This year, the commemoration of the Youth Pledge Day seemed to be neglected by the people of Indonesia. Only a few schools and institutions which celebrated it by carrying out flag raising ceremonies. The Indonesia’s government was likely to give less attention to the historical moment that marked the willingness of Indonesian youth to fight together for the Independence of Indonesia. In fact, the moment known as Youth Pledge (Sumpah Pemuda) was one of the important stages in Indonesian history during struggling against colonialism. The youth pledge indicated that the youth coming from different regions and ethnics all over Indonesia had a same desire: unity as Indonesian people.
It was 85 years ago. Indonesian youth held a congress in Batavia (Jakarta) to discuss the future of Indonesia. In the last session of the congress, on October 28, 1928, the Indonesian youth declared that they would be united under one motherland, one nation, and one language: Indonesia. The congress was also closed by singing the national anthem: Indonesia Raya.
Since then, the spirit of the Youth Pledge had inspired Indonesian people, particularly young generation, to be united in struggling for the independence. The Youth Pledge was a manifestation coming from the sense of belonging, solidarity and togetherness as Indonesian people. And the culmination of the Indonesian struggle, the proclamation of the independence on August 17, 1945, could not be separated from the spirit of the Youth Pledge.
Nowadays, there is a question that we must contemplate: is the spirit of the Youth Pledge still in our mind?
Recent facts in our daily life show us that our sense of unity and solidarity has decreased. Violent, bullying, and gang fighting are easy to find around us. Hate and anger explode quickly. Patient and peaceful mind seem to be extinct in solving problem. Hard competition often makes people forget other people’s life.
Another crucial sign that we must give a considerable attention is our young generation. For the last 20 years, inter group fight / gang brawl, or in Indonesian – known as ‘tawuran’, has been a serious problem. More than 100 students have been killed, thousands have been injured, and hundreds of public property as well as vehicles have been damaged in ‘tawuran’ incidents.
Where is our Youth Pledge spirit?
Has it disappeared?
It is now clear that all of us, Indonesian people, should get involved in rebuilding our sense of unity and solidarity. All of us should take part in solving problem regarding our young generation life; for the future of this country is on their hands.
Finally, we need to recharge our mindset with the spirit of the Youth Pledge that we are united under one motherland, one nation and one language: Indonesia.