Regarding empire emergence, UNAIR History lecturer urges society to improve literacy

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Lecturer in History, Faculty of Cultural Sciences (FIB) Airlangga University, Adrian Perkasa S.Hum., MA (Photo: Special)

UNAIR NEWS – Recently, there have been emergences of fictitious empires or kingdoms in Indonesia, such as Great Keraton Agung. Responding to this issue, a lecturer of History Program, Faculty of Humanities (FIB) Universitas Airlangga, Adrian Perkasa S.Hum., MA connected the phenomenon with the perspective of revivalism.

“I think it is appropriate if we analyze the phenomenon with the concept of revivalism,” he stated.

Adrian explained, revivalism according to Henley and Davidson (2008) is the idea of rising the glory of a kingdom in the past. Adrian explained, the emergence of the term revivalism originated from the Christian tradition and then developed until now.

“The emergence of revivalism in Indonesia lately is closely related to post-reform developments,” he explained.

Adrian continued that in fact the phenomenon had surfaced massively since the fading of centralized authority. “In the beginning, reforms showed optimism about changes for the better, which resulted in an order that was considered more chaotic,” he added.

In the midst of the swift currents of modernism, a handful of people still believe in the magical element and the desire to arouse the glory of the archipelago as before. This phenomenon appears not only in Java, for example in Sumbawa a kingdom of indigenous peoples emerged suddenly. Supporters of the kingdom are not indigenous people, but large companies.

“We can see that this kind of revivalism is vulnerable to being ridden by figures who deliberately want to take advantage of certain people’s beliefs,” explained the lecturer.

It is a great opportunity for certain figures to come to power, earn money, or ride it for economic, political, and other interests.

There are various factors that Indonesian people are prone to trust in the fictitious kingdom. First, to truly believe in beliefs, in the existence of a magical element from a character. Second, due to structural factors, where the post-reform situation is considered more chaotic so many people look for alternatives.

“This phenomenon is similar to the rise of people who seek treatment in traditional medicine rather than the developing medical science. Looking for other alternative routes, “Adrian said.

However, Adrian regretted the arrest of the King and Queen of the Great Keraton Agung. According to him, they not necessarily commit criminal acts. “If the victim feels cheated, just report it, then the authorities will investigate it,” he said.

Responding to this issue, Adrian advised the public to improve literacy, refrain from laughing or making it viral, and also involve the role of historians.

“Once again, historians must appear to the public frequently, their works must also enlighten the public,” he explained. (*)

Author: R. Dimar Herfano Akbar

Editor: Binti Q Masruroh

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