Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Voice of Accusation and an Icon of Cultural Creativity

The existence of Cak Nun[1] has given renewed hope to an appreciation of arts and culture in a dimension that liberates man from the schackles of various forms of oppression, ignorance and injustice.
Cak Nun serves as the well-spring which frees people from the snares of fearfulness, allowing the development of a cultural stream which variosu aspects whereby socio-reality is raised to become transcendental, returning to earth in a form of artistic creativity encompassing the whole of humanity.
Consequently, I believe that the struggle taken by Cak Nun involves not only the fundamentals of culture as a condition for the creation of an awareness that will free those who are marginalised, but also offers hope for the ascendance of creativity as a God-given gift, which only has meaning if a way can be found for the struggle to overcome all forms of ignorance, injustice and all that preys on the dignity of man, including a review of the cultural system of Indonesia.
Seen from the political dimension, what Cak Nun does comprises the integration of “individualism in culture” as one aspect of the three-seats of power of Bung Karno[2], where religion is the fundament.
I hope that Cak Nun, as a figure, will always grow, until he is not only an icon of artistic and cultural creativity, but becomes a voice of accusation arising from all forms of matters concerning this country. I am proud, because Cak Nun belongs not only to the Muslim community, but has symbiotically interpreted the meaning of the diversity of Indonesia in the frame of the Unitary Republic.

[1] As Emha is affectionately known
[2] Affectionate term for Indonesia’s first President, Soekarno.
By Choirul Sholeh Rasyid Member of the People’s Representative Assembly for the National Awakening Party (PKB)
Translated by Ian L. Betts

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