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About the National Hero, a Condolence to the Local Media and the Government  

by on Wednesday, 5 December 2007One Comment | 2,022 views

A lot of comments arise on the bestowal of National Hero towards Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung and some of them are giving objection to the government’s decision due to the National Hero award towards Ide AA Gde Agung.

During the time there’s no history certainty in this country. Everything seems blur, whether it is really blur or made to be blur, who knows? So many facts hidden by the previous government in Soeharto’s era and so many lies showed to the surface. Let’s see the “Janur Kuning” movie, how many lies were shown on that movie? Most of the stories were fictive and nobody was able to speak up and told the truth on that time.

But now we are not in that era anymore. We are able to speak as long as it can be addressed. In this case the writer is not accusing that there is a lie in the life story of Ide AA Gde Agung. No. But maybe there’s something hidden and not to be exposed to the society which makes the veterans in Bali who experienced the struggle on 1945-1948 (hopefully I’m wrong – borrowing the style of Soegianto Sastrodiwiryo).


Gusti Ngurah Rai statue, a Balinese national hero, from flickr.com/photos/whither/

But for this case, the writer states clearly that there was a wrong procedure held by the government in granting the National Hero award. First, the History Department of UI did not socialize their plan which is going to grant the status of National Hero towards some people including Ide AA Gde Agung. Second, they did not ask the Balinese especially the people who had struggled with Gusti Ngurah Rai during the year 1945-1948. It seems that people have no rights to know who is going to be their figure.
First question: What is wrong with the government with all those experts?

Next, the writer would like to give a condolence to the local media for their silence on this problem. Maybe the National Hero is not an important topic to be discussed (hopefully I’m wrong – once again borrowing the style of Soegianto Satrodiwiryo). It is so pity that another media outside Bali that really give attention to this problem (maybe this is not a problem for the media in Bali).
Second question: What is wrong with the local media?

The most difficult thing to believe is there’s no respond from the government whether in Bali or Jakarta towards this condition. Does anybody have no guts to speak? So, this is another condolence to the government. Well, the writer is not an expert in history. But the writer is also part of the Balinese who would like to find the truth.


Red: Gusti Ngurah Rai, Blue: Dr. Anak Agung Made Djelantik, 1931, from flickr.com/photos/wibisono/

Yes, everybody has bad side and good side inside him/her. It is like the Balinese said “Rwa Bhineda”, where both of the sides cannot be separated. So, there’s no big deal on it. But this is about proper or not granting a National Hero status towards someone. This is about being objective and obeying the rule that has been agreed by the government itself about the prerequisite to be able to be given the National Hero award:

1. His struggle and devotion must be really outstanding in fighting the colonist (in this case the Dutch).
2. Never give up in his struggle, and better fighting till the last drop blood.
3. Never done a betrayal to the country.
4. The fight is done actively by guerrilla warfare or open war.

However, the government must become the model for its people. Perhaps we should watch the “National Treasure” movie which is played by Nicholas Cage that shows the love of citizens towards their country through their appreciation on the history.

Last but not least, may the truth arise from every single path.

Editor’s Note:
Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung photo taken from www.nias.knaw.nl

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