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Pancasila-Shariah-And the Indonesian State

Pancasila-Shariah-And the Indonesian State

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Published by Dodik Ariyanto
At the occasion of ‘Peringatan Hari Lahir Pancasila’—the Commemoration of the Birth of Pancasila held on the 1st of June 2011, Indonesian President and Former Presidents delivered speech to remind Indonesians of the significance of the state’s ‘secular’ constitution within which Pancasila is the only soul. This occasion is extremely important especially because there has been a national concern about the relevance of Pancasila as the ideology of the contemporary Indonesian state, marked among others by the re-emergence of Negara Islam Indonesia—Indonesian Islamic State (NII) within the Indonesian territory. This scientific essay is, therefore, aimed to provide readers with an academic perspective on the Indonesian constitution and its relations to the State, through which readers are expected to have a kind of understanding on why Pancasila and Shari’a (the Islamic ideology) are always becoming competing rivals across the Indonesian history.
At the occasion of ‘Peringatan Hari Lahir Pancasila’—the Commemoration of the Birth of Pancasila held on the 1st of June 2011, Indonesian President and Former Presidents delivered speech to remind Indonesians of the significance of the state’s ‘secular’ constitution within which Pancasila is the only soul. This occasion is extremely important especially because there has been a national concern about the relevance of Pancasila as the ideology of the contemporary Indonesian state, marked among others by the re-emergence of Negara Islam Indonesia—Indonesian Islamic State (NII) within the Indonesian territory. This scientific essay is, therefore, aimed to provide readers with an academic perspective on the Indonesian constitution and its relations to the State, through which readers are expected to have a kind of understanding on why Pancasila and Shari’a (the Islamic ideology) are always becoming competing rivals across the Indonesian history.

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Published by: Dodik Ariyanto on Jun 02, 2011
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PANCASILA VERSUS SHARI’A IN THE INDONESIAN STATE
Dodik Ariyanto, Ph.D.
1
At the occasion of ‘
Peringatan Hari Lahir Pancasila’ 
—the Commemoration of the Birth of Pancasila held on the 1
st
of June 2011, Indonesian President andFormer Presidents delivered speech to remind Indonesians of the significanceof the state’s ‘secular’ constitution within which Pancasila is the only soul. Thisoccasion is extremely important especially because there has been a nationalconcern about the relevance of Pancasila as the ideology of the contemporaryIndonesian state, marked among others by the re-emergence of 
Negara IslamIndonesia—
Indonesian Islamic State (NII) within the Indonesian territory. Thisscientific essay is, therefore, aimed to provide readers with an academicperspective on the Indonesian constitution and its relations to the State,through which readers are expected to have a kind of understanding on whyPancasila and Shari’a (the Islamic ideology) are always becoming competingrivals across the Indonesian history. Some questions taken into account at thepreliminary stage include: How was the Indonesian Constitution formulated,and under what circumstances did this formulation take place? If Pancasila isconsidered as the foundation of the Indonesian state, does this have theminimum requirement to ensure the stability of this structure? How, from theperspective of this ideology, is the state supposed to exist and behave? Doesthe Indonesian State always behave in accordance with principles conveyedin this ideology, or does it tend to violate them? How does the Pancasila-based Constitution cope with different situations in the Indonesian politicaldynamic?Detailed answers to these questions could be very lengthy and unattainableunless a “clue” is found that gives clarity to the enigma of whether thePancasila ideology adopted by Indonesia serves to strengthen the state, or 
1
The writer is a public servant, working at the office of State Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta
 
does it tend to bring about instability. To start with, two basic ideas of the stateare presumed to have had a great impact in the formulation of the Indonesianideology and Constitution: the ‘
raison d’etre’ 
of 
 
the Indonesian nation which isthe concept frequently called ‘Nationalism’,
2
and the social setting of theIndonesian state.
The ground for state Constitution: Disunited Nationalism
versus
the“Unity in Diversity”
Some Western scholars who focus on Indonesian nationalism seem to sharethe views that Indonesia had no real root of nationalism in the pre-twentiethcentury period. Benedict Anderson for example, had grave doubts thatnationalism existed in the past by saying: “
If one studies its brief global history, one can say that it (Nationalism) is not something inherited from theancient past, but is rather a ‘common project’ for the present and the future
(Anderson, 1999, p.2). Therefore, in Anderson’s view, nationalism should notbe associated in a direct way with State. He provided the argument that theIndonesian state existed long before the notion of nationalism had even beenconceived by saying that “
The genealogy of the state in Indonesia goes back to early seventeenth century Batavia. Its continuity is quite apparent eventhough the stretch of its territory increased vastly overtime.…………….Furthermore, we should always bear in mind that in it last days, during the1930s, 90 percent--I repeat 90 percent--of its officials were ‘natives’. Therewere of course some changes--extrusions and additions--during therevolution, but for the greater part the personnel of the young Republic’s statewas continues with that of the colonial state. The first post-1950 parliament was also full of former collaborators with colonialism and the new Republicanarmy also included plenty of soldiers and officers who had fought against theRepublic during the Revolution
” (Anderson, 1999, p.2).
2
History about the Indonesian nationalism can be found in some excellent studies such as:KAHIN, G. M. (1952)
 Nationalism and revolution in Indonesia. ,
Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell UniversityPress.; BENDA, H. J. (1958)
The crescent and the rising sun : Indonesian Islam under the Japaneseoccupation, 1942-1945. ,
The Hague, Van Hoeve.; ABDULGANI, R. (1973)
 Nationalism, Revolution,and Guided Democracy in Indonesia
, Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University.
2
 
Anderson’s ‘pre-modern’ position is supported by other scholars, includingEmmerson. However, despite his agreement on the significance of the past,Emmerson was more direct in rejecting the existence of Indonesian pre-Independence nationalism by stating “
Indonesia was state before it became anation. In consequence, rather than the nation straightforwardly growing astate through which to organize itself, the Indonesian nation has been called into being by—and substantially for—a pre-existing state
” (Emmerson, 2005,p.8-9).In addition, another perspective about this issue is worthy of inclusion. OnAugust 1945, a few days after the declaration of defeat by the Japaneseduring the Pacific War, Sukarno and others declared the birth of theIndonesian state - historically marking their action with a document containinga brief statement later known as
Naskah Proklamasi 1945 
3
:
Kami, Bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menyatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.Hal-hal yang mengenai pemindahan kekuasaan, d.l.l. diselenggarakandengan cara seksama dan dalam tempo yang sesingkat-singkatnya.Jakarta, 17-8-1945  Atas nama bangsa Indonesia(Signed) Sukarno-Hatta----------------
“We, the Indonesian people
4
herebydeclare the independence of Indonesia. Matters concerning the transfer of power, etc., will be carried out in a conscientious manner and as speedily aspossible.Jakarta, 17 August 1945.In the name of the people of Indonesia,[signed] Sukarno-Hatta” (Ricklefs, 1981, p.198).
Observing this text from a literal perspective, at least two important pointsstand out:
The first 
is that the new state called Indonesia was declared by anation named “
Bangsa Indonesia
”---the Indonesian Nation;
the second 
is thatSukarno, Hatta, or whoever were involved in this milestone (those most likelyconsidered as the “project-makers”) were declaring themselves to be actingon behalf of that nation. At least for Sukarno and his circle, Indonesiannationalism pre-existed the state and not vice-versa.
3
The text was collectively drafted by Sukarno, Hatta, and Ahmad Subarjo. Other individualssuch as Sayuti Melik. BM Diah, Sukarni, and Sudiro were present but admittedly didn’t contribute onthe drafting of the text. See: HATTA, M. (1969)
Sekitar Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945,
Jakarta,Tintamas.
4
Ricklefs translates the Indonesian word “Bangsa” into English as ”People”, whereas in thiscontext Indonesians would rather use the word “Nation” instead of “People”. This needs to be clarifiedas in certain circumstance, especially for an analytical objective, “People” is not parallel with “Nation”.
3

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