A Analysis Into Indonesian History, Highlighting The Pancasila Document Modern History Essay

1735 words - 7 pages

Sukarno and the Pancasila Document
Pancasila was referred to by Indonesian society as the formulation of a traditional philosophy of life thus the implementation of such a document was politically and socially significant. The reintroduction of the Pancasila document that highlighted the importance of national unity, the belief in one god, democracy and social justice in the 1945 Indonesian Constitution was due to the aspirations of political leader Sukarno. These five principles were classified as the embodiment of the newly established and independent Republic of Indonesia, however, the extent to which Sukarno and his government were able to implement these ideals is questionable as supported by his inability to provide stability, unity and equality to Indonesian society.
Establishing a sense of national identity and unity within Indonesian society is the first key principle that is highlighted and addressed by the Pancasila document. Unity had only been achieved twice before in Indonesian history in the empires of Sriwidjaja, which reigned from the 17th to the 13th century, and Madjapahit, from the 13th to the 15th century (Dahm, 1966). Since the late 18th Century, western colonial rule has dominated Indonesia’s economic and political arena as a result of external aggressors such as the Dutch and Japanese. These two powerful nations searched for opportunities to exploit Indonesia for its resources, such as oil and food supplies alongside forced labour of lower to middle class citizens. Such colonial rule saw severe poverty and hunger overpower Indonesian society causing significant pressure to be applied to the government (Indonesian Investments, 2016). Concerned with Indonesia’s economic, social and political stability, Sukarno and his government strived to eradicate imperialist and feudal remnants of Dutch and Japanese rule that remained prominent in society and endeavoured to continue the fight against these external western aggressors (Legge, 1972). By proclaiming such actions, Sukarno aspired for the unification of all Indonesian people as aggressive colonial western influences would be extracted from all economic, social and political aspects of Indonesian society therefore allowing a sense of independence to be created. In order to achieve unity of all Indonesian people, Sukarno and his government believed that the states borders should begin from Sabang, an island located off Aceh, and end at Meruke in Irian. Sukarno supported this thought and action by referring to early European thinkers Ernest Renan and Otto Bauer who stated, ‘Even a small child, when he looks at the map, can see that the Indonesian archipelago forms a unit’. Sukarno and his government also proclaimed for the takeover of Irian which, as they believed, would promote nationalist sentiment. After announcing such changes, immediate hostile responses arose from Ambon, a majority pro-Dutch population, who desired to be independent from the Republic of Indonesia. This...

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