Friday, August 15, 2008

Time to reclaim the spirit of Indonesian nationalism

Opinion and Editorial, The Jakarta Post

Al Makin , Heidelberg | Fri, 08/15/2008 10:57 AM | Opinion

During the heyday of awakening Indonesian nationalism leading to the birth of this nation, there were many stories about making compromises. Most of our founding fathers have, in this regard, set excellent examples.

In the process of establishing the foundation upon which this nation was built, they did not compel others to accept a certain ideology. They instead compromised among their many differences.

Those who regarded nationalism as the basic principle in their movement listened to their counterparts -- socialists, religious leaders and communists -- and vice versa. In many meetings and discussions, they always tried to accommodate differing ideologies.

This becomes apparent when we learn what happened during BPUPKI meetings. This Japanese-organized committee for granting independence to Indonesia, which later became the Committee for Indonesian Independence, held meetings in which prominent figures -- such as Muhammad Yamin, Sukarno and Supomo -- formulated the basic principles of Indonesian nationhood. As the story goes, until Indonesia's independence was achieved, a secular state remained the best choice, which most of our leaders agreed with.

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