Located in the Multimedia Room, on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Faculty of Education and Teachers Training (FKIP) of Universitas Tidar held a public lecture with the theme “Postcolonial Encounters: Colonial and Neocolonial Issues.” FKIP UNTIDAR invited Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah who is an Associate Professor of English of Jamal Mohamed College, Bharatidasan University, Tamil Nadu, India, as a guest speaker. One of the purposes of conducting this occasion is to enhance overseas cooperation and strengthen academic capacity as there was a session of signing an MoA between Universitas Tidar and Jamal Mohamed College, Bharatidasan University, India. The participants of this public lecture were FKIP structural officials, lecturers of the English Education Study Program (PBI) and Indonesian Language and Literature Education (PBSI), representatives of EDSA and members of Students Oganization (Himaprodi) of PBSI, and students of the Masters Program in Indonesian Language Education (cross program majors).
In his lecture, Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah said that in countries that are very pluralistic and have experienced post-colonialism such as India and Indonesia, identity is very diverse, for example he cannot call himself a Muslim, but he must call himself an Indian Muslim. He also cannot call himself Indian because people also consider him to be a Pakistani by his name, so he must call himself an Indian Muslim.
“There are some questions that arise in post-colonial countries like, why should we study colonizer cultures like English and English literature instead of Tamil or Punjab?” Added Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah. In fact, he gave an example by calling himself an English lecturer. He explained further that the colonization arose because of a sense of superiority, that was, the Westerns felt that they were superior to the East so that when they colonized, they didn’t regard that as colonialism, instead, according to them, they were educating the Easterners.
Regarding neocolonialism, Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah gave several examples of neocolonialism that occurs in several countries, for example, when Indians work in America, they are paid differently from Europeans because they are Indians. Furthermore, in Canada all nations can meet, but there is a certain kind of privilege for certain nations, for example the French have different privileges from other nations. In addition, neocolonialism is also found in films. Nearly all stories (films) from the East, when enter in Hollywood the films will be perceived by the West, and no longer belong to the East. So, in order to be consumed by the East, the film must be perceived by the West.
In the discussion and question and answer session, there were participants who asked whether we could escape from colonialism. Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah answered that we cannot escape from colonialism because in our daily lives we cannot escape from colonial culture. In addition, we also still use colonial products. The only way to make us free from colonialism is that we must free our minds from colonialism.
Dr. Abdul Mohammed Ali Jinnah came to Indonesia is a series of public lecture tour at several universities in Indonesia and UNTIDAR got the chance to be one of those selected universities. (AL)