I will admit: The Netherlands kind of deserved to lose control over the Dutch East Indies. Not because we were mean to brown people, far from it.
But rather, because we were given the seed, we were given the soil, yet we never grew trees.
This is the seed:
This is the soil:
Hinduism is alive and well today in Bali. It was alive and well in Bali when we took over. And it was once alive throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Not enough people realize this: Java was once a predominantly Hindu island. Unlike in Bharat, in the Indonesian archipelago there was generally no hard distinction between Buddhism and Hinduism. They overlapped and people could be both Buddhist and Hindu, just like many Japanese are both Buddhist and Shintoist.
But eventually, darkness descended upon the archipelago. Muslim traders showed up and introduced Islam. The mighty Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit empire which once dominated the archipelago was forced into retreat, their stronghold became Bali, where Hinduism survives to this day. But Hinduism never truly went extinct on Java. Even today, the widely popular traditional Wayang puppet theater on Java depicts episodes from the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Ramayama and the Mahabharata.
Many Javanese, like the Abangan, became only really Muslim in name, in practice they were more animist and Hindu. The Abangan seem to be more marginalized on Java and mostly became communists after independence, resulting in harsh suppression. They were then generally forced to convert to either Hinduism or Christianity, as they clearly did not take Islam seriously and the Indonesian government didn’t really care what religion you adhered to, as long as you were not a communist. Can’t say I blame them for that.
But more importantly, there are about a hundred thousand Tenggerese, who claim descent from the old princes of Majapahit. They are still Hindu too.
Here you can see Tenggerese worshippers preparing to offer vegetables to the deities of Mount Bromo. The Tenggerese worship the traditional Hindu trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), but also worship Lord Buddha, in addition to other deities inherited from animist traditions.
Aceh, the most Western part of Sumatra, is today a strict Islamic theocracy. This is where Islam first arrived around 1250 AD. We only really know today what the area was like around that time, because of a man you will have heard of: Marco Polo. He passed by in 1292 and remarked that some towns were Muslim in Aceh, while others were not. He said the people of Lambri were “idolaters”, ruled by a Maharaja. This allows us to say they must have been either Hindu or Buddhist.
After the tsunami which hit Aceh in 2004 and killed 170,000 people in Indonesia, Islamic practice in Aceh only became stricter, as people interpreted it as a punishment from God. One has to wonder: Why does God slaughter the Islamic people of Aceh, but not the Hindu people of Bali? On Bali life is good. The people live off tourism and don’t have to work hard. My recommendation to Aceh would be to return to Hinduism and Buddhism. Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah: The Dharma protects those who protect it.
I don’t apologize for being an Indophile, or an Islamophobe. To me, the images just speak for themselves. It’s also quite clear, that nobody really wants Islam. As the Wayang plays demonstrate, what people want are the old Hindu legends. Islam, in many ways, is similar to the Covid lockdowns. It’s something that most people don’t really want, except for a handful of religious fanatics. But most people are afraid of speaking out against it.
That’s something many people now tend to forget. The lockdowns were supposed to be a “new normal” and we were never told when it would end. It only ended because of the blessing of multiple coinciding embarrassing failures: Failure of the vaccines, which triggered the massive spread of less virulent Omicron variants.
As you can see on Java today, if people have a drop of Hindu heritage they will flock to it when allowed to do so. For Islam the opposite is true. You can tell what this religion has to offer, by virtue of the fact that it always has to be shoved down people’s throats. The people who seek out Islam almost universally tend to have a two digit IQ (and often red hair). Islam has nothing to offer to a mature soul.
In a better world, the Dutch would have restored the old temples and statues to their former glory, with the Tenggerese restored to their rightful place. I would have been living on Java today, married to a Tenggerese wife. But alas, that brief period of global European hegemony was wasted.
We lost everything, because the British insisted on fighting the vegetarian wannabe Hindu with the funny moustache until the bitter end as the Jews fell victim to his escalating meth psychosis, until the rapist Bolshevik horde knocked on the doors of Berlin. Such is life. At least we got some spices out of it.