RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ROLE OF SUMATRAN INTELECTUALS IN INDONESIAN NATIONALISM
State University of Medan
The Indonesian nationalism movement was fault constructed even by either most Indonesian historian, Dutch historian or others. The construction indicated that nationalism movement was merely taken place in Java shown by the movement pillars in 1908 (Budi Utomo), 1928 (Sumpah Pemuda), dan 1945 (periode kemerdekaan). The faulty construction has reduced nationalism movement as well , nationalism is only in certain organization initiated by certain figures of the organization; the movement is also in one mainstream of Indonesian nationalism movement. It seems that there is no other nationalism outside of the movement.
The history of Indonesian nationalism movement was fail to distinguish three main categories: first, the activities done by certain people or organization did not give any contribution in constructing the idea of nationalism for some people at that time, but in reality it had been exaggerated in the discourse of history and then legitimated by the state. Second, in contrast, the movement of nationalism carried out by some people or organization really influence and effect in growing the seeds of nationalism not only for the members but also other people. This movement was not legitimated by the state and in some cases the role of the movement was not written in Indonesian history books. Third, nationalism movement published on mass media has much more significant effect than other organization in spreading out the nationalism idea. Nationalism movement through mass media was taking place well connected or not to some organizations in the categories explained before.
Budi Utomo which has been too far mystified can be categorized into the first category that is ‘priyayi organization’ of Java grown as an anti- nationalism which has been grown at the time of organization born. Some people who have regarded Budi Utomo necessary in Indonesian nationalism movement has been really trapped in adopting Dutchcentrism perspective. For Dutch state, Budi Utomo as an organization did not concern on politic; loyal on Dutch government and did not strive on Indonesian independence. Sukarno was getting started to mystify nationalism history when (1946) he declared birth day of Budi Utomo ( 2 may, 1908) as the pillar of nationalism movement.
More then 60 years, and even up to now, million of Indonesian people have been being deceived by legitimating Budi Utomo as an important political event. Even in the last 2008, the state history intelligence had successfully commemorated one century of Budi Utomo. We may watch out that there is one movement or petition from historian who wants to claim or refuse that state faulty in deciding the pillars of state. There is no one seminar or discussion carried out by certain university in Java as a means of refusing the history fault. Do all Indonesian historians at prestigious universities in Java regard Budi Utomo as a pillar of nationalism movement ? Or do they have the same opinion with Sartono Kartodirdjo as initiator of nationalism, or is the critical action useless ?.
On May, 2008 a day seminar was held at State University of Medan in order to criticize ‘one century of national movement’ by presenting three speakers, they are Hans Van Miert from Hollan, Basyral Hamidi Harahap from Jakarta, and Ichwan Azhari from Medan. Basyral Hamidi said that Indische Vereiniging with Soetan Kacahyangan from Sumatera is much more important then Budi Utomo. Van Miert also stated that Indische Vereniging has a larger role then Budi Utomo, but he realizes why Budi Utomo becomes the day of national movement. Ichwan stated that state has a strong dominancy in deciding memory so closing access who played role in the period of national movement (Kompas, 23 May, 2008).
According to Ahmat Adam (1995) in december 1872 in Padang news paper Bintang Timur in Melayan language was firstly published, then other newspapers were also published, such as Bintang Purnama (1872), Bentara Melajoe (1877), Pelita Ketjil (1886), Pertja Barat (1890), Sinar Minangkabau (1894), Warta Berita (1895), Tjahya Sumatera (1897?), and Tapian na Oeli (1900?). Entering the 20th centuries more domestic newspapers were also published in Padang : Insulinde (1901), Wasir HIndia (1903), Bintang Sumatera (1903),Alam MInangkerbau (1904), Taman Hindia (1904), Sinar Sumatra (1905), Binsar Sinondang Batak (1905), Al-Imam (1906), Minagkabau (1908), Warta Hindia (1908), Bintang Tionghoa (1910), Al-Moenir (1911), Oetoesan Melajoe (1911), Soenting Melajoe, koran wanita pertama di luar Jawa (1912), Soeara Rakjat (1912), Soeara Melajoe (1913), Soeloeh Melajoe (1913), Al-Achbar (1913), Saudara Hindia (1913; terbit di Bukittingi), Extra-Maloemat (1918?),Soeara
Perempoean (1919, and etc.
In North Sumatra was also found various mass media publishing. According to Mohammad Said (1976:281) between 1885s-1942s it was found that there were 143 newspapers in North Sumatra. In accordance to, one figure of North Sumatra nationalism movement who was not recognized in history book written in Jakarta was Dja Endar Moeda. He was from school inheritance school of Willem Iskandar in Padang Sidempuan. This movement was not mapped in nationalism movement in Java. Dja Endar MOeda had published newspaper called “Pertja Barat’ since 1892, and it was much earlier then “Medan Priyayi” which was published in 1907 in Java. Beside Dja Endar Muda, Mangaraja Salemboewe was the editor of newspaper “Pertja Timor” which was published 1902 in Medan.
The first newspaper which was confident and brave to use the word freedom for the name of newspaper was not in Java but in Medan, that is ‘Benih Merdeka’ published 1916. This newspaper with Tengloe Radja Sabaroeddin as a director, Mohamad Samin as The Chief of Editors, and Mohamad Joenoes as an editor was open and brave to write the slogan in the head of newspaper “Benih Merdeka” : “ Orgaan Oentoek Menoentoet Keadilan dan Kemerdekaan”. The content of the newspaper was full of nationalism movement, the nation view was really concrete in promoting the independence movement. It was far before the founding father stated frankly in mass media in Java.
Through printed mass media in Sumatera, there would be seen one of mosaic in nationalism movement which was grown and developed through mass media. Based on this that mass media play a big role and give contribution to the nationalism movement in many regions without connecting with other nationalism stream initiated and ended in Java. People and organization on the back side of mass media were not only mentioned or written proportionally in history distorted by Indonesian histographic Javacentrism.
this paper prepare to International Encompass Conference: States of Transition, January 06, 2009 at State University of Medan.
Erond L. Damanik, M.Si
Pusat Studi Sejarah dan Ilmu-ilmu Sosial
Lembaga Penelitian Universitas Negeri Medan