Chairperson of ASPENSI: “Indonesian Independence in the Fasting Month Shows that History is Repeat itself”


When Indonesia declared the freedom from all form of colonialism and imperialism on August 17, 1945 announced by Soekarno and Mohamad Hatta in Jakarta, it was simultaneously with the fasting month. Historical record stated that on Friday circa 10 P.M. in his house residence at Jakarta, Soekarno accompanied by Mohamad Hatta announced the Declaration of Indonesian Independence.

Last year, 2011, the anniversary of Indonesian independence was also in the fasting month. But in 2012, it is special moment due to D day is similar i.e. Friday. So, anniversary of Indonesian independence on August 17, 2012 is congruent with August 17, 1945 on Friday.

Andi Suwirta, M.Hum., Chairperson of ASPENSI (Association of Indonesian Scholars of History Education) in Bandung, has made statement in the special interview moment related to the meaning of Indonesian independence in 2012 today, 16 August 2012.

According to Suwirta, also as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of History Education in UPI (Indonesia University of Education), every nation-state around the world has the independent day. For nation-state of the Republic of Indonesia, August 17 is very important due to on this day was started the struggle for gaining and maintaining the independent.

“As we know that the Indonesian revolution in 1945 to 1949 was not only struggling between Indonesian versus Netherlands, but it was also the internal dynamics between, for example, the old and young groups (Soekarno and Hatta kidnapped by Youths to escaped to Rengasdengklok in Karawang area); the government versus the opposition political parties (Primer Minister Soetan Sjahrir was criticized by Persatuan Perjuangan‘s leaders); the civilian and military groups (General Soedirman did not agree with government policy related to negotiation with British and Dutch armies); the left (Communist) versus the right (Islam and Nationalist) ideologies; the central and the regional authorities (social revolution versus national revolution); and so on”, Suwirta explained.

In those struggles, according to Suwirta, the Republic of Indonesia, led by Soekarno and Mohamad Hatta, was as the winner defeated the Netherlands, the Communist and Islamic ideologies, and the opposition political parties.

“What the objectives of Indonesian independence?”, Suwirta makes the question and he, then, answers that if we make the reflections about the ideals of Indonesian national movement, since early twentieth century to 1945, there are some objectives for what the nation-state of Indonesia was built.

“At least there are three main objectives for what we struggle the Indonesian independent. First, as nation-state has to progress in comparison with other nation-states around the world. Second, as nation-state has to make prosperity to all Indonesian people. And third, finally, as nation-state has to free from any form of colonialism and imperialism”, Suwirta added.

Suwirta, then, has made the recommendations to all political and social elites in Indonesia to remember about the objectives of Indonesian independence.

“If we forgot those objectives, the existence of our nation-state is meaningless. Hence, the mains agendas of Indonesia’s government are to implement the objectives in the social, political, economics, education, and cultural realities”, Suwirta said in the end of interview. [MAS]



  1. Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia yang ke-67. Tunjukkan pada dunia bahwa perjuangan para pahlawan untuk merebut dan mempertahankan kemerdekaan bukanlah sebuah kesia-siaan. Merdeka!!!

  2. Let’s we make comparison between Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam countries in the economics development and prosperity. The critical question is for what we struggle by using “bambu runcing” if we recently be left behind neighbors’ countries that gain the independence without the war?


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