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National Commitment to Prevent Identity Politics Ahead of the 2024 Election

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By: Barra Dwi Rajendra )*

National commitment and the spirit of moderation in religion from all elements of Indonesian society are indeed very important things to be maintained. This will also be able to fight against the practice of identity politics which is very damaging to the democratic party in the upcoming 2024 general election.

Identity politics is a matter related to politics whose main basis is to be able to embrace equality on the basis of certain similarities attached to a person or certain groups such as the existence of similarities in ethnicity, religion to gender. Of course, in the process of embracing this similarity, it is not just done, but has a specific purpose.

In general, the goal of a person or a group carrying out identity politics is to be able to obtain recognition for the identity that that person or group has, including being able to elevate the degree and dignity of that group.

In the practice of identity politics itself, it is generally used as a vehicle that carries a certain aspiration, including a demand for certain political interests and political ideology. The steps in the practice of identity politics are of course to move actions and be able to achieve certain political goals by capitalizing on the advantages of identity similarities such as race, ethnicity, language, customs and so on.

Still regarding identity politics, Professor of the State Islamic University (UIN) Alauddin, Prof. Dr. Abd Rasyid Masri sees that indeed identity politics has so far continued to be present in the political narrative in Indonesia, especially towards the General Elections (Pemilu) in 2024.

According to him, this is because the mental condition and character of the Indonesian people themselves cannot be separated from the existence of primordialism and sectarianism sentiments which are still strong and rooted in the culture of the people in the country even though they are currently living in the era of open democratization and the era of modern digitalization.

Meanwhile, Lecturer in Constitutional Law at IAIN Parepare, Rusdianto Sudirman added that identity politics itself is not a good thing for a country that has many kinds of diversity like Indonesia. Firmly, he stated that the practice of identity politics should indeed have been prevented so that it would not cause divisions or uproar in the wider community.

Furthermore, Rusdianto Sudirman admitted that one of the efforts to prevent the potential for the continued expansion of identity politics is to strengthen religious moderation in society. For him, strengthening religious moderation has the goal of being able to emphasize that harmony is not something that can be realized in an easy way. Inter-religious harmony itself must be formulated through a socialization event, campaigns and even measurable programs that are structured, systematic and massive in nature.

The lecturer in Constitutional Law at IAIN Parepare added that realistically the existence of religious tolerance in Indonesia so far is still very dynamic and also continues to require the concept of ‘moderate’ which is conveyed in a way that is continuously adapted to the casuistry context and its suitability for the time. Therefore, according to him, the concept and strategy of being able to continue to implement the strengthening of religious moderation is very important, especially ahead of the 2024 Election democratic party as an effort to be able to counteract the growth of the practice of identity politics.

In fact, he explained that in fact from the perspective of formal law itself, strengthening religious moderation already has a strong legal basis, because the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia has stipulated an obligation for the state to be able to guarantee the freedom of every citizen to embrace their respective religions and to worship according to their respective religions and beliefs.

Not only is it contained in the 1945 Constitution, but legal protection for freedom of religion has also been specifically mentioned in the Human Rights Law (HAM) Number 39 of 1999. According to Rusdianto, there is a strengthening of religious moderation, especially before The existence of the 2024 election is very important, not only to be able to prevent identity politics, but also to be able to direct the political direction of this country.

Every citizen really needs to be able to understand much better that Indonesia itself is a country with a very diverse society and has its own uniqueness, especially in terms of religion and state. On the other hand, the people of Indonesia are very religious and even their daily lives are closely related to religious values. Therefore, it becomes a challenge in itself because it will be easily broken into pieces. Thus, national commitment and the spirit of moderation in religion must really be upheld to be able to fight against the practice of identity politics.

)* The author is Angkasa Media One Contributor

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