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Prevent Identity Politics from Being Used for Political Interests


By: Fabian Aditya Pratama )*

Prevention of the practice of identity politics in Indonesia is very important to continue to strive for. This is because often these activities are used only to achieve a goal of interests that benefit certain groups or individuals and are very politically charged. Precisely the most ideal thing is to choose a leader who is able to uphold the interests of society and this nation above personal and group interests.

The term identity politics has long been constructed as a political narrative by certain political elite groups in Indonesia as an instrument discourse to describe feelings of hatred and fear of losing to their political opponents in order to reduce the image and also be able to corner certain figures who are usually considered strong and have potential. win. Not only that, but in practice identity politics is usually aimed at being able to defeat other opponents so it really needs to be cornered with a narrative that does not depict nationalism at all and is also a narrative full of intolerance.

In practice, identity politics really needs media instruments or vehicles to be able to express themselves through identities such as similarities in religion, ethnicity, race, group, cultural identity, ideological understanding, organizations and other primordial communities. Meanwhile, in Indonesia itself, where the society consists of a great deal of diversity, it is undeniable that this nation is often faced with a condition where unity is on the brink.

In fact, the solution to this condition of threatened national unity and unity is when the people are able to have a certain grip that can be used as a backbone to be able to continue to unite many communities and also interests within it.

Therefore, in fact the founding fathers of the nation long ago also formulated a guideline that could be relied upon by the people of this country with a lot of diversity, namely with the birth of the state motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which states that there are differences but still one.

Mainly, when welcoming a democratic party, namely the holding of General Elections (Pemilu) in 2024, there are indeed big challenges for the Indonesian people, especially for political participants. Some of these challenges include the practice of money politics, then the practice of identity politics, which is a way for certain candidates to further popularize themselves in various ways.

It is clear that identity politics must be prevented by all elements of society in the country. The importance of preventing this is so that there are no groupings which are certainly able to divide unity and so that this nation is able to avoid all kinds of SARA issues (ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup) in a series of black campaigns.

All of these are very serious challenges in the running of the democratic party in 2024. Regarding this matter, Pelita Harapan University (UPH) Political Communication Expert, Dr. Emrus Sihombing believes that narrow identity politics can trigger horizontal conflict.

Of course, if the practice of identity politics continues in this country, then according to him it will become a very dangerous thing. The reason is, in a narrow identity politics, it is usually used to humiliate certain beliefs, ethnicities or cultures even in the public sphere.

Moreover, dr. Emrus Sihombing emphasized that if there is still a practice of identity politics in the upcoming 2024 election, it means the same as showing that the candidates promoted by this group have no program at all and are actually very weak. For him, political parties must have a strong political commitment to enter into an agreement that the candidates they run are absolutely not allowed to continue carrying this narrow identity politics.

After the Indonesian nation became independent, it does not mean that the struggle has just ended. Precisely to continue to maintain and fill this independence is a struggle that is actually much more difficult because there is a possibility to clash with the nation itself, especially by being divided using identity politics.

For this reason, it is very important that all Indonesian people understand that they must be able to choose someone who can be trusted as the future leader of this nation and state. Continue to use the rights and obligations that are owned in this democratic country in a reasonable manner and elect leaders who do have ideas and ideas that are indeed brilliant for the benefit of society, not just for personal gain. Preventing the existence of all the potential for identity practice is very important, because in fact it is only intended as a tool to achieve certain goals for the benefit of certain groups or individuals.

)* Contributor to Nawasena Institute

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