zaterdag 7 maart 2015

Rahardi and the Return of Jesus

F. Rahardi has been mentioned earlier in a short reflections about his book on the Catholic priest who wroked in Lembata. He is able to mix religion with some funny, or even absurdist stories. This is even more the case in his book of 2009 Para Calon Presiden (Yogyakarta: Penerbit Lamalera). It begins with a message that Jesus is returning to the earth and, after descending in Jerusalem (on the temple mount),coming to Indonesia with an aircraft of the Jordanian Army, to Ngurah Rai in Bali. It turns out to be different: he comes to Tengger first. After a few days in Tengger, he moves to West Java, where he has meetings with politicans near the top of the mountain Gede and in Cibodas. Together with the trips of Jesus, who meets Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Megawati, there is also a description of the elections campaigns of 2009 with important roles for Jusuf Kall, the Sultan of Yogyakarta (hesitating whether he will wanbt to become President, or Vice-President or just Ratu Adil). Jesus does not want to interfere in Indonesian politics, he stays out of the actions of the success teams for the various candidates, but only gives them moral support.
In fact Rahardi has writte a political novel, satire about political life in Indonesia. For Jesus he switches between Christian and Muslim terminologies: Jesus Kristus, Nabi Isa Alaihissalam. The Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Council of Churches are surprised that Jesus could come and the feelnot happy with the situation. They doubt. An official statement of the Bishop says that they still have to do inquiries 'whether the person who claims to ne Jesus, is really Jesus, the Son of God.' They stress that people now have to mee Jesus in the Eucharist. The Protestant Council of Churches wants to meet Jesus in reading Scripture. Also MUI, the National Council of Muslim Clercs, abstains from a judgment: this Jesus is involved in the national political elections and the MUI wants to remain out of politics.
On pages 279-280 the journalists put some questions to Jesus: how is his relation to Mary Magdalene? Who was his biological father? Was Jesus ever in Tibet? 'Well, about my biological father, you should ask Mary rather than me, because she is my biological mother. But I am never angry about naughty questions, nor my mother Mary. Only my followers may become angry about these questions.  ... Some talk about a Roman soldier, or some scholar in the text of the Torah. I am not worried about these things,because legally Joseph or Yusuf is my father.' Also about some stories about Jesus that are very similar to stories of the Buddha and Krishna: 'Indeed, that is the risk of being born some centuries after these figures.' Lovely light hearted writings. I wondered how this could happen: in the 1970s there was much problems about the story of the descent of Muhammad to the earth by Ki Panjikusmin, published by H.B. Yassin: court cases and intimidation. Is Rahardi not so well known or has the climate changed?

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