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Mass Organizations Play an Important Role in Preventing Identity Politics Ahead of the 2024 Election

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By :  Ratih Safira Utami )*

Community Organizations (Ormas) play a very important role in preventing identity politics, especially ahead of the upcoming 2024 elections. Identity politics is very dangerous because it can divide the nation. Therefore, mass organizations are obliged to help the government to maintain peaceful elections, and this is done by rejecting identity politics.

The elections will be held on February 14 2024. The public is given a message to avoid identity politics during the elections, which is an action that emphasizes certain ethnicities or identities. Identity politics should be replaced with idea politics that does not look at a person’s background.

Mass organizations also play an important role in preventing identity politics ahead of the upcoming 2024 elections. The NU Student Association-NU Women’s Student Association (IPNU-IPPNU) Bantul held a Diversity Workshop entitled Knitting Ukhuwah Wathaniyah amidst the Potential Threat of Identity Politics Ahead of the 2024 Election Campaign, Saturday 19 August 2023. The activity which brought together a number of youth mass organizations also delivered a declaration rejecting identity politics ahead of the 2024 Election.

The activity began with a discussion featuring a number of experts. After that, representatives of youth organizations made a declaration rejecting identity politics and SARA, rejecting hate speech, and rejecting hoax news.

UII Law Faculty lecturer Dian Kus Pratiwi who was present as a speaker revealed that from an academic review, identity politics cannot be avoided. Bearing in mind that Indonesian society is indeed divided into groups ranging from religion, ethnicity and race. However, what must be avoided is that this diversity is not used to become a tool to spread hatred towards political opponents.

Mass organizations consist of fraternal bonds formed from various races, ethnicities, cultures and religions. So in the future identity politics and the like must be avoided, in order to remain united.

Identity politics is dangerous because it is used as a wrong campaign tool. Where a legislative candidate shows his identity as a certain superior tribe/group, with the hope of attracting interest from voters of the same ethnicity. However, identity politics became vicious  because other tribes/groups felt they did not accept it and ultimately sparked hostility during the 2024 election campaign.

Identity politics is very dangerous because it can consider people who do not share the same belief or ethnicity as enemies. It can even be used by a politician to bring down his political opponents. The way to do this is by leading public opinion that a presidential candidate is not worthy of being a leader because he comes from a certain ethnicity. 

Therefore, mass organizations are urged to prevent the spread of identity politics. Mass organizations urge the public to avoid identity politics if they want the 2024 elections to run smoothly. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda spread by provocateurs, who say that presidential candidates with certain ethnicities do not have the ability to lead Indonesia. 

Meanwhile, the Expert Team for the Working Group on Strengthening Religious Moderation at the Ministry of Religion who is also the Chair of the Tanfidziyah Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU), Alissa Wahid, asked young people or novice voters not to vote for leaders who emphasize identity politics as a campaign tool.

Alissa Wahid conveyed this after completing the ‘Moderate From Early’ socialization in Badung Regency, Bali. At this activity there were 600 students from various schools and madrasas with various religions and different ethnicities.

Alissa Wahid continued, if novice voters pay close attention to their leadership candidates, they must have ideas for advancing Indonesia, don’t choose candidates who prioritize certain identities, religious or ethnic identities. This should not be allowed, especially if you then bring down your opponents by using identity messages.

When there is socialization about anti-identity politics, one aim is to prepare young people not to be taken in by sentiments that instill hatred, especially nowadays social media has a big influence on the dissemination of information.

Based on international research, Indonesia, India and the United States use hate sentiments based on religion to be very strong in the presidential election, so it’s like we’re giving them a vaccine first so that when they hear extreme religious messages they already have the vaccine, you already understand that religion is not like that.

Mass organizations are urged to reject identity politics and work together to avoid it. Collaboration to prevent identity politics was carried out with several parties such as Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Agency), KPU (General Election Commission), and security forces.

When there are elements of a legislative candidate’s success team who use the issue of identity politics, members of mass organizations can immediately report it to Bawaslu and security forces. When the case has been investigated, there will no longer be any individuals who use identity politics as a weapon to win legislative candidates in the elections.

Mass organizations are encouraged to remain active in the election procession and reject identity politics. They collaborate with security forces, the KPU and Bawaslu to ensure that the elections run successfully without any identity politics campaigns. Don’t let elements of the legislative candidate’s success team use identity politics as a weapon during the campaign, because it will cause divisions in society.

)* The author is a contributor to the Persada Institute

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