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Jakarta Post

Reimagining the state ideology Pancasila?

  • Michael O'Shannassy

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 18 2009   /  01:54 pm

Recently, Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta hosted the 2nd International Yale Indonesia Forum, the title of which was "Pancasila's Contemporary Appeal: Re-Legitimizing Indonesia's Founding Ethos". The central questions of this conference implied that the degree to which Pancasila remained relevant in contemporary Indonesia largely hinged upon its continuing ability to counter the effects of potentially centrifugal forces, such as religion and ethnicity. However, is this enough? Can such an instrumental relationship suffice in order for Pancasila to assume its place as one of the primary foundations of what it means to be an Indonesian? In short, what is, or rather, what can be the relationship between Pancasila and national identity in contemporary Indonesia? The goal of any government or regime is to render itself the primary source of authority, ideally legiti...