NU Munas-Konbes as event for finding solutions to public problems
The commitment of NU's people and nationality has been firmly internalized since this organization was founded in 1926. The changing times have not changed this service. Various problems that arise continue to be responded to to find their solutions. This time, when the world, including Indonesia, was faced with the problem of the Covid-19 pandemic, NU held the National Conference of Alim Ulama (Munas) and Nahdlatul Ulama Grand Conference (Konbes) on 25-26 September 2021 to discuss current issues.
In the pre-independence era, NU also fought for Indonesia to become independent. In the formation of the Indonesian state, NU formulated the basis of the state, including agreeing to omit the seven words in the Jakarta Charter to accommodate the diversity of religions in Indonesia; initiating the Jihad Resolution; fighting against DI/TII, PKI, and so on.
When the concept of nationalism is solid enough, there are many issues of state governance that need attention, such as NU's decision to allow women to serve as presidents; allow the death penalty for corruptors, and others. These strategic decisions are discussed in forums at the national level, Munas, Konbes and congress which are the highest organizational forums.
At the opening of the 2021 NU Munas-Konbes held in Jakarta, Saturday, September 25, 2021, KH Said Aqil Siroj said that Indonesia experienced vulnerabilities in the health sector because 94 percent of the need for medical equipment was imported. The pandemic has taught the Indonesian people a lesson that strategic areas related to the livelihoods of many people could not be left to the market mechanism. Indonesia must have internal defense.
NU also reminded the government to reduce the gap in the distribution of health facilities and personnel (doctors/specialist doctors, nurses, and midwives), as well as strengthen the health ecosystem, through pharmacy independence, adding doctors and health workers, capacity of hospitals and health centers, and production of medical equipment.
The Munas consists of various bahtsul masail (problems deliberation) forums that discuss issues that are currently emerging in the community. One global issue discussed is the carbon tax. In addition, the legal issues discussed include the review of Law No. 1/PNPS/1965 on Blasphemy of Religion and the Bill on Alcoholic Drinks. This regulation is important for managing social life. The phenomenon of cryptocurrency which is a new currency in the form of crypto is discussed to provide guidance to the public how to react to it.
The Grand conference (Konbes) is an internal forum that discusses organizational issues, such as how NU faces new opportunities and challenges. As an organization with millions of members, NU's ability to anticipate, face the challenges of the times, and serve the community will have an effect on wider life.
One important issue in the congress this time is when to hold the congress, considering that currently the organization's highest forum has been delayed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are two viewpoints that have emerged, namely the NU management who wants the congress to be held in 2021 while others want it to be held in 2022. Each has supporting arguments. The deliberations between Rais Aam, the general chairman, Katib Aam, and the Secretary General of PBNU in this forum finally decided that this highest NU forum would be held at the end of December 2021.
Another problem is the proposed use of the so-called ahlul halli wal aqdi procedure, namely the procedure for selecting leaders by Muslim scholars who have the capacity and public legitimacy. This procedure has been applied to the election of Rais Aam of syuriyah since the NU 33rd congress in 2015 and was subsequently applied to the election of Rais (chairmen of the advisory board) at the lower level. There is hope for the more application of this method for the election of the general chairman of tanfidziyah in the 2021 congress.
There are dynamics in discussion forums, both bahtsul masail and organization. On one issue, agreement was quickly reached, but on another issue the debate was heated and intense. However, from existing experience, the complexity of the problems faced so far has always been found in a middle way.
What NU is doing is part of its efforts to solve various problems of the people and the nation. NU does not pretend to solve these problems alone. The issue of the people and the nation is a complex one that requires the involvement of many parties. Each side has advantages. NU mainly has the ability to solve socio-religious problems while other parties have their own capabilities; some have technological, funding, security, or other capacity. With complementary synergies, shared goals will achieve maximum results.
In certain fields, NU even gets support from other parties to maximize its potential. NU has many educational institutions, schools and Islamic boarding schools. The contribution of NU in educating the nation through the educational institutions that were established is very large considering that the government is not able to provide all educational facilities for the children of this country. If there is wider support from many parties, then this role can be maximized with better quality education and more quantity of educational facilities spread across the country.
NU has been around for almost a century with experience in navigating various changing times that are sometimes friendly, but often pose big challenges. But all of them have been managed to pass so that until now it has remained the largest Islamic mass organization in the world. It is our responsibility today to maintain this trust and prepare the next generation to carry on this mandate. (Achmad Mukafi Niam)
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq
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