TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Founder of Pendiri GAYa Nusantara, Dede Oetomo, said that he was a student of Benedict Anderson when he took South East Asia Study in Linguistics at Cornell University in 1978-1984.
“He was my advisor during my dissertation,” said Dede on Sunday, December 13
Ben, a genius, is far from being a strict lecturer. “He always had a solution,” said dede.
Ben also often invited his students to dine at his home in Slaterville, 5 kilometers away from Cornel University, New York. “We often came and partied at his place,” he said.
Dede was still got in touch with his former lecturer. He had met Ben in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand and in Surabaya in 2002. “Classroom was so crowded when students of Social and Political Science in Airlangga University attending his lecture and listening to his stories.”
“I learned a lot from him; his dedication. He was banned for 27 years from entering Indonesia.”
Due to his critics on New Order governance, Ben was deported and banned to entering Indonesia. According to Dede, Ben had had to start from zero by learning about Thailand, “but his first love was always Indonesia,” he added.
The professor passed away in a hotel in Batu, Malang, on Saturday December 12.
ARTIKA RACHMI FARMITA