Khofifah Indar Parawansa: Apologizes to professor

Khofifah Indar Parawansa. (photo: IO/RP)

IO – It was as if East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa had returned home when she attended the Soetandyo Wignjosoebroto Award event in the Universitas Airlangga Surabaya Campus C Garuda Mukti Building on Saturday, October 19. Khofifah received her degree in political science from Universitas Airlangga. She started her studies there in 1984 and also participated in lectures by Soetandyo, the founder and first dean of Universitas Airlangga’s Faculty of Social and Political Science. 

“I always remember his teachings that life is change, what never changes is change itself,” said Khofifah during her opening speech. Soetandyo created the faculty in 1977. 

“This means that that a person is not exclusive, that person is not closed off, that person is open minded about the dynamics of life. That means change is sunnatullah (God’s way): that is my exploration. So, when for instance I know my age, I know that this East Java is the beginning of receiving bonus demography. That means I must be with Millennials. I must ask generation Z,” she said. 

Khofifah then explained that her relationship with Professor Soetandyo became more intense outside of campus. “I often asked him to share ideas or become a speaker for my events outside of the campus, whether in PMII (Indonesian Islamic Students Association) or IPPNU (Nahdlatul Ulama Women’s Student Association),” she said. 

“I received extraordinary depth as when I was the head of PMII and IPPNU I often invited him. I never saw him get picked up or, sorry, ask for an honorarium. Not once. So, the knowledge he shared was extraordinary,” she continued. 

She even stated that she tries to implement many of Soetandyo’s ideas as East Java governor. 

Khofifah also told of Soetandyo’s emphasis on civil society. “He said civil society in the New Order era was actually something that many people were closed off to, as if that door was closed. In that, Prof Soetandyo was actually opening many people’s minds but not just Universitas Airlangga’s Faculty of Social and Political Science and East Java’s but anyone who exchanged ideas with him. I felt they would surely receive extraordinary anti-poverty enrichment.” 

“Those big ideas indeed had to keep being disseminated by Prof Soetandyo, even though he has been called up by The Creator but it is now our job to disseminate his big ideas,” said Khofifah. In her opening speech, Khofifah also apologized to her former lecturer Prof. Ramlan Surbakti MA., Ph.D., who was the head of the Soetandyo Award jury team. 

“I remember Mr. Ramlan always said, if you photocopy a book you do not respect the writer,” said Khofifah. “Today I apologize, because in the past I didn’t have money so I photocopied ‘Introduction to Political Science’ by Mr. Ramlan, just one chapter. I apologize,” said Khofifah. 

Soetandyo Wignjosoebroto passed away from a stroke on September 2, 2013 in Elizabeth Semarang Hospital. Commemorating his service and ideas, Universitas Airlangga Surabaya Faculty of Social and Political Science founded the Soetandyo Wignjosoebroto Study Center in the three-floor building at the northwest side of the faculty on December 17, 2014. 

The Soetandyo Award was first given in 2015 to national figures who fought for the values of justice or multidisciplinary sciences championed by Soetandyo. 

This year the award was given to Akhol Firdaus M.Pd., M.Ag., the director of the Institute for Javanese Islam Research IAIN Tulungagung, for his service in fighting for religious followers discriminated against. 

Apart from the Soetandyo Award 2019, the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC) certificate is also given to the thirteen Universitas Airlangga Faculty of Social and Political Science departments covering undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral programs. (rp)