Saturday, December 25, 2010
Indonesian Unity: a Fact or a Myth ?
Indonesia is the fourth most populated countries in the world after China, India and the United States.
Its 240 million people consist of so many different ethnics, culture, religions, living on more than 17,000 islands.
The majority of the people are Moslems therefore making Indonesia the largest Moslem country in the world. However, its laws also officially recognize five other religions i.e. Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Budha, and Confucius.
Besides, Indonesia has an official Coat of Arms i.e. the Garuda (above image) which depicted important basis for the country i.e. Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika.
Pancasila is the official philosophical foundation consisting of five principles i.e Belief in God, Humanity, Unity, Democracy, and Social Justice.
And Bhineka Tunggal Ika is the official Moto of the nation that means : Unity in Diversity.
In spite of the above mentioned facts, some people in Indonesia are seemingly not satisfied with what's going on in the country. There are several possible reasons for that.
First, the development of the country is almost concentrated in the Island of Java where majority of the people live and enjoyed a large portion of the country's wealth.
Secondly, people of minority religions have been treated unfairly, and the government has seemingly reacted indecisively.
For example, attack on Christians churches by few Muslim fanatics might have been prevented if the government firmly decide whether or not to give permission. And further attacks would not occurred if the attackers have properly been tried in court and punished for violating the laws.
Considering that most Moslems in Indonesia are moderates who have tolerated religious differences for 65 years since our independence, I hope that the government would make better efforts to maintain the diversity, and be more firm quick in handling problems related to diversity, so that Indonesian Unity would always be a fact of life.
To those who are celebrating Christmas, I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.
Photo of Garuda : Courtesy of Wikipedia.