Pancasila, the ideology of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia with its five principles, was born on June 1, 1945, proposed by our founding father, Bung Karno (Sukarno) at the end of the Japanese occupation. It was included in the preamble of the 1945 Constitution and endorsed by the Independence Preparatory Committee on Aug. 18, 1945.
Along with the time-honored adage Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity) and the Constitution, Pancasila proved a great guardian of the nation in its struggle and eventual victory over Dutch colonizers wishing to restore their power in the wake of Japan's loss to the Allied Forces.
Defeated by Gen. Sudirman's guerrilla warfare and sustaining their diplomatic loss in the UN Security Council, the Dutch were forced out of the country in 1949 leaving a time bomb - the Dutch-devised Indonesian United States or RIS - and remaining in West Irian (now Papua).
Pancasila, however, could promptly get rid of the RIS, a product of the Dutch- sponsored Round Table Conference in The Hague, the Netherlands. Later, Bung Karno made a historic appeal to the nation to be united and carry on the struggle for the liberation of West Irian from Dutch rule. In 1962, the Dutch were driven out of their last stronghold.
Today, Pancasila has been considerably relegated. The Soeharto regime utilized Pancasila to strengthen its authoritarian rule and misled the nation in order to serve the neocapitalists.
Allergic to Soeharto, the People's Consultative Assembly under Amien Rais (from the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association/ICMI) revoked the Assembly's previous decree on the Pancasila comprehension guide. Amien even had the idea of turning Indonesia into a federal state.
During the presidency of Habibie, his liberal political system prompted him to annul the stipulation on Pancasila as the sole principle of every organization. This revocation gave room to the adoption of other ideologies, particularly religions-based principles.
And thus Pancasila has since tended to lose its common-platform position in political life. It is now our duty to restore Pancasila to its original position by following the motto: "Religion yes, religious parties no."
Soeharto Fa Hien