Students played an important role in confronting communist political movement in Padang City during 1965-1967. Their participation affected the political constellation in the ‘New Order’. Their actions clearly occurred after ‘the 30 September Movement’ (Gerakan 30 September – G30S) with involvement of Indonesian Communism Party (PKI) exploded in central Jakarta in 1965. These students action was not only can be seen in long march and protests event but also in social actions.
Student’s movement in opposing communism can be said as reformist group. Their movement became a turning point for their existence to reduce the power of communist group and ‘guided democracy’ regime at that time. Student’s movement had widely spread not only in the central Jakarta which known as center of political movements, but also in some regions including Padang City, a region in West Sumatra with large number of students in several universities.
In Padang, Islamic Students Association (Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam-HMI) had a significant role against communist movement. Additionally, they also practiced the ‘revenge politics’ to the strong power of Soekarno regime with his ‘Old Order era’. In West Sumatra, the power of Old Order era was associated with ‘enemy’. This idea came up because of Indonesian Communist Party under ‘protection’ of the Old Order era. Furthermore, the regime in this era crushed the movement of the Revolutionary Government of the Indonesian Republic (Pemberontakan Pemerintahan Revolusioner Republik Indonesia – PRRI) in 1958-1961. PRRI is a political movement of West Sumatran people who did not satisfied with the Soekarno regime government in central Jakarta that practice centralized system and ‘guided democracy’. This movement was supported by people in West Sumatra, such as students and politicians. History recorded in the late fifties, activists of HMI in Padang and West Sumatra became a major organization who supported the PRRI movement.
As a large student organizations, member of HMI after G30S in 1965 had major role to maintain the New Order era which led by military in central Jakarta, Their role were not only in Jakarta but also had an impact on other provinces, such as West Sumatra and Padang. Since the early of New Order era, activists of HMI expanded and dominated in some universities in Padang. Furthermore, HMI alumni widely spread to the political field and other fields including economic and education. This involvement of activists of HMI was a part of their consolidation to the New Order in West Sumatra.
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