Understanding the Politics of Fighting Against One Against One in Indonesia – Indonesia is a country that is rich in natural resources and other biodiversity. Not a few of the colonial countries seized and conquered Indonesia. In order to obtain its natural resources so much.
Until finally making the Indonesian state colonized by other nations. The country uses a politics of pitting one against the other or also called the politics of division, has a term called divide et impera. Means that there is a combination of political, economic and military strategies that have the aim of gaining and maintaining power through the division of large groups into small groups so that they are easy to conquer.
Based on another context, divisive politics means that it prevents small groups from uniting to become a large group that is even stronger. The colonial countries that colonized Indonesia were the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, France and England.
In order to find out a full explanation of the politics of pitting one against the other in Indonesia, let’s look at the following explanation. There are several explanations regarding the notion of pitting one against the other, the origins of pitting one against the other, and the efforts made in pitting one against the other.
Understanding the Politics of Fighting Sheep
Literally, the word Devide et Impera can be interpreted as broken, and powerful. This strategy was introduced by a man named Julius Cesar as an effort to build the Roman empire. Divide et Impera or politics of pitting one against the other is a political, military and economic strategy by causing divisions in an area so that it can be easy for them to control.
Not only that, in other contexts, Divide et Impera also has the meaning of preventing small groups from uniting to turn into large groups that have even stronger strength. However, over time the term Divide et Impera began to be known as the politics of pitting one against the other or the politics of division.
The politics of Divide et Impera in the archipelago, especially in Indonesia, was first popularized by the Dutch through the VOC or also known as the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie. In addition to monopoly, which was one of the tactics carried out by the VOC to conquer the archipelago, namely Divide et Impera.
This policy of pitting one against the other was also used as a habit for the VOC to carry out its political, economic and military matters. The orientation is to seek as much profit as possible by conquering the kings in the archipelago.
That’s a little review about the political notion of pitting one against the other. So, to find out more. Let’s look at the following discussion regarding the origins of the politics of pitting one against the other.
The Origin of the Politics of Fighting Sheep
Initially, the politics of pitting one against the other was a war strategy or effort that had been implemented by various colonialist nations in the 15th century. The countries involved included the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, France and England. The colonialist nation carried out an expansion and conquest with the aim of finding sources of natural wealth in other nations, especially those in the tropics. However, over time the methods for carrying out these conquests have developed. So that divisive politics is no longer just a war strategy but as a political strategy.
The colonial invaders (Dutch) had a political strategy of divisiveness which was used to thwart the establishment of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) after Indonesian independence in 1945. Politics of disunity was dissension that was used to aim at dividing a nation in order to conquer territories or areas that aimed to gain and maintaining power by dividing large groups into small groups so that they are easy to control.
The Netherlands formed a puppet state in 1947-1948 which included five puppet states, including the State of East Indonesia (now Papua), the State of East Sumatra, the State of Madura, the State of Pasundan, the State of South Sumatra and the State of East Java. The purpose of the Netherlands to form a puppet state was to promise independence to these countries.
The early history of the occurrence of a World War II, coincided on August 6 and 8 1945. At that time Japan had admitted defeat to the allied forces by bombing the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 14, 1945, Japan finally surrendered to the allies and then the allies ordered Japan to implement the status quo.
The status quo means that the condition is to maintain the situation and conditions as they were at that time until the arrival of the allied troops to Indonesia. On September 16, 1945 at Tanjung Priok there was a Dutch group and representatives of the allies who were anchored.
The presence of the allied troops, accompanied by the NICA (Netherland Indies Civil Administration – civil government of the Dutch East Indies) led by Dr. Hubertus J van Mook. The meeting opened the negotiations on the basis of Queen Wilhelmina’s radio broadcast speech in 1942 which discussed the staatkundige concept or also known as the state conception.
Japan’s defeat resulted in a government vacuum in power in Indonesia. On August 16, 1945 the youth (Golongan Muda) made a strategy by kidnapping Soekarno-Hatta who then took the two of them to Rengasdengklok. Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945. This was in contrast to the Dutch who rejected Indonesian independence in 1945, because the Dutch wanted to return to power. This started the first military aggression in 1947 and the second military aggression in 1948.
Dutch Aggression I and II, occurred After Indonesia became independent in 1945, the Netherlands was still firm in asking for the return of all former Dutch colonies which were still part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). With the independence of the Indonesian state, the country has become a sovereign country. As well as making Indonesia have to fight the Dutch to defend the declared territory from Sabang to Merauke.
Meanwhile in the Linggarjati Agreement In 1946, there was an agreement called the Linggarjati Agreement in Linggarjati, West Java which was attended by the Indonesian side, namely Sultan Syahrir and the Dutch side represented by Wim Schermerhorn. The agreement resulted in a resolution that weakened Indonesia in a de facto manner which only recognized Java, Sumatra and Madura as part of the Indonesian state.
Until finally there was a Dutch Military Aggression I in 1947. In the negotiations for the Linggajati agreement on the Dutch side, Deputy Governor-General of the Netherlands, Johannes van Mook, confirmed that the results of the negotiations were no longer valid, confirming that this had happened on July 21, 1947.
The Dutch would start a military operation (Dutch Military Aggression I) which lasted until August 5, 1947. The military operation was called the Police Action and declared this action an internal affair. The formation of Dutch aggression aims to seize rich plantation areas and areas that have natural resources, especially oil.
While the 1948 Renville Agreement occurred as a result of Dutch actions which formed military aggression I finally the United States intervened to neutralize the situation by acting as a mediator between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Therefore, both parties signed the Renville Agreement on January 17, 1948 on the deck of a United States warship as a neutral location for the USS Renville which was anchored at Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta.
The results of the negotiations from the 1948 Renville agreement were that Indonesia succeeded in forcing a ceasefire but lost part of its territory, while for the Netherlands it only recognized the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) in Central Java, Yogyakarta and Sumatra and asked the Indonesian State Army (TNI) to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories.
After that, there was a Dutch Military Aggression II in 1948. At that time the Dutch rebelled on December 19, 1948 against the contents of the Renville agreement and violated the ceasefire. The Dutch carried out the attack by deploying 80,000 troops which then attacked the Indonesian capital, which at that time was in Yogyakarta. In addition, the Dutch arrested several Indonesian figures, including Soekarno, Mohammad Hatta, Sjahrir and several other figures.
Then, the Round Table Conference was formed in 1949. At that time the United States held Round Table Conference (KMB) negotiations by pressing the Netherlands and Indonesia in The Hague on November 2, 1949. The negotiations discussed the return of all Dutch colonial territories to Indonesia including Papua in them .
The results of this agreement stated that the Netherlands agreed to transfer their political sovereignty over the entire territory of the former Dutch East Indies to Indonesia. The West Papua region is the only part of the territory that was not transferred to Indonesia, but will be discussed again after a year later in 1950.
Until finally the State of East Indonesia or which was precisely in the area of Papua, the territory of Indonesia in 1947 to 1948 resulted in the Dutch taking control of Indonesia easily and dividing it into small groups with a total of 6 parts of the country, including the State of East Indonesia (now Papua), the State of Sumatra East, Madura State, Pasundan State, South Sumatra State and East Java State.
The state of Papua was still not returned by the Dutch until 1961. The Dutch should have returned Papua to become part of the territory of Indonesia in accordance with the results of the negotiations on the results of the Round Table Conference (KMB) in The Hague, Netherlands, which were discussed one year later in 1950. Dutch reasons still makes the Papua region its own because the Netherlands still wants to maintain its influence in the Asia Pacific region and to strengthen its economic base in the Papua region.
This action prompted the Dutch to establish a puppet state of Papua. On October 19, 1961 the Netherlands started by forming a committee called the New Guinea Council. The committee is tasked with drafting the Manifesto for Independence and Self-Government, the national flag or also called the Morning Star Flag, the state stamp, selecting the national anthem, namely Hai Tanahku Papua and asking people to be known as Papuans.
On November 18, 1961 the Netherlands recognized the Papuan flag and national anthem and these regulations came into effect on December 1, 1961. In addition, in 1961 the Netherlands established the Papoea Vrijwilligers Corps or Papua Volunteer Corps (PVK) and a Dutch-made army consisting of native Papuans. .
Therefore, there are several things that can be done by the colonial nation. Some of these things include techniques in divisive politics, as well as efforts in the politics of pitting one against the other. So, to find out more details, you can pay attention to the explanation below.
Efforts in the Politics of Fighting Against One Another
In carrying out divisive politics, there are several elements that are used as techniques in the politics of playing one against the other. What are the techniques? The following are the elements that become techniques in divisive politics, including:
- Encouraging, and creating a division in society in order to reduce alliances that can oppose sovereign power.
- Promote, or assist those who wish to cooperate with sovereign powers.
- Encouraging hostility, and a sense of distrust between groups or communities.
- Encouraging consumerism that aims to weaken political and military costs.
There are various kinds of strategies carried out by colonial nations. One of the most effective strategies of the colonialists to face resistance with local rulers, namely through the politics of pitting one against the other.
The initial step of the VOC was to be able to conquer the great kingdoms in the archipelago by taking advantage of civil wars and the existence of hostilities between kingdoms.
After their first plan was successful by using the politics of pitting one against the other. They were also successful in bringing the Indonesian people into conflict and fighting for power in the archipelago.
By making the effectiveness of devide et impera effective, it also received special attention from the royal government of the colonial nation because it succeeded in creating divisions that occurred in the archipelago.
There are several kinds of efforts made by the colonial nation to conquer the territory of the archipelago. What are they? The following are some of the efforts made by the colonial nation when implementing the divide et impera policy:
1. Become Friends and Create Enemies
In these efforts, the colonial nation, tried to make the Indonesian nation a friend. After that, they created an enemy together.
This is because when the colonial nations have made friends, then all the negotiations and diplomacy processes will run easily and smoothly. With everything being easy, it will make that country destroy other countries. Until finally making other parties serve as VOC business rivals. That is what is called creating enemies.
2. Issue management
In this second attempt, namely by managing issues, the pattern that was usually carried out by the colonial people was by spreading grapevines of news and rumors, both carried out in a political or social environment. Another form of issue management is propaganda.
3. Play on both sides
The next effort is to play on two sides. The colonial nation in general would side with two opposing camps as if they were in a neutral position.
4. Recruit local leaders
In general colonials would recruit a local leader to be part of the lower management chain. This trick was carried out in order to give recognition on behalf of the colonial nation to political entities in an area. This is similar to the occurrence of a Diponegoro War and the Malay Sultanate.
5. Set the occurrence of civil war
This step was carried out by using the natives as a military force against their own people. This pattern can be seen in history in West Sumatra in 1821-1837, at which time the colonial nation succeeded in provoking the Indigenous People to wage war against the Padri.
Those are some explanations about the politics of pitting one against the other in Indonesia. It consists of the political meaning of pitting one against the other, the origins of the politics of turning one against one another, and also the efforts made in politics against one another. Hopefully the discussion above can add to your insight about the politics of pitting one against the other.