As time goes on, we are already in the era of globalization. It does not only affect the economy, politics, security or humanity of a country, it also affects the student movements.
All this time, students have had indispensable roles in the development of an era. In some countries, student movements can bring great changes to the internal condition of the country. At least, this can be seen from Egypt and Indonesia.
In Egypt we know Ikhwanul Muslimim (IM) which became the fighter of freedom. IM members are mostly students. It showed that students have considerable power in the society.
It also happened in Indonesia as some student movements can reform the government’s structure as happened in the transition from the old order to the new order and from the new order to the reformation era. Students have great power for their roles, far from political interests.
Based on the historical facts, student movement was identical with high political problem in a country. Students were furious when the government failed to make policy in favor of the people. Students stood firmly against Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei’s visit to Indonesiato establish cooperation with the government. The resistance caused an incident called Malari Incident was based on students’ idealism to reject another foreign presence in the country.
This kind of idealism used to be the driving force of the student movements. Similar thing also happened recently when the government made a policy on Mahakam Block and Freeport contract’s extension, students went on strike on the matter.
But there is a difference between those two movements, the quantity of gathered students. In globalization, unity of action is no longer seen. It looks as if it should never be maintained, therefore the students movement experience its diaspora, not of the territory but the idea and the form of movement.
Student movement diaspora in globalization brings diverse ideas and form of movements. It is different from globalization effect to culture, which the diverse form became uniformed. The globalization has brought ideas and form of movement which once uniformed became diverse. This is what happens when student movements affected by globalization factors. Easy access of information and transportation created unlimited inter-connection which caused the movements’ diaspora.
The difference of the movements can be seen obviously as students have many alternatives to movements to choose based on their passion, no longer merely about protests and demonstration to the regime.
One form of them is through community, so there are many communities established from different backgrounds. There are some based on similar hobbies, some are based on social background like anti -smoking community, anti-corruption community and other communities on social development. But there also a lot of students gathered in unproductive communities as they are merely based on their hobbies and personal joy.
Globalization also brought new thing for student movements, internationalization. Many communities have succeeded in introducing their community in the world through international forums. Therefore, movement diaspora is no longer only in a scope of a country but also the world.
Unfortunately, globalization has also diminished the spirit of unity of action. Students are no longer sensitive to high politic issues like the reformation era. Even though various movements are deemed enough to answer low politic issues on education, poverty and environment, they are not enough yet. Student movements should be able to retain its existence through unity of action not to be a diaspora which then lower the power as students.
It was proven from Mahakam block issue, the students could not be pressurizing group to the government, not like Malari incident. It means that there is an absence of main color in the gradation of color and therefore it weakens the power of student movements generally.
When globalization brings innovation in the student movements, it would be better if it did not change the identity and role of students as agent of change, moral force and iron stock for the future of the country and the nation. The phenomenon of student movement diaspora should be an escort to vision unity. It is for the consistency to maintain and guide every policy made by the government. (*)
Editor : Bambang Bes