understand the tragedy.
"Yes, it is my order, so what is the problem?" he questioned when asked to confirm whether the instruction to TNI members to watch the film on the PKI movement in 1965 was given.
He said the younger generation is expected to maintain unity and not be divided and repeat the same mistake after watching the horrible tragedy.
"This is a reminder to the nation to prevent such an incident from recurring. It is not for discrediting. It is to remind the people, especially the younger generation, to understand that we have had a black history, which involved a lot of victims," he explained.
The TNI chief expressed hope that the people would learn from the film, which exposed the treason and cruelty of the PKI, so that such an incident would not recur.
"It is not impossible for such an incident to happen again, but we hope it will never, and that is what it is intended for. If some perceive it as others, let them do it. It is not a problem. To us or to me, it is only for reminding the people that such an incident will never happen again. By watching the film, it is hoped that the people will remember the incident again and not be easily provoked or influenced. Let us boost our unity and cohesiveness," the general remarked.
"I do not care," Nurmantyo said when questioned about the polemic over the screening of the film.
The instruction was produced to mobilize all TNI members to watch the film made during the New Order government.
The TNI chief said that through the instruction, he was keen to disseminate facts on historical values to the younger generation.
"Only the government could prohibit me. I do not care about the polemic or parties who are against the screening of the film," he affirmed.
In the meantime, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has proposed that the G30S/PKI communist insurgence film be updated, so that the younger generation would clearly understand the history of the PKI.
"Yes, watching movies, especially about history, is important. But, of course, the children of the millennium, have to watch a film they can understand," Jokowi stated after reviewing the Mangunsuko Suspension Bridge in Dusun Hamlet, Magelang, Central Java, on Monday (Sept 18).
"Let them (young people) understand the dangers of communism, and let them know about the PKI," he added.
The latest version of the film is important for the millennial generation to understand the movie, which was first released in 1984.
The president suggested to screen the most recent and updated version of the film, so that it can be understood by the millennial generation.
Peoples Consultative Assembly Chairman Zulkifli Hasan said he gave the go-ahead to the government to update the G30S/PKI film to help the millennial generation grasp its message.
"Watching an old movie or making a new film according to the changing times is alright, as this will help to gain a deeper understanding of history, so I think it is important," Hasan stated during his working visit to East Java on Tuesday in response to the presidents proposal for updating the G30S/PKI film.
He remarked that by watching the film, the people can learn and understand all good and bad aspects related to the film.
"Through that film, all things can be learnt," the MPR chairman added.(*)