Pancasila is the philosophical foundation of the State. The term “Pancasila” comes from Sanskrit: “Panca” means “Five”, and “sila” means “Principle”.
Pancasila comprises five inseparable and interrelated principles. They are:
1. Belief in the One and Only God
2. Just and Civilized Humanity
3. The Unity of Indonesia
4. Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom in the Unaminity Arising out of Deliberations amongst Representatives
5. Social Justice for All Indonesian People
Elaboration of the five principles is as follows:
1) Belief in the One and Only God
This principle of Pancasila reaffirms the Indonesian peoples’ belief that God does exist. It believes in life after death. It emphasizes the pursuit of sacred values will lead the people to a better life in the hereafter. The principle is embodied in article 29, Section 1 of the 1945 Constitution and reads: “The state shall be based on the belief in the One and Only God.
2) Just and Civilized Humanity
Just principle requires that human beings be treated with due regard to their dignity as God’s creatures. It emphasizes that the Indonesian people do not tolerate physical or spiritual oppression of human beings by their own people or by any other nation.
3) The Unity of Indonesia
This principle embodies the concept of nationalism, of love for one’s nation and motherland. It envisages the need to always foster national unity and integrity. Pancasila nationalism demands that Indonesians avoid feelings of superiority on ethnical grounds, for reasons of ancestry and color of the skin. In 1928 Indonesian youth pledged to have one country, one nation and one language, while the Indonesian coat of arms enshrines the symbol of “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” which means “unity in diversity.”
4) Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom in the Unanimity Arising Out of Deliberations amongst Representatives
Pancasila democracy calls for decision-making through deliberations, or musyawarah, to reach a consensus, or mufakat. It is democracy that lives up to the principles of Pancasila. This implies that democratic right must always be exercised with a deep sense of responsibility to God Almighty according to one’s own conviction and religious belief, with respect for humanitarian values of man’s dignity and integrity, and with a view to preserving and strengthening national unity and the pursuit of social justice. Thus, Pancasila Democracy means democracy based on the people’s sovereignty which is inspired by and integrated with other principles of Pancasila. This means that the use of democratic rights should always be in line with responsibility towards God Almighty according to the respective faith; uphold human values in line with human dignity; guarantee and strengthen national unity; and be aimed at realizing social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia.
5) Social Justice for All Indonesian peoples.
This principle calls for the equitable spread of welfare to the entire population, not in a static but in a dynamic and progressive way. This means that all the country’s natural resources and the national potentials should be utilized for the greater possible good and happiness of the people. Social justice implies protection of the weak. But protection should not deny them work. On the contrary, they should work according to their abilities and fields of activity. Protection should prevent willful treatment by the strong and ensure the rule of justice. These are the sacred values of Pancasila which, as a cultural principle, should always be respected by every Indonesian because it is now the ideology of the state and the life philosophy of the Indonesian people.
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