The Rise and Fall of CGMI: A Story of Student Activism in Indonesia

In the tumultuous political landscape of 1960s Indonesia, student activism played a crucial role in shaping the country’s future. Among the myriad of student organizations, one stood out for its unique blend of ideologies and its impact on the political scene: Consentrasi Gerakan Mahasiswa Indonesia (CGMI).

Founded in 1956, CGMI emerged from the merger of three regional student groups: Consentratie Mahasiswa Jogya, Consentratie Mahasiswa Bandung, and Consentratie Mahasiswa Indonesia Bogor. Initially focused on opposing the widespread practice of hazing during student orientation, CGMI quickly evolved into a politically charged organization advocating for student rights and social change.

At its peak, CGMI boasted a membership of 17,000 students and gained recognition as a communist-leaning but progressive organization. Its alliance with the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) and support for President Sukarno’s policies made it a formidable force in Indonesian politics. CGMI’s involvement in the Perhimpunan Mahasiswa Indonesia (PPMI) further solidified its position as a key player in the student movement.

However, CGMI’s fortunes took a dramatic turn in the aftermath of the G30S coup attempt in 1965. Accused of being involved in the coup, CGMI faced intense scrutiny and backlash from anti-communist forces. Pressure mounted as students demanded the dissolution of CGMI and the expulsion of its members linked to the coup.

On November 1, 1965, CGMI was officially banned, marking the end of an era of student activism that had challenged the status quo and pushed for change in Indonesia. Despite its eventual demise, CGMI’s legacy lives on as a symbol of the power of student movements in shaping the course of history.