Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905 became the starting point for Asian nations against Western domination. The West because it has always been described as an invincible myth was successfully demolished thanks to the victory of the land of the rising sun.
The spirit of Asian nationalism swelled and became access point resistance to all forms of Western domination. Indonesia is no exception, the phenomenon of the victory of Japan has become a formidable trigger for the emergence of a feeling of nationalism in the face of colonialism. The heroism of the young people of that time was more and more burning and barked, to make sense of the evolution of the strategic environment of the time in the form of combativeness.
The pioneering spirit began to be firmly established to follow in Japan’s footsteps to free itself from foreign domination. In addition to the victory of Japan which stimulated Indonesian national consciousness, there was also the Young Turkish Movement of 1908 in Turkey which contributed political influence for the emergence of Indonesian national consciousness. Likewise with the movement of Gandhiism in India which fought for independence from Great Britain. The accumulation of strategic developments during this time gave meaning to the growth of the seeds of Indonesian nationalism.
The influence of the international world has slowly but surely penetrated the breasts of the Indonesian youth to form a forum for struggle. In 1905 the Sarekat Dagang Islam (SDI) was founded, followed by Budi Utomo in 1908 and in 1912 the Islamic Union Party (PSI) was founded as the first mass organization. Budi Utomo became very famous because he was treated by several students of STOVIA (School tot Opleiding van Indische Artsen), an indigenous medical school; Dr Soetomo, Soeradji Tirtonegoro, Goenawan Mangoenkoesoemo, and others.
The creation of Budi Utomo encouraged the emergence of other youth organizations such as Jong Java, Jong Sumatranen Bond, Jong Minahasa, Jong Celebes, Jong Ambon which were still regional in nature. However, it cannot be denied that the birth of Budi Utomo marked the beginning of the rise of Indonesian nationalism. The sense of unity was formed so strong to fight against the foreign domination that had ruled the archipelago for hundreds of years.
Suffering and humiliation are stigmatized as outcasts by the imperialists. The political awareness sharpened the reasoning and the courage of the young people to remain united, ready to sacrifice everything to free themselves from the long sufferings of colonialism.
The Second Youth Congress held on October 28, 1928 (after the First Congress in 1926), later known as the Youth Pledge, was a historic moment for the Indonesian people, especially young people. The congress has become event breaking point for the birth of a great idea as a political struggle. The content of the Youth Pledge is committed to three things; a homeland (territorial consciousness), a nation (nationality /nation) and a language (cultural sensitivity).
After all, the Youth Pledge was an important and major political breakthrough because it gave birth to the embryo of a struggle that became the motivation for revolutionary struggle in the future. The Youth Pledge is a melting pot of all social strata, ethnic groups, religious and cultural beliefs. The Youth Pledge became the start of a national struggle after being very localist before.
Regional barriers are replaced by struggles at the national level. Fulfilling the three oaths requires a massive movement which of course comes up against many obstacles and challenges. Sincerity, the will and the willingness to sacrifice body and soul are at stake in the struggle for an independent Indonesia. The Youth Pledge is the political idea of Indonesian nationalism in the modern era.
The Youth Pledge is a masterpiece of Indonesian youth as an involvement in building early national awareness. Ignite nationalism which then took a long time, three more decades (37 years) to achieve an independent Indonesia. Nationalism is an understanding which holds that the highest allegiance of the individual must be subject to the national state. This understanding begins to emerge when a nation has the same ideals for building a country (Hans Kohn 1985).
Youth engagement Spirituality
The Youth Pledge is the spirit of life to face the reality of a nation that is hampered by the oppression of colonialism. The Youth Pledge has become an intangible weapon, namely a weapon of faith and determination to get rid of colonialism in the archipelago. Intangible power is transformed into belief like a divine decree. Struggle full of spirituality for a national existence.
Spirituality is the spirit of the principle of life or the nature of human existence which expresses itself through relationships with oneself, others, nature and the creator or the source of life and is formed through the cultural experience, spirituality is a universal human experience (Caroline Young, 2011). Taste, taste and intention combine to create an almost century-old oath (93 years).
The Youth Engagement remains relevant to the condition of the nation which is filled with endless problems. In this context, the Youth Pledge has yet to exist and really needs updating. Without conscience, militancy and willingness to sacrifice as well as the altruistic character of the youth for the birth of a country, independence is certainly difficult to achieve.
Ideals always require sacrifices, even if sometimes they cannot be compared to the results obtained. Much bloodshed and countless other forms of sacrifice and valor have been shed in the long process of struggle for an independent Indonesia. Awareness requires awareness that struggle and sacrifice must go hand in hand to achieve national goals.
The old youth activism must remain a spirit in the present age. As an oath, the spirit of the Youth Pledge must be able to become an offshoot of the lives of contemporary youth far more educated than the younger generations of their predecessors.
The spirit of defense of the country
If we think about Youth Engagement, it is still very relevant in today’s conditions. The Youth Pledge update is a makeover that can be used as a social engine to strengthen the joints of our nationality that feel eroded by various issues. When our national territory is threatened by foreign parties, the strength of the nation is disrupted due to the political, social and cultural differences that affect our indonesia.
Multidimensional issues seem difficult to decipher because we have lost the spirit of unity as a nation. The high number of corruption, the unsavory behavior of the agents of the State, the divisions, the violence between the children of the nation make us lose the spirit of nationality.
We may have to reflect on what Amrtya Kumar Sen said, “Join the past to build a new one.” We must remember the roots of the past on the sincerity, righteousness of intentions and high morality of the nation’s founding fathers. We must remember the responsibility of the founding fathers of the nation, because whenever we make difficult decisions related to state / national issues, it is always based on pure intentions and a pure heart full of selfless sincerity.
This is perhaps what is called the state defense makrifat which must be carried out by all citizens, especially for state managers, how to run the state. Indonesia is very rich in plains, mountains, wilderness, valleys, canyons and above all contains potential wealth. Without forgetting that the contents in and on the seabed are so many treasures.
But unfortunately, after 76 years of independence, the mandate of article 33 paragraph 3 of the Constitution of 1945 which leads to social justice could not be achieved and even seems very far away. Even the power of the political oligarchy and the economic oligarchy is growing. We must remember the services of our predecessors who donated their souls, bodies and goods for the glory of this nation.
This should be the spirit that permeates our souls and especially for government officials to focus more on business for the benefit of the citizens. Defending the state in the present day no longer has to bear arms but how to exercise the role of their respective professions in a proportional, professional and optimal manner for the greatness of our nation and our state.
In the past, predecessors struggled to expel the colonials who exploited the people and their natural wealth in the hope that future generations could take advantage of it and give birth to a generation capable of building state and nation greatness. Colonial-style colonialism no longer appears in the millennial era with various forms and models that hurt the sense of justice and humanity.
Para founding fathers and mothers provided an example of the spirit of selflessness in building the civilization of a worthy nation. Once we need to revisit the roots of how our predecessors fought for profit. Happy Youth Engagement Day, I hope the oath can be an offshoot for the whole country.