NU messages of independence
Indonesian nation is now at of 71 years of age since its independence was proclaimed in 1945. August 17 chosen by the founding fathers was not without consideration, they wanted to build Indonesia with 17 cycles according to the number of day and night obligatory prayers.
Hadratus Sheikh KH. Muhammad Hasyim Asy'ari said "Nationalism and religion are not two things opposed to each other. Nationalism is part of the religion and and the two are mutually reinforcing". Sukarno once said "a true nationalism, is not the one copied nor imitated from the eestern nationalism, but it arises out of love for mankind and humanity".
Entering the age of 71 years of Indonesian independence, Nahdlatul Ulama noted some reflective points in terms of current national conditions:
The Independence Day should be used a momentum to improve all aspects of nationality and the pace of progress in all aspects especially in terms independence as a nation.
Strengthening the maritime and agricultural sector
As a maritime nation in which two-thirds of its territory is waters, Indonesia has should further improve its incomes from the maritime sector. Sea-based development should be the cornerstone of the government in taking any policies.
As an agricultural country, In 2016 the paddy production target in Indonesia is as much as 80.29 million tons. This figure increases if compared to the last year's production reached 75.36 million tons. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2015 released data on Indonesian rice production reached 73.17 million tons.
Keep in mind that the production of rice in Indonesia is most affected by weather conditions. If the weather conditions are unstable, as is the case today, the rice production will decline. The government must begin to assess food diversification.
In the economic sector, the ranking of ease of doing business in Indonesia is still lagging in South East Asia (ASEAN). Based on the survey results carried out by Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), The World Bank ranked Indonesia at 109 out of 189 countries. compare with Singapore ranking 1, Malaysia 18, Thailand 49, Vietnam 90, and the Philippines 103.
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in March 2016 released the Indonesian poverty rate cuts in September 2015. In September 2015 the poverty rate was amounted to 28.51 million while in March it was amounted to 2016 28.01 million.
Though the poverty rate experienced a downward trend, it is necessary that the gap of spending of each poor people is increasing. Poverty gap index increased from 1.84 at Semptember 2015 to 1.94 in March 2016. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer
In December 2015, the World Bank reported that the 1% of Indonesia's richest men could control about 50.4% of assets and 10% of Indonesia's richest ones could control of 70.3% of total wealth in Indonesia. That means, the development has not been uneven and has not touched the poor and the needy.
Revitalization of nationalism
In the 71 years of independence momentum, we were surprised by an event of appointing a minister of foreign nationality that is very disturbing political stability and the spirit of nationalism. Switching citizenship is the end of loyalty to the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia. If so, as part of the spirit of nationalism and loyalty to the State, each state official must be an Indonesian citizen. The spirit of nationalism has been built by the founding fathers of the Republic of Indonesia such as Ir. Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta, KH. M Hasyim Asyari, and A. Wahid Hasyim.
In the global context, it is time for the Indonesian Muslims to provide an example to the world that Islam in Indonesia did not dispute between religion and nationalism. Indonesia should serve as a "mecca" or desirable model of the national life. Therefore nationalism must be upheld. "Man laisa lahu ardl, laisa lahu tarikh. Wa man laisa lahu tarihk, laisa lahu dzakiroh." Those eho have no homeland, will not have a history.
Last but not least, if we lose gold, we can buy more in the market. If we lose possessions, next year we can look for and get it again. But if we lose of the homeland, where will we find?
Jakarta, 17 August 2016
والله الموفّق إلى أقوم الطّريق
والسّــــــــــــلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Prof Dr KH Said Aqil Siroj, MA
Dr Ir HA. Helmy Faishal Zaini