Tuesday marked the 38th anniversary of what must be one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in history. That is the claim that sadistic communists would have taken over Indonesia and made it a Chinese lackey if it were not for a quick-thinking general named Suharto and some other generals, who uncovered the communists' plot and launched a massive anti-communist purge. Suharto, then a little-known figure, claimed that six leading generals and a lieutenant were killed by members of the September 30th movement, members of the communist party who were planning to take over the country. But, to this day, it is not clear who killed the generals - whether it was the communists or someone else planning a takeover. But the aborted communist coup is still remembered throughout Indonesia with a mixture of fear and a sense of victory - that the Communist Party, which at the time was the largest outside China, was defeated. What is generally not mentioned, or even known, in this grim nationalistic remembrance day is that the victory was one of Asia's most bloody moments - between half a million to a million people were slaughtered. Many were just landless farmers, teachers and labourers attracted to the communists by their promises of equal distribution of land and wealth. It was enough just to be named as a communist to be killed or sent to prison. And they were slaughtered not just by the armed forces, but by civilians with the help of the largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulema. By rights, the mere mention of Nahdlatul Ulema or the armed forces, who brutally slaughtered hundreds of thousands of civilians in a matter of months, should send a shudder down Indonesians' spines. But to this day, many Indonesians from one end of the archipelago to the other still fear communists - the embodiment of evil and cruelty. Relatives of the former communists, however, are starting to speak up and protest the harsh treatment they received: they were denied jobs in the civil service and military and generally ostracised because everyone feared being associated with communists. Indonesia's Metro-TV is showing a special this week on how many of the alleged communists were not in fact party members. One woman, the ideologically named Ribka Tjiptaning Proletariati, has released a book titled I'm Proud to be the Daughter of a Communist Party Member. Ms Ribka's father, a Javanese aristocrat and communist party regional secretary, disappeared during the purge. She is campaigning for children of the Communist Party members to have their parents' reputations restored, and heads an organisation trying to research the events of 1965. But attempts to examine what really happened are still being opposed by Muslim leaders and politicians. Vice-President Hamzah Haz, from the Muslim PPP party, called for the book to be banned. Parliament this year voted against overturning a law outlawing the communist party.