Tyranny is not only used by the state on its people, but also by a group of people who feel they have authority over other groups. This is what often happens in regions that have a diversity of cultures, religions, and ethnic groups. Tyranny between two different groups is often the reason for a group to isolate themselves or other groups.
In Salamrejo Village, Kulon Progo District, Yogyakarta Special Region, there lived a woman named Sumarah. She is a 45-year-old believer (of traditional belief system) who works as a housewife and sometimes a seller in elementary school near her house. Previously, Sumarah had more time being unemployed at home. She was once a seller at an elementary school, but the results were not satisfying. As a believer, many people in her neighborhood consider her a polytheist, godless, menyan (insence) user, and other stigma so that her goods did not sell well.
However, the change began when an PEBM elder senior in her village invited her to attend various trainings held at LKiS. His name is Mbah Mangun. He saw that Sumarah had good potential if she participated in these activities.
LKiS is an independent organization located in Bantul region. This organization is present to realize a transformative Islamic order that is in favor of justice and pluralism, and is based on Indonesian values. LKiS is one of Program Peduli partners that initiated cross-pillar advocacy to strengthen local government involvement, and initiated meetings between Bappeda and related agencies in identifying programs that support the implementation of Program Peduli.
Through Program Peduli, LKiS facilitated various trainings to involve believer and PEBM members in the Joint Business Group (KUB) in Kulon Progo. Various trainings held by KUB made the believers able to improve their economy through embroidery, crafting, and aloe vera cultivation.
Because of the training, Sumarah and other believers can sit side by side with other PEBM members in KUB. In fact, Sumarah was appointed as the Chair of the KUB Production Team for processing aloe vera and successfully brought positive responses from the surrounding community. In addition, the human rights training she obtained from PEBM also made Salamrejo villagers realize that social inclusion is an important thing that must be achieved so that development can reach all people, including believers such as Sumarah.
The same change happened in Kalikudi Village, Cilacap Regency. In this village, there was a high tyranny between indigenous groups (temple people) who lived side by side with the santri group (mosque congregation) so it often triggered social conflict. The santri viewed the temples as a community that was close to polytheistic traditions, while the temples considered that the ritual of burning incense carried out by them was part of the grave rehearsal as a form of their devotion to their ancestors. This disagreement made the two groups reluctant to relate to each other, so if the temples hold a feast, the santri will not attend. Vice versa.
However, changes were felt by custom conservationists in the region when they became acquainted with Program Peduli through Lakpesdam PCNU of Cilacap. During a discussion at the Lakpesdam PCNU of Cilacap office in November 2014, custom conservationists met other participants from the Noble Council of Indonesian Belief (MLKI) of Cilacap Regency, Cilacap PCNU administrators and their autonomous bodies, as well as Cilacap Regional Government representatives. From this activity they began to recognize the term social inclusion.
Some of the activities facilitated by Lakpesdam PCNU of Cilacap included the development of experience, skills, and the ability to lobby. Thanks to these activities, custom conservationists in Cilacap then formed a custom organization called the Anak Putu Tradition Custom Association (ATAP) with the legal umbrella of Kalikudi Village in December 2014. Training of peace cadres organized by Lakpesdam PCNU of Cilacap also enabled them to determine the right social acceptance strategy for Anak Putu in Kalikudi. In addition, the Cultural Festival in 2015 and 2016 and the implementation of the Memeteri Bumi event in 2017 were able to unite santri and temple people group to be actively involved in these activities.
Moreover, Program Peduli Lakpesdam PCNU of Cilacap brought an indirect impact on the way people view it. Custom conservationists and ATAP colleagues realized that they needed to access government assistance, so they submit a proposal to the Cilacap District Housing, Settlement and Land Agency (Perkimta) to build a bathroom for the indigenous people there. The proposal was approved by the government and succeeded in bringing in the assistance of the communal Wastewater Treatment Plant (IPAL) in September 2017 for 10 Heads of Family (KK) with a total construction value of Rp. 324 million.
The custom conservationists as members of the ATAP community then proposed Nyai Kunci’s house (the wife of the late Kyai Kunci Pasemuan Lor) to be proposed to the Bedah Rumah (House Renovation) program organized by the Community and Village Empowerment Agency (PMD) of Cilacap Regency.
The story of Sumarah and the ATAP community above is proof that the power of conscience can undermine tyranny that causes intolerance. With openness, all communities can coexist peacefully despite having many differences.