Pancasila, as the nation’s ideology, has faced various challenges over time. This unifying instrument of the nation needs to be reaffirmed through the cultivation of Pancasila’s principles.
In order to rekindle the sense of unity and Pancasila values, the Pancasila Ideology Education Agency, in collaboration with the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, organized an event titled “Pancasila Ideology Education through Dialogue and Pancasila Action: Cooperation in Building a Just Society” on Monday, August 28.
“Before uniting, Indonesia consisted of small kingdoms. So, the proclamation was the first unifying act on Earth that liberated at least 57 countries,” said the agency’s head, Professor Yudian Wahyudi.
“World War II was still ongoing at that time. The world was divided into liberal-capitalist and socialist groups. Then, Pancasila emerged on its own.”
He emphasized that the nation’s founders did not arbitrarily formulate Pancasila. However, the number of educated individuals was very limited at that time.
“We were colonized for 142 years, so why did we always lose when we fought? Firstly, Indonesia is a vast country, so when one kingdom was at war with the Netherlands, other kingdoms couldn’t interfere,” Professor Wahyudi added.
“We also lost in terms of military technology back then. When the Dutch had advanced weapons, our heroes still used kris (traditional dagger), machetes, etc. This is a side of history that we must appreciate, how strong we were when we united as a nation.”
The younger generation is currently exposed to other ideologies due to technological advancement. Renewal of Pancasila values is needed and must be cultivated within society.
The implementation of Pancasila ideology is reflected in the state system, cultural norms, and social norms. This is embodied in the spirit of cooperation, a distinctive characteristic of Indonesian society.
As a concrete example, Professor Suratman of the UGM Faculty of Geography explained the Srikandi Sungai Indonesia program and its contribution to society.
“Settlements along the river were a concern for us. Many less fortunate people had many children, and it was challenging. Furthermore, settlements made the river dirty because people threw their trash there,” Professor Suratman said.
“We, from UGM, have the Srikandi Sungai program. Its main goal is to educate and campaign for the importance of environmental preservation, especially the rivers.”
The program educates about rivers and provides free education to children living in riverbank settlements, teaching them to read, write, and count. The environmental geoscience expert also explained how Srikandi Sungai educates children about the environment and waste.
“Educating those less fortunate is more challenging. They struggle to figure out what they will eat tomorrow. They can’t consider the environment if their basic needs aren’t met. This is what we are trying to campaign for,” Professor Suratman said.
Kalis Mardiasih, a writer and gender activist, also agreed on renewing Pancasila values.
“Times are continuously changing, so there needs to be adaptation. One of the things we are fighting for is preventing child marriage. Various regions in Indonesia still have cultures and traditions that force their children into marriage at a young age,” Mardiasih said.
“Preserving Indonesian culture is necessary, but these cases need reconsidering. Especially if such cultures result in violence and rape.”
She explained that Indonesia has the second highest rate of child marriage in ASEAN. This figure is indeed very concerning, especially due to the absence of government intervention in such cases.
According to the writer, the struggle for equal rights for women and children is still a long way to go. That’s why unity is essential to advocate for equality among vulnerable groups.
Pancasila was formulated to embrace the rights of all Indonesian citizens. Therefore, efforts to preserve Pancasila are essential. It must be understood, internalized, and implemented through contributions that benefit the nation and the state.