Jakarta. Former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, youth organization, GP Ansor, said that the mass prayer-cum-protest last Friday (02/12) and the #KitaIndonesia campaign on Sunday each had different purposes and "complement" each other.
"[Friday's] rally had a religious motive, while the [rally on Sunday] had a cultural motive. We want Indonesian culture to be part of the propaganda. In return, we don't want religion to ruin our culture. The Islam we practice is not based on [what is practiced in] the Middle East, but based on [how it is interpreted and practiced in] Indonesia. Therefore the rallies complement each other. There's no need for them to be at odds," Nusron Wahid said in Jakarta on Monday.
The Golkar politician who currently serves as the head of the Migrant Workers Protection and Placement Agency, known as BNP2TKI, also encouraged Indonesians to uphold Pancasila, the state ideology, to appreciate diversity.
"As [a citizen that is] part of the nation, we must preserve the plurality. Don't make it appear as if Indonesia belongs to some group who impose their will on others," he added.
In response to critics regarding the discarded garbage waste left behind after the #KitaIndonesia rally, Nusron said around 2,400 members of NU's volunteer group, or Relawan Nusantara, or RelaNU, were involved in cleaning up the area in Central Jakarta after the campaign that drew tens of thousands of people from across the archipelago.
Nusron and RelaNU went straight to work at 11 a.m. after the rally concluded. "We finished cleaning at 11.20 a.m. If there are people who speak ill of the participants' cleanliness, they are referring to what they had seen before 11.20 a.m., so don't be tendentious," Nusron added.
During Friday's rally, protesters deposited trash in designated areas, making it easier for the cleaning crew afterwards.
Volunteers also carried plastic bags to collect scattered remains of plastic bottles and glasses, papers, food boxes, or packs of cigarettes. They also advised protesters from stepping on the grass in parks along the streets they passed.