Her love of reading, browsing the internet, and observing the social condition have inspired Asa Firda Inayah, 18, to put her thoughts into writing on her Facebook account. The writing of the student from SMA Negeri 1 Gambiran high school in Banyuwangi, East Java, turned out to be liked by her friends. These even went viral on the social media and shared by ten of thousands of people. Although her articles have create pros and cons, or get bullied, but these are no problem for Afi, as long as her message of peace has ben delivered.
“I’m happy if there’s response, whether pros and cons, that means the goal of my writing has been achieved. We don’t have to think the same, but let’s think together,” said Afi when invited as speaker in a Talkshow themed ‘I’m Indonesia, I’m Pancasila’ hosted by Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM in the library of the Faculty on Monday (29/5).
Afi’s writings send the message of diversity and plurality. She asked people to maintain such diversity and plurality despite their race, religion, or skin colour. Her articles are popular and easy to understand, thus attracting the interest of many people. She now has over half a million followers. Afi did not expect that her works would be praised by netizens.
Even so, Afi did not feel she is the smartest nor the truest of all. What she had written was a form of her concerns to respond to the diversity issue that has gone fierce these days. “But the point remains the same, that we have to live in harmony as a nation,” she said.
In the talkshow moderated by a lecturer in Politics and Government studies, Dr. Abdul Gaffar Karim, Afi recounted she was born in a modest family. Living in South Banyuwangi and enjoying her life presently, she was thankful her parents did not ban her from writing on social media.
Afi said she started writing since last year despite her Facebook account had started earlier in 2012. Initially, she wrote her thoughts on her small cellular phone. After her writings went viral, a lecturer in Jakarta bought her a smartphone that cost Rp600 thousand. “I was given this mobile phone by a lecturer,” she smiled.
On the issue of nationhood, Afi has the opinion that diversity is a blessing if we are mature enough in responding to it. “Diversity will be a threat to us if we cannot respond to it rightly. The right thing to do is we must not show that we are the truest and the best among people,” she explained.
Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, Dr. Erwan Agus Purwanto, appreciates Afi’s writings on social media that raise the issues of diversity and Pancasila. In his opinion, managing diversity is our shared responsibility as a nation.