After 1966 agrarian reform implementation was abandoned and became a taboo subject for many years ; the Agrarian Reform Courts and Committees were formally dissolved in 1970. The BTI and all other peasant organisations (including those linked to NU and PNI) were dissolved and replaced with a single, state-sponsored monolith organisation, the ‘Indonesia Farmers’ Harmony Association’ (HKTI). This organization has not been active in support of small-scale farmers, and has been completely silent in the face of the massive forced expulsion of local peasants from millions of hectares of land for corporate agriculture (especially oil palm). The HKTI has for some years been locked in a leadership struggle between Suharto’s former son-in-law Prabowo Subianto and the businessman Oesman Sapta Odang. The two rival HKTIs continue to claim legitimacy, and as can be seen from their two competing web sites, neither has any vision of agrarian renewal.3 The losers are the millions of peasants and farm workers whose interests the HKTI is formally mandated to defend. The independent Indonesian Peasants’ Union (SPI, formerly the Federation of Indonesian Peasant Unions FSPI), set up immediately after the fall of Suharto has adopted the slogan ‘land to the tiller!’ (which as we saw above was also the PKI and BTI position) and mounted various local campaigns, but has not achieved any broad national following remotely approaching the BTI’s more than 7 million members.
Finally, we should note the continuing problems in confronting the history of 1965-66. Indonesian and other historians have provided more than enough evidence to demolish the official version. But more than 15 years after the fall of Suharto, books that challenge the official version have been banned; history text books continue to be doctored, and those involved in exhumations of mass graves are attacked by thugs and goons.
PEASANT MOBILISATION AND LAND REFORM IN INDONESIA – Gerrit Huizer
Working Paper. Most of the material summarised in this paper was collected by the author while working with I.L.O. The opinions expressed are his own and do not imply the endorsement of the ILO or ISS (No. 18, June 1972)
Some kind of reaction by rural elites, particularly the Islamic local leaders who had lost influence or were threatened by the new dev~opment.s, couldbe expected. This happened after the failure of the coup d’etat by dissident Army officers, allegedly related to elements of the PKI, on 30 September 1965 (the Gestapu). 136 During the Gestapu five notoriuosly anti-communist generals were assassinated by a group of high-ranking offioers and their sympathisers, headed ,by Col Untung.
A wave of terror swept the rural areas , particularly of Cenral and East Java and Bali at the end. of 1965, which practically eliminated the BTl and PKI. This massacre was mainly organized by the paramiliter and troops of the Army in October 1965, in reaction to the assassination of the generals.
As one recent report noted:
“In the aftermath of those assassinations, numerous PKI cadres allover Indonesia were liquidated by the Indonesian Army’s security operations, guided and supported in many instances in.East Java by members of the Nahdatul Ulama (Moslem) Party and in Central Java and Bali by members of the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI). These killings released pent-up sooial tensions .generated by thePKI’s aggressive agrarian polioies of 1963-1965 and touched off a rural massacre in which several hundred thousand PKI followers lost their lives. “137
A Pulitzer Prize winning report described as follows what has been called “one of history’s worst orgies of slashing, shooting, chopping violence”: ‘~housands of lndonesians who were members of the Communist Party, or who supported it, or who were suspected of supporting it, or who were said by somebody to have supported it, were put ruthlessly to death. In .the mayhem, people innocent of Communist affiliations were killed too, sometimes by mistake, sometimes because their old enemies were paying off grudges in the guise of an antiCommunist oampaign. ,,138
Salah satu bab dari buku The Dark Side of Paradise : Political Violence in Bali
Whereas in the 1950s political party followings were amorphous cross-class affairs, by 1965 the two major parties (the PNI and the PKI) had each developed a more distinctive class character. In addition to economic scarcity and runaway inflation, changes in local class formation—in particular the emergence of a significant pool of wage-earners and unemployed in the towns, the development of a political consciousness among Bali’s landhungry and tenant farmers, and the emergence of a small but influential group of Balinese entrepreneurs—added a new dimension to political relations, and led to a much greater polarization on class lines in the early 1960s. By 1965, the PNI was seen as the party of the local “national” capitalist class, civil servants, large landlords, relatively prosperous peasant landholders, a still influential aristocracy, and those peasants dependent upon them. The constituency of the PKI and the Partindo included landless and tenant farmers, the urban underclass, school-teachers, a proportion of the educated middle class, and some progressive members of the old aristocracy.
Especially important in this transformation was the way in which national economic policies and developments were articulated in Bali through the local state apparatus and the political party system. Despite its financial dependence on the center, Bali’s local state powerfully influenced class formation, political party alignment, and conflict. Through a “nationalist” economic policy, which included the granting of licenses and contracts to selected entrepreneurs, the state encouraged the formation of a class of Balinese capitalists. The dependence of the new capitalist class on the patronage of the local state and the PNI, meant that it had reason to be worried when, in the early 1960s, political control of the state moved steadily to the left and out of PNI hands. In alliance with the PNI, this new class sought to recoup its losses in the aftermath of the 1965 coup.
Perhaps even more important politically was the role of the local state in support of land reform after 1963. Strong intervention on behalf of radical land reform by key figures in the national and local state apparatus in Bali, meant that the interests of landowners, and the Economic Foundations of Political Conflict 93 political parties that supported them, were genuinely threatened. This fact lay behind the intransigent and reactionary attitude of the largest landlords and the PNI. Those threatened by, or unlikely to benefit from, the land reform also included a substantial number of relatively prosperous landowning peasants, concentrated in the chief rice-growing regions of Tabanan and Badung. Using their still considerable power in Bali’s legislative and executive bodies, these forces together offered strong resistance to land reform, contributing to political conflict along class lines in the countryside.
The process of political polarization was accelerated by the mobilization of mass peasant organizations affiliated to the two major political parties. In some areas, the strength of economic and cultural ties between landlords and tenants slowed the process of class polarization, so that conflict developed not only between landlords and tenants but also among poor peasants and tenants. Once it had begun, however, the competition between the BTI and Petani members appeared to take on its own momentum, leading to physical confrontations and sometimes killings. The overlapping effect of class interests and cultural sensibilities further accentuated the conflict, and laid the basis for the intense violence of 1965/66.
The aggressiveness of the BTI’s land-reform campaign, the relative success which it achieved in redistributing land, and the way in which class interest coincided with cosmology, proved an explosive combination. It appears likely—though difficult to confirm—that the severity of the violence after October 1965, was in proportion to the radicalism of the land-reform campaigns in 1963-1965. In Jembrana and Buleleng, for example, where the land reform was nearly complete by 1965, the post-coup violence was extreme. Similarly, in Karangasem, where the BTI had been especially aggressive and land reform had led to very serious disputes in 1964 and 1965, the violence was widespread.
The emphasis on economic and class issues provided in this article has been intended, in part, as an antidote to conventional wisdom. This is not to say that the political struggles and violence of the 1960s in Bali can be properly understood as a matter of “class-war,” or that class consciousness superseded all other cultural or religious attachments. That is clearly not the case. But the time has surely come to look more seriously at how class intersts and economic issues transformed Balinese politics and laid the basis for the violence of 1965/66.
In this regard it is important to remember that the still widely accepted arguments regarding the “insignificance” of class in Bali come straight from the PNI manual. The denial of the political salience of class, the claim that the PKI had no real mass base, the effort to depict PKI leaders as mere political opportunists, the view that Balinese were more interested in maintaining harmonious community relations than in fighting for class interests; these were all part of the ideological and political arsenal of the PNI in Bali in the mid-1960s. As such, they ought not to be accepted uncritically as good history or good sociology. My sense is that much of what has been written about politics in Bali under the Old Order has been based on precisely these sorts of unexamined arguments. In other words, we have come to know, and to believe, only the victor’s version of history.
Dari kenyataan sejarah yang muncul sehubungan dengan pelaksanaan landreform di Indonesia, organisasi negara yang dibentuk dari pusat hingga tingkat desa yang bertanggung jawab menjalankan landreform terbukti tidak mampu menjalankannya secara efektif. Desakan dari kekuatan-kekuatan organisasi massa aksi-aksi yang semakin radikal, sebagian besar memang mencerminkan ketidakmampuan pemerintah untuk menjadikan landreform sebagai program nasional pemerintah. Di wilayah pedesaan, justru kekuataan yang paling aktif mendorong dijalankannya kebijakan tersebut adalah organisasiorganisasi massa radikal.
Kenyataan ini pada hemat saya merupakan bukti lemahnya kekuatan aparat kekuasaan negara dan terbukanya wilayah pedesaan sebagai ajang pertarungan antara kekuatan politik yang ada pada saat itu. Di tingkat lokal, suatu kebijakan hanya dapat didukung oleh seberapa besar pengaruh dan kekuatan yang dimiliki oleh masingmasing kelompok politik, seperti yang ditunjukan di Jawa Timur dan Jawa Tengah selama dijalankannya kebijakan landreform. Kondisi ini adalah bukti bahwa kekuasaan negara pada saat itu sangat lemah dalam mengurus birokrasi dan aparatnya sendiri sampai ke tingkat daerah. Sebuah kebijakan yang telah diputuskan di pusat bisa lemah bahkan patah pelaksanaannya dalam penerapannya di daerah.
Dari sudut kaum tani sendiri, program pembagian tanah dan perbaikan perjanjian bagi hasil telah menjadi seruan yang menarik simpati mereka, terutama kalangan kaum tani miskin dan tani tak bertanah yang berjumlah mayoritas di pedesaan. PKI dan BTI telah berhasil menarik simpati mereka, pada saat aparat negara tidak mampu menjalankan kebijakan tersebut. Namun simpati yang mengalir tersebut pada akhirnya justru seperti bumerang ketika mereka tidak mampu mengendalikan tingkat radikalisasi massa petani yang berhasil mereka raih.
(Andi Achdian; TANAH BAGI YANG TAK BERTANAH: LANDREFORM PADA MASA DEMOKRASI TERPIMPIN hal 103-104)
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Road to Justice : State Crimes after Oct 1st 1965 (Jakartanicus)