Permai

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The Indonesian Marhaen People's Union (Indonesian: Persatuan Rakyat Marhaen Indonesia), generally known by its acronym Permai (meaning 'beautiful'), was a social movement in Indonesia, functioning both as a political party and an Abangan mystical association.[1] The organization was founded on December 17, 1945.[2] Permai was led by Mei Kartawinata.[3]

Permai called its doctrine Marhaenism. It beliefs were said to have been revealed to the Permai founder during meditation.[4] The movement claimed to practice 'pure native science', i.e. pre-Hindu and pre-Islamic 'original' Javanese beliefs. This set of ideas was combined with support for Indonesian Pancasila nationalism. Permai was strongly opposed to Islam, arguing that it was a foreign religion, in contradiction to Javanese culture and traditions.[5][1] On the other hand, whilst officially rejecting Hinduism, the movement had incorporated many Hindu practices into its doctrine.[4]

In February 1948 the Tan Malaka-led Revolutionary People's Movement was founded, with Permai as one of its constituents.[6]

The outspoken anti-Islamic profile of Permai brought it into collision with Islamist political forces. In 1954 mass protests were launched against statements made by the Permai leader Mei Kartawinata. According to some accounts, these protests mustered half a million participants.[3] Also, the holding of Permai weddings and funerals provoked clashes with Muslim organizations (Permai was not a recognized religion, and thus these ceremonies had no official stature).[7]

Permai obtained 149,287 votes in the 1955 legislative election (0.4% of the national vote), and won a seat in the parliament.[8] After the election, the Permai MP joined the National Progressive Fraction, a body of ten MPs from Java.[9] In the 1955 Constituent Assembly election, the party obtained 164,386 votes (0.43%) and two seats in the assembly.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mulder, Niels. Mysticism in Java: Ideology in Indonesia. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Penerbit Kanisius, 2005. pp. 21–22
  2. ^ Terpadu (Sosiologi, Geografi, Ekonomi, Sejarah). p. 71
  3. ^ a b Feith, Herbert. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. An Equinox classic Indonesia book. Jakarta [u.a.]: Equinox, 2007. p. 350
  4. ^ a b Geertz. pp. 113–114
  5. ^ Islam, Mazharul. Folklore: the pulse of the people ; in the context of Indic folklore. Ranchi anthropology series, 7. New Delhi: Concept Publ. Co, 1985. p. 317
  6. ^ Gunn, Geoffrey C. New World Hegemony in the Malay World. Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 2000. p. 48
  7. ^ Geertz. p. 116
  8. ^ Feith, Herbert. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. An Equinox classic Indonesia book. Jakarta [u.a.]: Equinox, 2007. p. 435
  9. ^ Feith, Herbert. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. An Equinox classic Indonesia book. Jakarta [u.a.]: Equinox, 2007. p. 472
  10. ^ http://partaiindonesia.com/index.php/Sejarah-Pemilu-1955.html