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Pancasila, the Basis or the Pilar of the State?

Commentary 30.05.2013
When the founders of Indonesia gathered and formulated the basis and principles of the nation towards the independence, they thought hard how to blend the diversities in cultures, customs and beliefs of the people in this country.  Besides, the founding fathers also thought hard to formulate an important element of diversity with mutual respect and appreciate individual differences. As the results of the formulation, emerged Pancasila, or five basic principles of Indonesia whose term was echoed by Ir Sukarno on June 1, 1945. Actually the content is not much different from with what Muhammad Yamin, one of the founding fathers, had been proposed. However, after the Old Order era was replaced by the new Order in the early 1970s, and until the fall of the New Order government of President Suharto on 21 May 1998 which led to the Reformation era, the existence of Pancasila is now in question. Is it still necessary? Amid the spirit of absolute freedom that carried by the supporters of reformation.


In this current era of reform, freedom has been the main object of trade along with human rights and western-style democracy has colored almost every corner of the Indonesian life. Now everything which is connected to Pancasila are being kept away. Moreover, there is a discourse that Pancasila is not longer the basis or pillars of the nation. Then, if Pancasila is no longer the basis of the nation, what is the basis of the nation and state of Indonesia? In relation to the discourse, the professor of the Faculty of Law, University of Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Prof. Dr. Endang Sumiarni MG insists the Indonesian people to do not close their eyes, ears and conscience of the evidence of history, law and culture which has been implicitly or explicitly put Pancasila as the basis of Indonesia.  In the documents of Cultural Dialogue to formulate the Blueprint of National Cultural Development, on the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture which took place in Medan, January 31, 2012, it is stated that Pancasila is the basis not the pillars of the nation. Because there are many things contained in Pancasila, like local wisdom, the noble values and cultures of Indonesia.

It cannot be denied that during the New Order era, there had been a sacralization of Pancasila and the wrong embodiment by the regime at that time to maintain its power. Actually there is nothing wrong with Pancasila, it is those who practice it are wrong. The conflict that is now being spread in the community, in the circles of power, and politics often occurs because people have forgotten how to respect and appreciate the differences in both socio-cultural beliefs and tradition. Currently, with the temporal power of a person or group, all of the impossible and cannot happen, is possible to happen. In the name of freedom, human rights, the majority votes,  people in power tend to obscure the local wisdom, noble values, mutual assistance, equitable and civilized humanity, and deliberation and consensus which have been exist in Indonesia hundreds of years ago.

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