This session delivered by Abdul Gaffar Karim, one of scholars
from political science department Universitas Gadjah Mada. Gusdur’s thoughts and actions on democracy rests on participatory approach, it addresses justice, accountability, transparency, inclusive society, etc.
He pointed out area of knowledge sociology, specifically cognition, interaction, the need of action as method to understand Gusdur’s stand on democracy.
There are five points to learn from Gusdur and democracy:
1. Effective measures to set certain distance toward representative democracy
Gusdur firstly disengaged himself from political arena, his decision to resign from PPP indicated his measure to effectively distance from practical politics.
2. Transform partial politics into energy for engagement of grassroot democracy
There are problems of democracy in Indonesia, certain scholars and social activists devised Audit Demokrasi to measure democracy implementation in Indonesia. This way people can identify those problems. Apparently, there are partial politics in Indonesia. Gusdur transformed those partial politics into energy to build democracy from grassroot.
3. To set public participation sphere for all
Gusdur encouraged and provided access for participation in public policy. Therefore there’s sphere available to engage in public policy.
4. Consistency on strategic alternative moves
5. Strengthen representative democracy the moment political sphere no longer monolithic
Imam Aziz, one who was Gusdur’s friend and protégé, wrapped Gusdur’s view on Islamic values and its interaction with society. Imam addressed 3 aspects of Gusdur’s Islamic view: aqidah, syariah, tasawuf. He pointed out that the latter defines Gusdur non-violent approach to multitude societal or event political problems. Been taught tasawuf refine Gusdur shaped his empathy to understand and therefore solve certain subjects with touch of humanity.
There are seven tracts on Gusdur’s view on Islamic values and its interaction with society. First, free will vs. determinism, an eclectic view on philosophical standing upon issue of determinism. Gusdur reserved the middle standing which is human have free will in accordance to law of nature.
Second, Gusdur’s understanding on science and technology. In Gusdur’s understanding, science must abide its natural course, the divine. All in all, technology being viewed as technical aspect of which all applications of science derived.
Third tract, individual value and its position to society. This one is, again, another middle standing toward discourse of human basic rights versus social rights. To put it simple, I remember an adagium, “my fist punch ends before your nose begin”. The fourth tract addresses economic aspect.
Last three tracts are tradition and cultural strategic, social development, and aswaja’s values. In the end, Gusdur’s view usually placed on middle and moderating standing.
The subject delivered by Nur Khalik Ridwan, he was the one who wrote books around issues such Islam, nation, and traditional values. This session mainly focuses in regard of introducing Gusdur as multitude of titles, be it as religious figure, statesman, and social activist.
Gusdur started his education in traditional moslem academy (pesantren). There is this value of being humble as egalitarian life of students within pesantren shapes every aspects of academy.
In advance of social science Gusdur reached tasawuf, a basic understanding towards empathic attributes along his social activism. He was directly mentored by leader of Pesantren Ali Maksum, this way his spiritual basis sedimented. Then he took further pesantren enrolment in Tegalrejo. He learnt conceptual basis of “Kyai Masyarakat” from Kyai Chudori. Kyai’s eccentric decision to facilitate Jathilan artists to perform at traditional event of haflah inspired Gusdur to incorporate cultural approach to immerse within society.
Gusdur departed for middle East, as he started to enrol he immediately get bored. He mostly spent his years of study to go to movies, read certain subjects outside his tutelage, and play along anything he can enjoy.
He was also started to learn extreme movements of Islam politics, he was even influenced those movements. By the time he landed home, he planned to initiate some kind of Ikhwanul Muslim organisation, and failed immediately too. There were many national events in which contributed to shape his paradigm such as woyla operation, bombing of Borobudur, NII establishment, etc. He took introspective stand, he was getting moderate in understanding and exercising his worldview.
His advocacy towards marginal people was getting intense as he reached pinnacle of PBNU position. His social activism expressed in establishment of Forum Demokrasi. Gusdur finally entered political arena, he established PKB as socio-politics of Indonesia was getting diverse, there was no longer monolithic power centered on military regime of Soeharto.
As he assumed presidential office, he administered separation of dwi-fungsi ABRI and dismissed institutional ‘litsus’ procedure. He also opened recognition upon Konghocu religion. At the dawn of his power, Gusdur went back to his social activism, to advocate marginal people, to stand upon blatant discriminative state administration, to orchestrate synergy with movements of civil society.