Commemorating Indonesia Independence Day: Facing Intolerance as a New Mode of Colonizer

In its 66 years old, Indonesia still has many tasks waiting to be finished immediately. Economic, deforestation, mining, and other national problems may be part of the tasks. But, there still remaining one task that absolutely seems heavy to be cleared: problem of pluralism in Indonesia.

Two days before Indonesia commemorates its independence day, Serang court gave verdict regarding Cikeusik case and then punished for six months prison for Deden Sudjana from Ahmadi sect. As a comparison, 12 peoples who were clearly engaged in conducting violence only got 3-6 months. Thus, he should bear punishment that is absolutely lighter than several people from the violence conductor side.

Another case can be clearly seen in Ramadhan month nowadays. Even though FPI had given their word for not using violence at Ramadhan month several days before Moslems conducted their fasting, reality said the opposite when FPI should using violence in Makassar against food stall that still opened at afternoon. Furthermore, this tragedy can also potentially happen in Jakarta as several news reported.

Thus a question does rise: when injustice clearly happened in Cikeusik case and people with more power can easily using violence in as much as they tend to do so, how can Indonesia’s independence be conceived as a full freedom?

Talking about Pancasila
At first, Pancasila was conceptualized with principle “Believe in the one and only God” in order to build Indonesia not just based upon nationality, humanity, deliberation, and also social welfare but also to make the independence of Indonesia according to every person’s principle of religion.

Soekarno, at that time, realized that actually Indonesia is enveloped by diverse circumstance, especially in religion. Thus, in his speech regarding Pancasila, he emphasized that among religions that exist in Indonesia, one principle should be a prerequisite: respectful upon other. He noted that it is important for Indonesians to become a civilized people in this matter. Thus, it is absolutely wrong to be egoistic and doing domination upon others based upon Soekarno idea.

When Pancasila would be fully applied as Indonesia basis, a clash happened regarding this principle. There were several groups who supports for using “with the obligation for its Muslim adherents to carry out the Sharia law” and the rest did not give any. The clash actually brought Indonesia independence became unstable. Many regions, especially those are located on East Indonesia, really wanted to release themselves from the unity of Indonesia if the principle was really applied since they felt the principle was used for making Indonesia to become a one-religious country.

Finally, after several debates, it was agreed the words were not to be used and the principle never depicts any religious tendentious for only supporting one religion until now. The principle then does exist as a binding for guarding pluralism with Indonesia slogan”Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (United in Diversity).

Soekarno might be very sad if he could live in Indonesia nowadays. It is not just about the dependence of Indonesia’s economic system or any others factors. But, more important, the principle, which had been admirably explained for more than sixty-six years ago, has been successfully altered and not fully yet applied nowadays.

There is no respectful manner against minority. Nationality then is only an emblem that can no longer bind Indonesians in diversity. Humanity and deliberation have also been neglected under the domination circumstance.

Resurrection of the values
Hence, it is clear that actually Indonesia has lost its essence in toleration though it has been fully explained by Indonesia first president, Mr Soeakrno. Intolerance action nowadays seems become another mode of colonialism since it can potentially split the unity of Indonesia. Thus, in commemorating Indonesia Independence Day, what is important is to rebuild Indonesia toleration and to make Indonesia gets its true essence of independence.

Deliberation without domination is needed in order to make a bridge between difference views in diverse circumstance. This idea was strictly underlined by Soekarno in his speech regarding Pancasila. He based it upon the term of deliberation and democracy that would be a part of Pancasila.

This concept thus has been also shared by Jurgen Habermas by his concept of deliberative democracy. Furthermore, he also adds some regulations and one thing that very important is there is no domination in disseminating one view.
This value that actually Indonesia lacks of that makes intolerance can easily gnaw from inside. It can be clearly seen in injustice case against minority and also FPI that can easily raid food stall and also Ahmadis house in Ramadhan month. Deliberation in Indonesia thus never detaches itself from harsh domination.

This value then has to be resurrected immediately. Domination should be erased by the appearance of law enforcer and justice should be built properly to accommodate people fairly regardless their background.

In this sixty-six years independence day, Indonesia still has to suffer intolerance action that actually has been a long problem since the birth of democracy. But Soekarno said that independence is just a way for achieving a better life in a nation. Thus, by being independence and get free from outer colonizer, it is imperative for Indonesia to escalate its toleration by applying deliberation properly and building justice fairly. This is done in order to prevent Indonesia from its new mode kind of colonizer, namely the intolerance circumstance and finally to achieve total independence of Indonesia in its true essence.

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The Ramadhan Paradox in Indonesia

Ramadhan month is always exalted by Muslims across the world as a month for cleaning their own heart; since in this month they have to do fasting means to reduce their desire for eating, drinking, and sexual conduct. Unfortunately, there is one desire that seems very hard to remove: a desire for doing violence and harsh action.

Even though the desire is not conducted by all Muslims, it has successfully given Ramadhan month an opposite essence. It can be clearly seen by what had been done by FPI in Makassar when they did raid upon a restaurant that opened in Ramadhan. What does make it worse is several days ago they vowed to not conduct any harsh action. Another case can be seen in Aceh when Sharia police had to arrest three men for buying food.

The month is then no longer considered as a month full of grace and peace; instead it is the month when extremist can do more harsh action in the name of religion in order to establish the ”true” Ramadhan and many people haunted. Is the condition above really expected and should happen regularly in Ramadhan?

The essence of fasting
A question does rise here: what is the truly essence of fasting in Ramadhan month? Is it true that the aim is to only reduce of flesh desire?

Whatever religion that is used as a basis for conducting fasting, the essence of fasting is never altered absolutely. There will always the same ground where every kind of fasting places its own root. And the ground is fasting is essential for doing reflection. Thus another question does rise: why fasting should be a moment for reflection?

What does lack now is the truly essence for rebuilding one soul to be a better person, not only for himself and religion, but in a broader sense: for their surrounding society. Thus, fasting is a moment for doing a reflection. Have I done something useful for society or on the other hand, had only always done something useless and harsh? That is the question that actually should be answered by those who are conducting fasting.

What is actually conducted in fasting is thus not merely to reduce flesh desire. Furthermore, it is also about how people can control themselves properly. And this can be measured not through them alone; instead through how they treat other. If fasting can only bring hatred feeling toward other especially with using violence, it can be no longer considered as fasting. Fasting in this respect is only appearance. It looks like fasting at outer shell but tainted inside.

Unfortunately, this “appearance” fasting is regularly repeated in Indonesia. Extremist can easily tear down night club, massage house, and other night entertainment place, even restaurant that opens in afternoon. In their view, this kind of activity can defile Ramadhan month. But, is there anyone who can precisely determine the level of purity of Ramadhan month? What is more expected: fasting with harshness and violence upon other or doing fasting with bringing peace with other?

Problem of regulation
Another important issue beside the essence of Ramadhan, which actually lost in the hand of those who conduct violence, is regulation. In Indonesia, many regions regulate that in the Ramadhan month, night entertainment must stop their activities and restaurants should also do the same thing but in more limited times, namely in morning until evening.

This regulation undoubtedly raises many protests since it is considered to give significant contribution to their income depreciation since not every Indonesian conduct fasting so actually they can still earn money in fasting month.
Another reason is raised by people who work at such working house since they have to also suffer lower income, even do not earn money any longer because they cannot work as usual.

Economy thus has become another problem in Ramadhan month.
Hence, what should be done is making a regulation that can compromise with both sides. On one side, the regulation can provide Muslims for conducting their fasting and on the other, it has to also welcome with restaurant and night club business that provides economy condition for several people.

One thing that should be done regarding the regulation is through a win-win solution. Restaurant can operate in Ramadhan month but with some limits that absolutely constraints their appearance in public. This kind of regulation is implicitly applied by many food stalls by using curtain for closing their stall so outer people cannot directly see what is inside.

Regarding night club, what is imperative to be regulated is about operational time. Absolutely closing them in Ramadhan month is considered as a one-sided policy. Thus, regulating their operational time is necessary. These steps can be used as a win-win solution.

Another accentuation should be placed regarding law enforcer role in Ramadhan month. What makes the above problem worse is, as thejakartaglobe.com reported, that police there just gave his concentration upon the traffic jam.

In the future, this kind of harsh domination should be avoided in order to make hard-line mass organizations do not violate the Indonesia constitution. In this respect that law enforcer should have more power to avoid harsh action done in Ramadhan month.
These several steps actually can be applied in every Ramadhan in order to not make fasting a mere appearance of reducing flesh desire act and in reality the soul is not treated properly. What make Ramadhan month purer are not about how many food stalls and night clubs that can be successfully closed down. If those things are always used as a parameter then Ramadhan is always to about appearance.

Going Abroad and Appreciation

Several appreciations will be granted upon whom does really deserve. But, what are the criteria those are actually applied in this respect?

In several cases, many different modes of criteria will be applied. Amid the differences, what I try to criticize is the mode when people can be appreciated just because they have money for doing the “acknowledged as proud” deed.

People may think that I am an envy person since I never have much money for achieving such accomplishments. But, whatever they thought about me let them try to consider what I try to explain below. If their final conclusion still makes me become hated, then I will let people to bear carefully in their mind that I am not that kind of person. But, it is again up to them.

I am actually confused with several appreciations those are granted upon them who can easily achieve something by money. I will take one example: for joining in an international organization, I firstly have to pay several amounts of money.
After joining in, I then can go abroad in order to make socialization with people across the world and doing some projects. And then, I can go back to my motherland and sharing some interesting stories in front of people. And some people will say: “I thought that you are very great since you can build up an international relation with other people.”

Furthermore, this kind of people will be granted some appreciations by several organizations just because they can go abroad and thus bear the Indonesia upon their shoulder.

What I try to explain in this real example is not to show how dull they who can go abroad. I never try to do this. As a free person, we can also freely choose what suits us the best. As Kierkegaard noted that people actually live in the sea of choices so to live is to choose. As long as they consider what have been done is useful, I try not to make justification that they have done something wrong.

My criticism comes when several organizations will grant this people. Why should it be criticized? Firstly, in case of going abroad. Indonesians do often think that going abroad is a private prestige. It can lift up their reputation among their peers. What I thought here is not merely shared by me.

I have talked to woman who has concern upon sexuality and woman affair. In our conversation, she once said about Indonesian workers who are often tortured. She said that what should be done actually was to alter the paradigm that going abroad was your prestige. She found many cases of Indonesian worker try to go abroad just because prestige. “They can do anything better in their country without has to suffer any torture.” That was what she said to me.

Bearing Indonesia upon their shoulder cannot also be used as a valid consideration since all Indonesians are doing the same but in contrast condition since there are several people who do not make any intensive contact with abroad people. Hence, it is imperative to bear in mind that actually in daily life behavior, Indonesians will always be monitored by other Indonesians and even outer people. Hence, to bear Indonesia is actually a daily life duty that should be bore by every Indonesian. Is it not a paradox when we know that people can be a good person with abroad people and doing the opposite unto the fellow peers? How can it be named except the mode of faking?

Secondly, the criticism comes from money that is used for going abroad. Is it true that the money comes from their daily and continuous effort or it is only a grant from their parent? If the money is only a gift, a further question does rise here: is it true that people who have not enough money for joining in several organizations and thus cannot going abroad to bear Indonesia in international circumstance cannot receive any kind of appreciation? I thought there is a false logic here.

If this kind of consideration is always applied, then there will be no room absolutely for appreciation upon people who are misfortune in financial condition even though it is often happened that the effort that is made by this kind of people is greater than the fortune one. But, their effort is never appreciated just because it is not an external effort.

It is always questionable then for granting “the fortune” people just because their advantageous circumstances. Nobody can choose in what kind of family that they will be born and poor upon the misfortune since they cannot receive any appreciation if this kind of criteria is always applied.

Hence, in my consideration, it is imperative for people to just not appreciate other just because they can go abroad. Moreover, it is done not by their truly effort. I do not blame if the appreciation that is given has a valid criterion and will be a contingent for granting it upon them who can go abroad. But, taking for granted assumption that people who can go abroad are better than the rest is absolutely a false one.

There are many people who have given their best effort so they truly deserve for the appreciation. Taking as an example: I have one friend who can go abroad not because she has much money for paying accommodation and visa. She loves to dance and this activity that actually has delivered her unto some countries. I think that actually this kind of people that should be fully appreciated. It is only by her talent then she can go abroad for dancing. In this respect that I will say that people are really deserve to be appreciated.