June, the Month of Bung Karno

Bung Karno

By: Prof. Dr. Drs. Ermaya Suradinata, S.H., M.H., M.Si.

Editor: Dhania Puspa Purbasari

June is known as “Month of Bung Karno” in Indonesia, due to several significant events in the life and legacy of the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno, occurring during this month. These important dates not only mark historical moments in Soekarno’s personal life but also in the national history of Indonesia.

On June 1, 1945, Soekarno introduced Pancasila in his speech before the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI). Pancasila became the philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state, consisting of five principles that reflect the nation’s fundamental ideology and values.

Pancasila, as the foundation of the Indonesian state, plays a broader role than merely being the basis of the constitution. It also serves as a moral and ethical guide for all Indonesians, marking the beginning of the ideological construction that shapes the nation’s identity.

Comprised of five principles, Pancasila reflects the noble values of the Indonesian people: Belief in the One and Only God, Just and Civilized Humanity, the Unity of Indonesia, Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom of Deliberations Among Representatives, and Social Justice for All the People of Indonesia. These five principles not only form the constitutional pillars but also serve as a guide in daily life, directing social behavior and interactions.

Since its formulation in 1945, Pancasila has been the foundation for building and strengthening unity and cohesion within the diversity of ethnicities, religions, races, and cultures. This diversity is recognized and respected in the spirit of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means unity in diversity. Pancasila teaches that differences are not barriers but treasures to be preserved and respected.

Pancasila also provides a moral and ethical framework for decision-making and actions. For example, the principle of social justice directs government policies to create equitable welfare for all people. The principle of just and civilized humanity demands respect for human rights and fair treatment for all citizens. The principle of democracy underscores the importance of democracy and active public participation in political processes.

Therefore, the consistent and committed application of Pancasila values in daily life is essential. Hence, it is important to continuously strengthen the understanding and application of Pancasila in all aspects of life. Pancasila-based education must also be enhanced, both in schools and within families and communities.

Through the understanding and practice of Pancasila, the Indonesian people can reinforce their national identity. Pancasila is not only a state symbol but also the nation’s identity that distinguishes Indonesia from other countries. Thus, Pancasila remains a relevant moral and ethical guide, leading the Indonesian nation towards a better and harmonious future.

It is evident that the introduction of Pancasila by Soekarno on June 1, 1945, remains relevant to this day and for future times. Hence, in June, the Indonesian people not only celebrate Pancasila Day but also commemorate the birth of Ir. Soekarno, who was born on June 6, 1901, in Surabaya, East Java.

Born as Kusno Sosrodihardjo, he later became known as Soekarno, playing a pivotal role in Indonesia’s struggle for independence. His charismatic leadership and clear vision for an independent Indonesia made him a central figure in the national movement against Dutch colonialism. His presence strengthened the nationalism that formed the basis of the independence struggle.

Soekarno passed away on June 21, 1970, in Jakarta. His death marked the end of his colorful and dynamic leadership era. Although his power declined and he was politically isolated towards the end of his life, his legacy as a proclaimer of independence and a father of the nation remains honored. This legacy reminds the nation of the importance of maintaining and continuing the struggle he pioneered.

As one of Indonesia’s independence proclaimers alongside Mohammad Hatta, Soekarno proclaimed Indonesia’s independence on August 17, 1945, just a few months after Pancasila was announced. Soekarno’s role in formulating the vision of independence and leading the nation towards independence was crucial. This proclamation solidified his position as a revolutionary leader and the proponent of Indonesia’s independence.

Not only did Soekarno introduce Pancasila, but he also persuaded other leaders to accept and adopt the ideology as the state’s foundation. Pancasila reflects Indonesia’s diversity and unity, with its five main principles: Belief in the One and Only God, Just and Civilized Humanity, the Unity of Indonesia, Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom of Deliberations Among Representatives, and Social Justice for All the People of Indonesia. This shows the deep influence Soekarno had in shaping national identity.

Moreover, Soekarno was known for his distinctive style of always wearing a black cap, which became a symbol of nationalism and Indonesian cultural identity. The black cap was not only part of his appearance but also an icon of the independence struggle and national pride. His appearance reflected the undying spirit of the struggle.

The commemoration of ”Month of Bung Karno”  is a form of appreciation and a reminder of Soekarno’s significant contributions to Indonesia. Annually, various activities such as seminars, exhibitions, and ceremonies are held to honor his services and remind the younger generation of the values Soekarno fought for. It is also a moment of reflection for the Indonesian nation to recall the foundational principles established and to strive continuously to realize the vision of a better Indonesia.

By remembering and honoring June as ”Month of Bung Karno” the Indonesian people not only recall history but also reaffirm their commitment to continue the struggle and realize the ideals pioneered by Soekarno. It is an opportunity to reaffirm the nationalism and unity values bequeathed by the father of the nation.

Prof. Dr. Drs. Ermaya Suradinata, S.H., M.H., M.Si. is the Governor of Lemhannas RI (2001-2005) and Director General of Social Politics at the Ministry of Home Affairs (1998-2000). Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Geopolitics & Geostrategy Studies Indonesia (CGSI), and Chairman of the Expert Council of the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP) RI.