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Maintain Unity and Reject Politicization of SARA Ahead of Elections


By: Gita Oktaviani )*

The politicization of SARA is still a threat to the 2024 elections, narratives with SARA nuances are very dangerous for the conduciveness of relations between communities. Therefore, concrete efforts are needed to maintain unity so that the people are not easily divided and reject everything that has the nuances of SARA (Ethnicity, Religion, Race and Intergroupity) ahead of the political year.

Maintaining unity and oneness is the responsibility of all elements of society without exception. This aims to create a good and civilized democracy, not a sick democracy full of racial and hoax narratives.

            On the occasion of the Socialization of the 4 Pillars of Nationality which was held at Simpang Dolok, Djarot Saiful Hidayat as Chair of the RI MPR Study advised us to always maintain unity and unity ahead of the elections by means of a good democracy. Such as using voting rights, not using SARA-smelling politics and not spreading hate speech.

            Djarot said that ideology must be maintained by socializing the 4 pillars contained in Pancasila, the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia by building tolerance in diversity. Moreover, Indonesia is a country consisting of ethnic groups, religions/beliefs, etc.

            The issue of SARA is a real threat to the development of Indonesian democracy. As a big nation, of course it is very important for all parties to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation with positive and beneficial political literacy. Because after all the difference does not mean to be a barrier to work together.

            SARA politics, of course, cannot be viewed narrowly, but must be studied and viewed broadly as one of the weaknesses of political parties or organizations in conducting regeneration and recruitment. This refers to the assumption that when cadres are weak in strengthening the party, what will be played is SARA politics in order to get votes.

            Meanwhile on 17 February 2023, Rahmat Bagja as Chairman of the Election Supervisory Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BAWASLU RI) in a discussion on the Voter Education Network for the People (JPPR), rejected the politicization of ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup (SARA). This refusal is a form of action to create peace towards the 2024 elections, so that those who are elected are purely from the voters without coercion or threats from any party.

            Referring to article 280 of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning Elections, it is the norm of reference in interpreting the politicization of SARA and identity politics, where the law contains prohibitions against insulting, inciting, pitting one against the other and committing violence in campaign activities. Of course the presence of extreme groups that promote the politicization of SARA in world politics can divide the nation.

            On a different occasion, Taj Yasin as Deputy Governor of Central Java requested that the SARA issue in the 2024 elections in Central Java be stopped. Do not let these issues arise and become big if left unchecked. Because the impact is not only before the election, even after the election, residues such as the politicization of SARA still appear.

            He also added that the public should have an understanding of misleading dark campaigns, one of which is identity politics. According to Yasin, even though the community is mature in responding to political issues, there are still some elements of society who are easily incited, so divisions can arise.

            Furthermore, the man who is familiarly called Gus Yasin also appealed to the public to choose leaders who are in accordance with their beliefs. He also reminded people not to force their choices on others.

            In facing the general election contestation, democratic maturity is also very much needed, political elites must also set an example to the public about good democracy, one of which is by appreciating the candidate who gets the most votes.

            Unity that is maintained will certainly foster harmony in life and peace in society, if unity can be maintained properly, then it is not impossible that the acceleration of mastery of science, technology, arts and culture can be realized for a better future for Indonesia.

Politics and democracy are certainly important to bring this nation free from the shackles of fatigue, despair and anger that trigger conflict and violence. The security paradigm must also be changed by leaving violence behind. Increasing the political security of this nation, namely that political elites need to abandon their political ego, sincerely agree to maintain peace.

Without the unity that Indonesia’s predecessors and founding fathers fought for, Indonesian independence would of course only be something that would be impossible for the nation, as well as at this time, disunity is also very likely to occur if differences only increase polarization between communities. In a democracy, of course, an attitude of legowo must also be shown when it does not get the desired results.

As a large and diverse nation, maintaining unity and harmony is something that should be fought for. The politicization of SARA also needs to be eliminated because it will only make the atmosphere of the democratic party worse.

)* The author is a Contributor to the Windows Baca Institute

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