Political Identity: A Case Study of Hindu KaharinganSociety in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan

Title : Political Identity: A Case Study of Hindu Kaharingan Society in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan
Author : I Nyoman Sidi Astawa (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : Politics, identity, Hindu, Kaharingan
Abstract
This research aimed to identify and describe the identity politics of the Hindu Kaharingan people. These identity politics were described by analyzing the process of searching for an identity they have been pursuing since the Old Order to the Reform Era. Additionally, it also aimed at analyzing the formation of the identity of the Hindu Kaharingan people and its correlation with the conflict between them and the Hindu Dharma people.

This research used a descriptive-qualitative method with an case study of the Hindu Kaharingan people of Palangka Raya of Central Kalimantan. The data was collected using field observation of the identity politics and the formation of the identity of the Hindu Kaharingan people. In-depth interviews were conducted with the social religious figures who held the most important positions in the Kaharingan identity. The collected data was subsequently analyzed using the political approach that was elaborated in a descriptive-quantitative form.

The results of the research were indicative of the presence of the formation of a Kaharingan cultural identity. Therefore, an identity politics (cultural strategy) emerged in the Hindu Kaharingan people. The identity politics seemed to have been used to mobilize the people in supporting the political activity in Palangka Raya. The identity politics has been being used since the Old Order, the New Order and the recent Reform Era. The use of the local identity in the political activity has resulted in a conflict among the Kaharingan people. The conflict took place between the Kaharingan people and the Hindu Dharma (Balinese) people. It resulted from the use of the identity politics by the Hindu Kaharingan people and the local political elite. The identity politics were practiced in the Hindu Kaharingan people, the Balinese Hindu people and outside of them. Therefore, it seemed as if the conflict was a religious one. Indeed, it was the conflict of identity and politics. It did not differ from those conflicts considered to be inter-religion taking place in other parts of Indonesia. The conflict taking place between the Hindu Kaharingan people and the Hindu Dharma people represented the process of identity formation of the Hindu Kaharingan people. The process that took place for long time has resulted in the identity variance in the Kaharingan people. The present identity of the Kaharingan people could be classified into three variances: Hindu Kaharingan, Kaharingan, Balinese Hindu Kaharingan. The Hindu Kaharingan and the Kaharingan could be clearly identified, while the Balinese Hindu Kaharingan was still vague.

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