August 17th in Geopolitical and Geostrategic Dimensions

Sekali merdeka tetap merdeka
Selama hayat masih di kandung badan
Kita tetap setia tetap sedia
Mempertahankan Indonesia

The lyrics of the August 17 song “Hari Merdeka” make it clear how independence is a certitude. A nation that begins with assuredness, will sow happiness as “As long as life is still in the body.”

Bung Karno packaged it in an even more emphatic sentence: “Sekali merdeka, tetap merdeka!” as the motto coined: “We love peace, but we love Independence more”.

The motto at the same time informs: happiness or biss, far more valuable than tranquility or peace. Therefore, independence is happiness. Happiness in this context is referred to because individuals have the freedom to make choices, pursue personal goals, and make decisions. There is a meaning of freedom of speech, religion, movement, and freedom to make life choices as desired.

All of that is available since Indonesia’s independence. So the independence that every citizen lives is always with responsibility and respect for the rights of others. Thus a happy Indonesia always makes a positive contribution to both individual happiness and peaceful conditions in society.

Then these days in all corners of the village and all over Indonesia, all residents put up red and white flags – this is an expression of happiness for the lively celebration of 17 August. Celebrating happiness together on the date and month in which the Republic of Indonesia was born – a nation that always has happiness.

And in fact the Indonesian people have shown this a long time ago: at least since August 17, 1945, this nation has breathed independence, let go of the shackles of colonialism, so this nation also lives happily on the golden bridge, sowing its glorious future.

Then Bung Karno advised: “The future depends on what we do today.” This statement also reflects enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to build a better nation, which in turn can inspire and bring happiness to all Indonesian people.

So August 17 every year is always celebrated with joy and pride, where the Indonesian nation celebrates it not only as a national momentum, but also as a reflection to remember those endeavors and sacrifices of the heroes who fought to achieve Indonesian independence.

This is where the importance of celebrating the date of independence is not only a formal ceremony, but also has deeper benefits. The benefits include maintaining national identity and preserving historical heritage. With this in mind, the younger generation can recognize and appreciate their historical roots.

At the same time, celebrating August 17th is also useful for strengthening the energy of unity and unity of the nation and state. Therefore, this August 17 celebration, a number of social, cultural, ethnic, racial and religious differences were temporarily eliminated for the sake of shared pride as part of one Indonesia. This also triggers a sense of love and responsibility for the nation and the country: awakening the spirit of building Indonesia’s glory.

Celebrating August 17 also has significant geopolitical and geostrategic dimensions. This perspective involves an understanding of how the celebration can affect international relations, a country’s position in the global scenario, as well as the long-term strategy that a country can pursue.

It is therefore a geopolitical instrument for strengthening national identity and influence in the international arena. Indonesia celebrates its independence happily and confidently that this shows the world: Indonesia is an independent entity and has a diversity of cultures, as well as a valuable history.

In geopolitics this can also be interpreted as a political message about independence: ready to protect the sovereignty of the nation and state, make bold decisions, and be able to maintain the dignity of the nation.

Meanwhile, in geostrategic considerations, the celebration of August 17 seeded the country’s long-term strategy regarding relations with neighboring countries, allies, or even competitors.

Therefore, the state uses this celebration – usually – as a platform to explain political, economic and social views to the international community, as well as promote Indonesian national values and aspirations.

Within the framework of geopolitics and geostrategy, in the end, celebrating 17 August as the anniversary of the Indonesian nation’s independence day, is not merely a celebration of national events. Rather, it has implications that can reach an international dimension.

The 78th independence day of the Republic of Indonesia. Merdeka. Salam Pancasila.

(Prof. DR. Drs. Ermaya Suradinata, SH, MH, MSI, is the former Director General of Social and Political Affairs of the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, Chancellor of IPDN, and former Governor of Lemhannas RI.)