Soekarno’s Panca Sila

Panca Sila

(The Five Principles)

Jakarta, Juni 1st 1945

Honourable Chairman,
Three days have passed during which the members of the Investigating Committee in Preparation for Independence have made known their opinions, and now I have from the Chairman the honour of stating my opinion also. I will comply with the Honourable Chairman’s request. What is that request of his? The Honourable Chairman asked this gathering of the Investigating Committee in Preparation for Independenee to draw up a draft of the basic principles for Free Indonesia. It is these principles which I shall bring forward later on in this speech of mine.
   Pardon, a thousand pardons! Many members have delivered speeches, expounding matters which were not at all what was requested by the Honourable Chairman, that is: they were not the foundations for Free Indonesia. What was asked for by the Honourable Chairman, is, in my opinion, what is called in the Dutch language, “Philosophische Grondslag” (the philosophical basis) for Free Indonesia. This philosophical basis is the fundamental, the philosophy, the underlying reason, the spirit, the deepest desire, on which to build the structure of a Free Indonesia, enduring and age‑long. I shall outline this matter later on, Mr. Chairman, but first of all permit me to explain to all the gentlemen what I mean by the word “merdeka”.
Merdeka means to me “political independence”. What is it that is called political independence?
     Gentlemen! Frankly I tell you: when this Investigating Committee in Preparation for Independence was to meet, I was very worried at heart, lest many members should be – will say this in a foreign language, please excuse the word: “zwaarwichtig” (ponderous) about little matters, “zwaarwichtig” to the point of, as the Javanese say – “jelimet” (hairsplitting). I was afraid that they would only dare to speak of freedom after they had, talked about little matters to the point of hairsplitting.
     Honourable Gentlemen: Examine the history of the world, see what has been the evolution of that world.
      Many are the nations which are free, but compare the freedom of those nations, one with another! Have they the same contents, are they of the same rank, those free nations? Germany is free, Saudi Arabia is free, Iran is free, China is free, Japan is free, America is free, England is free, Russia is free, Egypt is free. In name they all are free, but compare their contents!
     How different are those contents! Were we to say: Before a nation is free, many things should be completed beforehand, this should be finished, that should be finished, that should be finalized down to the smallest detail! Then, I ask of you all, gentlemen, why is Saudi Arabia free, whilst 80 percent of its people are Bedouins who have no under­standing at all of such matters.
    Read the book by Armstrong which tells the story of Ibn Saud. There it is made clear that, at the time when Ibn Saud set up the government of Saudi Arabia, the majority of the people of Arabia did know that motorcars need petrol. One day, Ibn Saud’s car was given wheat to eat by the Bedouins in Saudi Arabia! For all that Saudi Arabia is free!
      Look further: if you, gentlemen, wish to see a clearer example look at Soviet Russia! At the time Lenin established the Soviet State, were the people of Russia already cultured? One hundred and fifty millions of the people of Russia were Muscovites of whom more than 80 percent could not read nor write; the famous books by Leo Tolstoi and Fülöp Miller, will inform you what were the conditions of the people of Soviet Russia at the time Lenin established the Soviet State. And we are now going to build a state of Free Indonesia. Too many are the various problems we bring forward!
    Excuse me, Mr. Secretary! My hair stood on end when I read your letter asking us to make plans all worked out to the smallest detail. If it be true that all these matters should be finalized first down to the smallest detail, then I am never going to live in a Free Indonesia, you never going to live in a Free Indonesia, none of us is ever going to live in a Free Indonesia – until we are in our graves! (Loud applause)
     Gentlemen: What is it that is called freedom? In the year 1933 I wrote a booklet. A booklet called “Ke arah Indonesia Merdeka” (Towards a Free Indonesia) . In that booklet of 1933, I stated that freedom, political independence, was nothing more than a bridge, a golden bridge, I said in that booklet that on the far side of that bridge we would rebuild our society.
      Ibn Saud built a state in one night, ”in one night only” are the words of Armstrong in his book. Ibn Saud established a Free Saudi Arabia in one night after he had entered Riad city with six men! It was after that “bridge” had been built by Ibn Saud, that on the far side of that bridge – that means later on, afterwards – Ibn Saud began to rebuild Saudi Arabian society. People who could not read were made to learn to read, people who lately had wandered about as nomads, the Bedouins, were taught by Ibn Saud not to wander about, were given lands for farming. The nomads were trained by Ibn Saud to become farmers,– all on the far side of the bridge.
      Did Lenin, when he established the free Soviet Russian States already possess the Dnyeprpetrovsk, the huge dam on the Dnyepr River? Did he already have a radio station which could reach the world ? Did he already possess enough railways to traverse the whole Russian State? Was every Russian at the time Lenin established a Free Soviet Russia already able to read and write ? No, gentlemen ! On the far side of the golden bridge built by Lenin, Lenin only then began to build radio stations, just began to open schools, just began to provide creches, to build Dnyeprpetrovsk! Therefore, I request you all, not to waver, at heart, not to believe that this and that should be completed beforehand down to the last detail, that it is only when they have been finalized will we get our freedom. How different is your spirit, if you are like that, to the spirit of our youth, two millions strong. These two million youths have conveyed to me their demand, these two million youths all desire a Free Indonesia, now! (Loud applause).
      Gentlemen: Why do we, leaders of the people, who well know history, grow ponderous, become wavering, whilst it is not only today that we’ve used the slogan of “Indonesia Merdeka”? Decades ago, we were already using the slogan of Free Indonesia, ever since 1932 we have clearly had the slogan: “Free Indonesia, Now!” Even three times “now”: “Free Indonesia, now, now, now!” (Loud applause)
      And now we are face to face with the opportunity to establish a Free Indonesia – and yet –we become ponderous and wavering at heart!
      Gentlemen: I remind you once again, Free Indonesia, political Independence, is nothing more than, and does not differ from a bridge! Do not waver ! If, for instance, at this very moment we were given the opportunity for freedom by Dai Nippon, then it would be easy to replace the Japanese Chief to the Civil Administration by an Indonesian named for instance Tjondro Asmoro, and the Deputy Chief by a person named for instance Abdul Halim. If, for instance, the Department Heads were replaced by Indonesians, at this very moment, then, in fact, we have got our independence within one single night.
      Gentlemen, there are two millions of youths, whose single slogan is: “A Free Indonesia, Now”: If, for instance, the Japanese Army today to surrender affairs of state to you, would you decline it, saying: just a moment, wait a while, we ask that this and that be finished and only then we will dare accept the affairs of state of Free Indonesia? (Cries of No! No!)
     Gentlemen, if for instance, at this very moment the Japanese forces were to transfer state responsibilities to us, then we would not hold for one minute, we would at once accept these responsibilities, we would at once begin with the independent Indonesian state ! (Thundering applause)
      Gentlemen: just now I said there was a difference between the freedoms of Soviet Russia, of Saudi Arabia, of England, of America and so on, in regard to their contents; but there is one similarity, and that is : the people of Saudi Arabia have taken it upon themselves to defend their state. The Muscovites in Russia have taken it upon them to defend their state. The people of America have taken it themselves to defend their state. The people of England have it upon themselves to defend their state. This is the minimum requirement. If a nation has other capabilities, it would be better, of course, but as soon as any nation is prepared to take it upon itself to defend its country with its own blood, with its own flesh, then at that moment that nation is already ripe for freedom. If our people, the Indonesian people, are already prepared to die, to defend our country Indonesia, though it be with bamboo spears, then at that moment the people of Indonesia are ripe for freedom. (Loud applause)
      Think of this matter and try to compare it with human beings. Human beings are like that, gentlemen! As an example, I’ll compare freedom with marriage. There is he who dares marry, he who quickly marry, there is he who is afraid to marry. There is he who says: I do not dare marry, wait until I earn Rp. 500,–. When I already own a stone house, when there are already carpets, already electric lamps, when I already own feather beds, already own a complete set of furniture, already own a casket of silver spoons and forks, already own this and that, yes, when I already own even baby’s layette, then only do I dare marry”.
      There is another person who says: I shall be ready to marry when I already own one dining table, four chairs, then a lounge suite, and then a bed.
     There is a person more daring than that: the man‑in‑the street! If he has but a shack, with one mat, with one cooking pot: he will marry. The man with one mat, one shack: marries. The cleric with his one table, four chairs, one lounge suite, one bed: marries. The boss who owns a mansions, electrical cooker, bedding, piles of money: marries. It is not certain who is the luckier, it is uncertain who is the more fortunate, the boss with his feather‑soft bed, or Jack and Jill who own only a mat and a pot, gentlemen! (Clapping and laughter). It is pluckiness of heart which is neccessary, the pluckiness of Jack’s heart who gets married with one mat and one cooking pot, and the heart of that boss who is only just brave enough to get married when he owns a casket of solid silver plus a child’s layette – enough for three years! (Laughter)
      Gentlemen the question is this: do we dare be free, or do we not? This then, gentlemen and Mr Chairman, is the standard that I first bring forward before speaking of matters which concern the principle of a free state. I heard Mr Soetardjo’s speech several days ago, when he replied to the question as to what it is that is called freedom; he said: if every individual in his heart is already free, that is what is freedom. Gentlemen, if every single Indonesian of this 70.000.000 must first be free in his heart before we can attain political independence, I repeat once again, we should not have a Free Indonesia until Doomsday ! (Loud applause)
      Within a Free Indonesia we shall set free our people! Within that Free Indonesia we shall set free the hearts of our people! Within a free Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud set free the people of Arabia one by one. Within a free Soviet Russia did Stalin set free the hearts of the people of Soviet Russia one by one.
      Gentlemen! As was also wrongly said by one speaker: We, the people of Indonesia are not healthy physically, many are sick from malaria, many from dysenteri, many suffer from starvation, many this, many that. “First make our people healthy, only then can we be free”.
      I declare, if this too should be attained first, twenty years hence we shall not yet be free. Within Free Indonesia we shall make our people healthy, although, for instance, not with quinine, but by mobilising our whole society for the obliteration of malaria through the cultivation of “ketepeng” trees. Within Free Indonesia we shall train our youth so that they become sturdy, within Free Indonesia we shall bring health to the people in the best possible way. This is what I mean by the term “bridge”. On the far side of the bridge, the golden bridge, we shall have a free and favourable opportunity to organize the society of Free Indonesia, which shall be brave, stalwart, healthy, enduring and age‑long.
      Gentlemen! We are today facing an all important moment. Do we not understand, as declared by dozens of speakers, that in very truth international law simplifies our task ? For the organization, the establishment, the recognition of an independent state, there need not be any condition which is complicated, which is hairsplitting. The only condition is a territory, a people, and a stable government. This is sufficient in international law. Sufficient, gentlemen. As soon as there is a territory, a people, a government, recognized by one other free state, there is already what is termed: freedom. No matter whether the people can read or not, no matter whether the people have a good economy or not, no matter whether the people are stupid or clever, if according to international law, the nation possesses the conditions for a free state, that is, a people, a territory, and a government, it is free.
      Do not let us waver or be ponderous, and wanting to finalise beforehand a thousand and one imaginary matters! Once again I ask: Do we want to be free or do we not? Do we want to be free or do we not? (Reply from audience: we want to be free!)
      Gentlemen! Now that I have spoken about the matter of “frecdom”, I will proceed to speak of the matter of principles.

Mr Chairman ! I understand what it is Your Honour requested! Your Honour asked for principles, a philosophical basis, or, if we may use a high‑sounding term, Your Honour asked for a certain “Weltanschauung” upon which we should set up the Indonesian State.
      In this world we see that there are many free nations, and many of these free nations are established upon a particular “Weltanschauung”. Hitler established Germany on a “national socialist Weltanschauung” – the philosophy of national-socialism became the principle of the German state set up by Adolf Hitler. Lenin established the Soviet State on a particular “Weltanschauung”, that is a Marxist, historical-materialist “Weltanschauung”. The Japanese established the Dai Nippon state upon a particular “Weltanschauung”, which is known as “Tenno Kodoo Seishin” (Divinity of The Japanese Emperor).
      Upon this “Tenno Kodo Seishin, was the Japanese state established. Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud established the Arabian State upon a particular “Weltanschauung”, even upon a religious principle, that is, Islam. This is what was requested by the Honourable Chairman: What is to be our “Weltanschauung”, if we intend to establish a free Indonesia?
      Gentlemen! This “Weltanschauung” should long have been rounded out in our hearts and minds, before Free Indonesia emerges. Idealists throughout the world work to death to create different varieties of “Weltanschauung”, work to death to make a reality of their “Weltanschauung”.
That is why the words of the honourable member, Mr Abikusno, did not ring true in the light of the situation, when he said that very many are the free states that have been set up haphazardly, according to circumstances. No ! Because, for example, even though according to the words of John Reed in his book: “Ten days that shook the world” : Soviet Russia was established in ten days by Lenin and his colleagues, the “Weltanschauung” had been prepared decades before. It was long before that the “Weltanschauung” had been prepared. What was done in those ten days was only the seizing of power. Then the new state was built upon the “Weltanschauung” that had already been formulated. Since 1895 that “Weltanschauung” had already been formulated. Furthermore, that “Weltanschauung” had been “tried out” and given a “general rehearsal” in the revolution of 1905.
     In the revolution of 1905 Lenin made what he himself called a “general rehearsal” for the revolution of 1917. Long before 1917 that “Weltanschauung” was put in readiness, was even tried out in practice. Later in ten days only, as John Reed says, in those ten days only, a new state was established, power was seized, and that power rested upon a “Weltanschauung” that was already decades old. Was it not the same with Hitler?
      In the year 1933 Hitler ascended the throne of power, established a German state upon a National­-socialist “Weltanschauung”. But when did Hitler begin to prepare that “Weltanschauung” of his? Not in the year 1933, in the years 1921 and 1922 he was already working upon it. Later he also tried to have this Nazism, this “Weltanschauung”, emerge with his Munich Putsch, but failed. It was not until 1933 that the moment had come when he was able to seize power. Then the state was laid out by him on the “Weltanschauung” principle which had been propagated decades before.
     And so, similarly, if we intend to establish a state of Free Indonesia, Mr Chairman, the question arises: What is our “Weltanschauung” upon which to build a state of Free Indonesia? Will it be national‑socialism? Will it be historical‑materialism? Will it be San Min Chu I, as enunciated by Dr Sun Yat Sen?
     In the year 1912, Sun Yat Sen erected a free Cihinese State, but his “Weltanschauung” was already thought out, planned, if I am not mistaken, in the year 1885. In the book “The Three People’s Principles”, San Min Chu I – Mintsu, Min Chuan, Min Sheng – Nationalism, Democracy, Socialism, the “Weltanschauung” was depicted by Dr Sun Yat Sen, but it was only in the year 1912 that he established a new state upon that San Min Chu I “Weltanschauung”, which had been ready for decades.
      Upon what “Weltanschauung” do we intend to establish the state of Free Indonesia ? National-socialism, Marxism, San Min Chu I, or what other “Weltanschauung”?
      Gentlemen, we have already been in session for three days, many opinions have been expressed – of different kinds–, but how right were the words of Dr Sukiman, the words of Ki Bagus Hadikusumo, which say that we must look for an agreement, look for an agreement on ideology. Together we must seek for unity of philosophical foundation, seek for one “Weltanschauung” with which we all agree. I say again, agree! Which Mr Yamin agrees to, which Ki Bagus agrees to, which Ki Hajar agrees to, which Mr Sanusi agrees to, which Mr Lim Doen Hian agrees to, in short, we must all look for a single modus.
      Mr Yamin, this is not a compromise, but we are together seeking one thing to which we are mutually agreed. What is that? To begin with, gentlemen, I ask: Do we intend to set up Free Indonesia for one particular individual, for one particular group? To set up Free Indonesia, which in name only is free Indonesia, but in reality is only something to crown some individual, to bring power to a wealthy group, to give power to a group of nobles?
      Is our objective like that? Certainly not! Our compatriots the “nationalists”, who are present here, as well as our compatriots the “Moslems”, have all agreed that no such state is our goal. We intend to establish a state “all for all”. Neither for a single individual, nor for a group, neither for a group of nobles, nor a group of wealthy people – but “all for all”. This is one of the principles which I will explain again. And so, what I always have at heart, not only in these days of this session of the Investigating Committee, but ever since the year 1918, for more than 25 years, is this: The first principle, best to become the foundation for the State of Indonesia, is the principle of nationalism. We will establish an Indonesian national state.
I ask Ki Bagus Hadikusumo and other Moslems to excuse my using the word “nationalism”. I too am a Moslem. But I request you, gentlemen, do not misunderstand me when I say that the first principle for Indonesia, is the principle of nationalism. That does not mean a nationalism in a narrow sense, but I desire a national state such as I outlined in the meeting in Taman Raden Saleh several days ago. An Indonesian National State does not mean a state in a narrow sense. As Mr Ki Bagus Hadikusumo said yesterday, he is an Indonesian, his parents are Indonesians, his grandparents were Indonesians, his ancestors were Indonesians. It is upon Indonesian nationalism in the sense meant by Ki Bagus Hadikusumo that we shall base the Indonesian state.
     A National State! This matter needs clarifying first, even though I have said something about it already at the mass meeting at Taman Raden Saleh. Let me explain it more clearly and spend a little time upon the question: What is it that is termed nation? What are the requirements for a nation ?
          According to Renan, the requirement for a nation is “the will to unite”. It is necessary that the people feel themselves united and wish to be united.
Ernest Renan said that the requirement for a nation is: “le désir d’être ensemble”, that is the will to unite. According to the definition of Ernest Renan, it follows that what becomes a nation is a group of people who want to be united, who feel themselves united.
     Let us consider a definition by another person, namely the definition by Otto Bauer in his book, “Die Nationalitatenfrage”, where the question is raised: “Was ist eine Nation?” and the answer was: “Eine Nation ist eine aus Schicksalgemeinschaft erwachsene Charaktergemeinschaft” (A nation is a unity of conduct which comes into being because of unity of destiny). This, according to Otto Bauer, is a nation.
     But yesterday, if I am not mistaken, when Professor Supomo quoted Ernest Renan, the Honourable member, Mr Yamin, interjected: “mouldy”, “out of date”. Certainly, gentlemen, Ernest Renan’s definition is “mouldy”, already “out of date”. Otto Bauer’s definition too is already out of date. Because at the time Ernest Renan formed this definition, at that time there had not yet emerged a new science, a new knowledge, called Geopolitics.
      If I am not mistaken, it was yesterday that Mr Ki Bagus Hadikusumo, or Mr Munandar, spoke about “Unity between men and place”. Unity, between men and place, gentlemen, unity between human beings and their position!
Men and place cannot be separated! Impossible to separate people from the earth under their feet. Ernest Renan and Otto Bauer only looked at men alone. They thought only about their “Gemeinschaft” and the feeling of men “L’âme et le désir”. They were only thinking of character, not thinking of the earth, the earth inhabited by those people. What is that place ? That place is a country. That country is one entity. God Almighty made the map of the world, created the map of the world. If we look at the map of the world, we can show where are the “entities” there. Even a child, if he looks at the map of the world, can show that the Indonesian Archipelago forms one entity. On the map can be shown an entity of a group of islands between two big oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, and between two continents, the continent of Asia and the continent of Australia. Even a child can see that the islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, Halmahera, the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas, and the other islands in their midst are one entity. Similarly any child can see on the map of the world, that the islands of Japan stretching on the eastern brink of the continent of Asia, as a breakwater of the Pacific Ocean, are one entity.
     Even a little child can see that the country of India is a single entity in South Asia, bordered by the extensive Indian Ocean and the Himalaya mountains. Even a child can tell that the British Isles are one entity.
     Greece can be shown to be an entity also. It was placed that way by God Almighty. Not Sparta alone, not Athens alone, not Macedonia alone, but Sparta plus Althens plus Macedonia plus the other Greek regions, including the Greek islands, form a single entity.
      And so, what is it that is called the Land of our Birth, our country? According to geopolitics, Indonesia is our country. Indonesia in its entirety, neither Java alone, nor Sumatra alone, nor Borneo alone, nor Celebes alone, nor Ambon alone, nor the Moluccas alone, but the whole Archipelago ordained by God Almighty to be a single entity between two continents and two oceans, that is our country.
     Therefore, when I think of the connection between people and place, between men and their lands, then the definitions given by Ernest Renan and Otto Bauer are not complete. Insufficient is “le désire d’être ensemble”, insufficient is the definition of Otto Bauer “aus Schicksalgemeinschaft erwachsene Charakter­gemeinschaft”. Excuse me gentlemen, I will use Minangkabau (West Sumatra) as an example. Among the people of Indonesia who have the greatest “désire d’être ensemble” are those of Minangkabau numbering approximately 21/2 millions. These people feel themselves to be one family. But Minangkabau is not an entity, it is only just a little part of an entity. The inhabitant of Jogja also feel “le désire d’être ensemble”, But Jogja also is only a part of an entity. In West Java the Pasundan people deeply feel “le désire d’être ensemble”, but Pasundan too is only just a small part of an entity.
     Briefly speaking, the people of Indonesia, the Indonesian Nation is not only a group of individuals who, having “le désire d’être ensemble”, live in a small area like Minangkabau or Madura or Jogja or Pasundan or Makassar, but the Indonesian people are all the human beings who, according to geopolitics ordained by God Almighty, live throughout the entity of the entire archipelago of Indonesia from the northern tip of Sumatra to Irian* ! All, throughout the islands! Because amongst these seventy million human beings “le désire d’être ensemble” already exists, there is already “Character­gemeinschaft”. The Indonesian nation, the people of Indonesia, the Indonesian human beings numbering seventy million persons, but seventy million who have already become one, one, once again one! (Loud clapping)
      This is what we should all aim at: the establishment of one National State based on the entity of one Indonesian soil from the tip of Sumatra right to Irian. I am confident that there is not one group amongst you which does not agree, neither the Moslems nor the group called “the Nationalist Group”. This is what all of us should aim at.
      Gentlemen, let no one think that every independent country is a national state. Neither Prussia nor Beieren, nor Saxony, is a national state, but the whole of Germany is a national state. Not the small areas, neither Venice, nor Lombardy, but the whole of Italy, the entire peninsula in the Mediterranean bounded to the north by the Alps, is the national state. Neither Bengal, nor Punjab, nor Behar and Orissa, but the entire triangle of India must become a national state.
      Similarly, neither were all the states of our homeland which were independent in the past, national states. Only twice have we experienced a national state, that was in the time of Sriwijaja and in the time of Mojopahit. Apart from those we have never experienced a national state. I say with full respect for our former Rajas, I say, with a thousand respects to Sultan Agung Hanyokrokokusumo, that Mataram, although independent, was not a national state.
      With a sense of respect towards Prabu Siliwangi of Pajajaran, I say that his kingdom was not a national state. With a sense of respect towards Prabu Sultan Agung Tirtayasa, I say that his kingdom in Banten, although independent, was not a national state. With a sense of respect towards Sultan Hasanuddin in Celebes where he erected the Kingdom of Bugis, I say that the independent land of Bugis was no national state.
     The National state is only Indonesia in its entirety, which was set up in the time of Sriwijaja and Mojopahit, and which now we also ought to establish together. Therefore, if you, gentlemen, are willing, let us take as the first principle of our state: Indonesian Nationalism. Indonesian Nationalism in the fullest sense! Neither Javanese Nationalism, nor Sumatran Nationalism nor the Nationalism of Borneo, or Celebes, Bali, or any other, but the Indonesian Nationalism which at one and the same time becomes the principle of one National State. Your pardon, Mr Liem Koen Hian, you do not want there to be any nationalism? In your speech, when asked again by the Honourable Vice Chairman, you replied “I do not want there to be nationalism”.
    (Mr Liem Koen Hian: “It was not like that. It was in another connection”).
      If that is so, then I beg your pardon and 1 thank you for agreeing with the principle of nationalism. I know that there are many classical Chinese who do not want there to be the principle of nationalism, because they embrace the faith of cosmopolitanism, which says there is no nationalism, there is no nation. Formerly, many of the Chinese people were inflicted with the malady of cosmopolitanism, so that they said there was no Chinese nation, there was no Japanese nation, there was no Indian nation, there was no Arab nation, but all were “humanity, human beings”. But Dr Sun Yat Sen arose, with the lesson for the Chinese people that there is a Chinese nation! I confess that when I was sixteen years old, studying at the high school in Surabaja, I was influenced by a Socialist by the name of A. Baars, who had a lesson for me, – he said: “Do not believe in the creed of nationalism, but have the creed of a sense of humanity throughout the world, do not have even a little of the sense of nationalism”. That was in 1917. But in 1918, thanks be to God, there was another man who recalled me and that was Dr Sun Yat Sen. In his work “San Min Chu I”, or “The Three People’s Principles”, I found a lesson which exposed cosmopolitanism as taught by A. Baars. In my heart since then there has flourished a sense of nationalism, through the influence of “The Three People’s Principles”. As a consequence of this when the whole Chinese people acknowledged Dr Sun Yat Sen as emancipator, you may be sure that Bung Karno also, an Indonesian, with the uttermost respect will feel grateful to Dr Sun Yat Sen until he lies in grave. (Clapping from the Chinese members)
        Gentlemen, ... But ... but ... undoubtedly there is a danger involved in this principle of nationalism. The danger is, that probably men will narrow down nationalism to chauvinism, the creed of “Indonesia über Alles”. This is the danger. We love one homeland, we feel ourselves one nation, we possess one language. But our homeland Indonesia is only a small part of the world. Remember this.
Gandhi said “I am a nationalist, but my nationalism is humanity”. The nationalism we advocate is not the nationalism of isolation, not chauvinism, as blazoned by people in Europe who say “Deutschland über Alles”, who say that there is none so great as Germany, whose people they say are supermen, corn-haired and blue‑eye “Aryans”, whom they consider the greatest in the world, while other nations are worthless. Do not let us abide by such formulas, gentlemen, do not let us say that the Indonesian nation is the noblest and most perfect, whilst belittling other peoples. We should aim at the unity and brotherhood of the whole world.
      We should not only establish the state of Free Indonesia, but we should also aim at making one family of all nations. It happens that this is my second principle. This is the second principle of philosophy I propose to you, gentlemen, to which I give the name of “internationalism”. But when I say internationalism, I do not mean cosmopolitanism, which does not recognize nationalism, which says there is no Indonesia, no Japan, no Burma, no England, no America and so on. Internationalism can not flower if it is not rooted in the soil of nationalism. Nationalism can not flower if it does not grow within the garden of internationalism. Thus, these two, gentlemen, principle one and principle two, which I have first proposed to you, are dovetailed together.
      Well then, what is the third principle? That principle is the principle of consent, the principle of representative government, the principle of consultation. The Indonesian State shall not be a state for one individual, neither a state for one group, nor for the wealthy. But we are to establish a state “all for all”, “one for all, all for one”. I am convinced, that the necessary condition for the strength of the Indonesian state is conferring, is representative government.
      For Islam, this is the best condition for the promotion of religion. We are Moslems, myself included – a thousand pardons my Islamism is far from perfect –, but if you open up my breast, and look at my heart, you will find it none other than Islamic. And this Islamic heart of Bung Karno, hopes to defend Islam by agreement, through discussion! By means of agreement, we shall improve all matters, we shall promote the interest of religion, that is, by means of talks or discussions in the House of Representatives.
      Whatever is not yet satisfactory, we shall discuss at a conference. The House of Representatives, this is the place for us to bring forward the demands of Islam. It is here, that we shall propose to the leaders of the people whatever we feel is needed for improvement. If we really are an Islamic people, let us work hard so that most of the seats in the people’s representative body we will create, are occupied by Islamic delegates. If the people of Indonesia really are a people which for the greater part are Islam, and if it is true that Islam here is the religion that lives in the hearts of the masses, let us as leaders exhort the whole of that people to mobilize as many Islamic delegates as possible for this representative body. For example, if the people’s representative body has one hundred members, let us work, work as hard as possible, so that sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety delegates sitting in this people’s representative body will be Moslems, prominent Moslems. Then the laws made by this representative body will naturally be Islamic laws too. I am convinced that, if such a thing as that really happens only then we may rightly say that the Islamic religion truly lives in the spirit of the people, so that sixty percent, seventy percent, eighty percent, ninety percent of the delegates are men of Islam, the upper class of Islam, preachers of Islam. Therefore I say that only when that happens, only just when it happens, Indonesian Islam will truly live, and not be mere lipservice to Islam alone. We say that ninety percent of us follow the Islamic religion, but look around you in this gathering and see what percentage give their votes to Islam? A thousand pardons that I should question that matter ! To me it is a proof that Islam does not yet flourish amongst the masses. Therefore, I ask you gentlemen, both those that are not Moslem, and in particular those who are, to accept this principle number 3, that is the principle of conferring, of representative government. In the House of Representatives there will be great conflicts of opinion. There is not one state truly alive, if it is not as if the cauldron of Candradimuka burns and boils in its representative body, if there is no clash of convictions in it. Both in an Islamic state and also in a Christian state, there is always a struggle. Accept principle number 3, the principle of consult, the principle of the people’s representation! Within the people’s representative body, Moslems and Christians should work as if inspired. If, for instance Christians wish every letter within the regulations of the state of Indonesia to accord with the injunctions of the Bible, then let them work themselves to death in order that most of the delegates who enter the Indonesian representative body may be Christians. That is just – fair play! There is no state that can be called a living state, if there is no internal struggle. Do not think that in Turkey there is no struggle. Do not think that in the Japanese state there is no difference of opinion. Allah, God of the Universe, gave us the capacity to think, so that in our daily intercourse we might constantly burnish our thoughts, just like the pounding and husking of paddy to obtain rice, in turn to become the best Indonesian food. Accept, gentlemen, then, principle number 3, which is the principle of conferring!
      Principle number 4, I will now propose to you. During these three days I have not yet heard of that principle, the principle of prosperity. The principle: there shall be no poverty in free Indonesia. I said a while ago the principles of San Min Chu I are Mintsu, Min Chuan, Min Sheng: nationalism, democracy, socialism. Then what should be our principles? Do we want a free Indonesia whose capitalists do as they wish, or where the entire people prosper, where every man has enough to eat, enough to wear, lives in prosperity, feels cherished by the homeland that gives him sufficient keep? Which do we choose, gentlemen? Do not imagine, gentlemen, that as soon as the Peoples Representative body comes into being, we shall automatically achieve this prosperity. We have seen that in the states of Europe there are representative bodies, there is parliamentary democracy. But is it not precisely in Europe that the capitalists are the bosses?
      In America there is a people’s representative body, and is it not in America that the capitalists are dominant ? Is it not throughout the whole Western Continent that the capitalists are the bosses ? And this whilst there are people’s representative bodies! There is no other reason but the fact that the people’s representative bodies established there have merely followed the recipe of the French Revolution. What is called democracy there is merely political democracy; there is no social justice and no economic democracy at all. Gentlemen, I remember the words of a French leader, Jean Jaures, who depicted political democracy. “In Parliamentary Democracy”, said Jean Jaures, “in Parliamentary Democracy every man has equal rights. Political rights are equal, every man can vote, every man may enter parliament. But is there social justice, is there definite prosperity amongst the masses?” In this connection, Jean Jaures continued: “A representative of labour, who possesses that political right, in Parliament may cause a minister to resign. He is like a King! But in his workshop, in the factory – today he can force a minister to resign –, tomorrow he can be thrown onto the street, made unemployed, with nothing at all to eat”.
      Is that the state of affairs we want?
      Gentlemen, I suggest: if we are seeking democracy, the need is not for the democracy of the west, but for conferring, which brings life, which is politico‑economic democracy, able to bring about social prosperity ! The people of Indonesia have long spoken of this matter. What is meant by “Ratu Adil”*? What is meant by the conception of Ratu Adil is social justice. The people wish for prosperity. The people, who recently have felt themselves what it is not to have enough to eat nor enough to wear, wish to create a new world in which there is justice, under the leadership of Ratu Adil. Therefore if we truly understand, remember, and love the people of Indonesia, let us accept this principle of social justice which is not only political equality, gentlemen. In the field of economy, too, we must create equality, and the best common prosperity.
      Gentlemen, the body for consultation which we will establish should not be a body for the discussion of political democracy only, but a body which, together with the community, will be able to give effect to two principles: political justice and social justice.
      We shall discuss these matters together, gentlemen, in the body for consultation. I repeat again, all matters shall be dealt with, all matters. As regards the head of the state, I frankly declare that I shall not choose a monarchy. What is the reason? A monarchy is based on heredity. I am a Mohammedan, and consequently I am a democrat, and therefore I want a settlement through negotiations, that’s why I want every head of state to be elected. Does not Islam say, that heads of state, whether Kalifs or Emirs of the Faithful, should be chosen by the people? Every time we are to create a head of state, we choose. If one day Ki Bagus Hadikusumo, for instance, becomes head of the state of Indonesia and then dies, passes out of this world, do not allow the son of Ki Bagus Hadikusumo automatically to become his successor. This is why I do not agree with the principle of monarchy.
      Gentlemen, what is the fifth principle? I have already expounded 4 principles:

1. Indonesian nationalism.
2. Internationalism, or humanism.
3. Consent, or democracy.
4. Social prosperity.
The 5th principle should be: To set up Free Indonesia with faith in God the Almighty.

The principle of Belief in God! Not only should the people of Indonesia have belief in God, but every Indonesian should believe in his own particular God. The Christian should worship God; according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, Moslems according to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad, Buddhists should discharge their religious rites according to their own books. But let us all have belief in God. The Indonesian state shall be a state where every person can worship God in freedom. The whole people should worship his God in the cultural way that is, without “religious egoism”. And the State of Indonesia should be a State incorporating the belief in God!
      Let us observe, let us practise religion, whether Islam or Christianity, in a civilized way. What is that civilized way? It is the way of mutual respect. (Clapping amongst the audience)
       The Prophet Mohammad gave sufficient proofs of tolerance, and of respect for other religions. Jesus Christ also showed that tolerance. Let us within the free Indonesia which we are going to organize along those lines, let us declare: that the fifth principle of our state is cultural belief in God, belief in God with a high code of honour, belief in God which has respect for one another. I shall be glad indeed if you agree that the state of free Indonesia shall be founded upon belief in God the Almighty.
     Here then, in the lap of this fifth principle, gentlemen, all the religions to be found in Indonesia today will find a better place. And our State shall also incorporate the belief in God.
      Remember well the third principle, of conferring, of representative government, there is the place for each of us to make propaganda for our ideals in a manner that is not intolerant in a cultured fashion !
      Gentlemen: I have already proposed to you “The principles of the State”. There are five. Is this Panca Darma? No. The name “Panca Darma” is not suitable here. Darma means duty, whereas we are speaking of principles. I like symbolism. The symbolism of numbers also. The rites of Islam are five in number. Our fingers are five on each hand. We have five senses. What more is five in number? (One of those present: Pendawa Lima, the Five Pendawas, five characters in the Mahabharata epic). The Pendawas also were five persons. And now, the number of principles: nationalism, internationalism, conferring, prosperity and belief in God, also five in number.
      The name is not Panca Darma, but I call it according to the advice of a linguist, a friend of ours: Panca Sila. Sila means basis or principle, and upon those five principles we shall build free Indonesia, lasting and age‑long. (Loud applause)
      Or, perhaps there are some who do not like that number of five? I can compress this number down, until there remain only three. You ask me, gentlemen, what are the three elements after I have done so? For decades past I have been thinking about this, that is, the principles of free Indonesia, our “world outlook”. The two first principles, nationalism and internationalism, nationalism and humanism, I compress into one, which I used to call socio‑nationalism.
      And Democracy which is not the democracy of the West, but politico‑economic democracy together with social justice, democracy together with prosperity, I also compress into one: what I used to call socio‑democracy.
      Then remains only belief in God, with respect for other beliefs.
      And so what originally was five has become three: socio-nationalism, socio‑democracy and belief in God. If you prefer the symbolism of three, then take these three. But perhaps, not all of you like this tri-principle, and ask for one, one principle only? All right, I make them one, I gather them again to become one. What is that one?
      As I said a while ago: we are establishing an Indonesian state, for which all of us should be responsible. All for all. Not Christians for Indonesia, not the Islamic group for Indonesia, not Hadikusumo for Indonesia, not Van Eck for Indonesia, not rich Nitisemito for Indonesia, but Indonesia for Indonesia, – all for all! If I compress what was five to get three, and what was three to get one, then I have a genuine Indonesian term, the term “gotong-royong” (mutual cooperation). The State of Indonesia, which we are to establish, should be a state of mutual cooperation. How fine that is! A Gotong-Royong state! (Loud applause on all sides)
      “Mutual cooperation” is a dynamic conviction, more dynamic than “brotherhood”, gentlemen. Brotherhood is a static conviction but gotong-royong, mutual cooperation, portrays one endeavour, one charity, one task, called by the honourable member, Mr Sukardjo, one “karyo” (one piety), one “gawè” (task) . Let us complete this “karyo”, this “gawè”, this task, this piety together. Gotong-Royong means toiling hard together, sweating hard together a struggle of help‑me‑to‑help‑you together. The piety of all for the interest of all. Come‑on‑pull‑together for the interest of all! That is “Gotong-Royong” (Loud applause on all sides)
      The principle of Gotong-Royong between the rich and the poor, between the Moslem and the Christian, between those not originating from Indonesia and their children who become Indonesians. This, gentlemen, is what I propose to you.
       Panca Sila becomes Tri Sila, Tri Sila becomes Eka Sila – one principle. But it is up to you, gentlemen, which you choose: tri-sila, eka-sila, or panca-sila? The contents I have explained to you all. Principles such as I have proposed to you, gentlemen, are the principles for a free Indonesia which will endure. For decades has my breast burned fiercely with these principles. But do not forget that we live in a time of wars gentlemen. During this time of war we are going to establish a state of Indonesia – in the midst of war’s thunder. I even render thanks to the Divine God that we are to establish an Indonesian state not under the full moon, but with the sound of the drums of war and in the fury of war. Free Indonesia shall emerge a tempered free Indonesia, free Indonesia tempered in the fury of war, and a free Indonesia of that kind is a strong Indonesian state, not an Indonesian state which would turn soft after some time. It is because of that, that I thank God Almighty.
In that connection, it is perhaps necessary to create emergency regulations, as was proposed earlier by several speakers, regulations temporary in character. But its foundations, the content of a Free Indonesia which is enduring and age‑long, should, in my opinion, be Panca Sila. As was said a while ago, gentlemen, that should be our world outlook. I do not know whether you agree with me or not, but I have striven since the year 1918 until the present day in 1945 for that world outlook. For the setting up of a nationalist Indonesia; for Indonesian nationalism that exists within the bounds of humanism; for conferring; for social justice; for belief in God. Panca Sila, that is what has always burned in my breast during decades. But, gentlemen, whether it is to be accepted or not is for you to decide. However, I fully understand that there is not one world outlook that can come into existence by itself, become a reality automatically. There is not one world outlook which can become clear to all, can become a reality, if there is no struggle!!
      This is not possible for any world outlook created by men, it is not possible for what was created by Hitler, by Stalin, by Lenin, by Sun Yat Sen. The Man, humanity, must fight for it. Without any struggle it can never become reality! Leninism could never have become a reality without the struggle of the whole Russian people. San Min Chu I could never have become a reality without the struggle of the Chinese people, gentlemen. Never! I will say more than that: without the struggle of human beings there is no single question of religion, not one ideal of religion, which can become a reality. Let alone the deeds of men, not even the command of God written down in the Qur’an, black on white, can become reality without the struggle of those who are called followers of Islam. The same applies to the words written in the Bible, the ideals contained there cannot come into being without the struggle of the followers of Christianity.
      Hence, if the people of Indonesia desire that the Panca Sila I propose become a reality, that is, if we wish to live as one nation, one free nationality, if we wish to live as a member of a free world imbued with humanism, the principle of conferring, to live in complete social justice, to live in peace and prosperity, if we desire to live in the belief of God in the fullest and completest sense, we must not forget the condition for its realization, and that is struggle, struggle, and once again struggle.
      Do not imagine that with the existence of the state of Free Indonesia, our struggle is at an end. No! I even say: Within that free Indonesia our struggle must continue. The struggle, however, must be of a different nature from what we have been carrying on so far. Then we, as a united people, shall continue our struggle to bring realization to our ideals contained in Panca Sila. And, particularly in this time of war, have faith, cultivate in your hearts the conviction, that free Indonesia cannot come if the people of Indonesia do not dare to take risk, do not dare to dive for pearls into the depths of the ocean. If the people of Indonesia are not united, and are not determined to live or die for freedom, the freedom of Indonesia will never be the possession of the Indonesian people, never, until the end of time! Freedom can only be achieved and owned by a people whose soul is aflame with the determination of “Merdeka – freedom or death!” (Loud applause)
    Gentlemen! That is my answer to the question of the Honourable Chairman. I beg your pardon that this address of mine has been extensive and was taken rather a long time, and I also beg your pardon because I have made some criticism of the memorandum of the Investigating Committee which I consider painfully hairsplitting. I thank you! (Thundering applause from all members of the audience!).
Jakarta, June 1, 1945

A note on the English Translation

This translation into the English from the stenographic report of the original speech in the Indonesian language (1945) is fairly an attempt towards a literal translation. It has been made so in the belief that it is not only the contents which are important for the reader abroad, but not less are the phraseology, the metaphors and the nuances of wordings – sometimes accentuations in Dutch and German – used by Dr Soekarno. It might be interesting for foreigners to know the way and style in which the speaker as a politician with a charismatic charm viewed the questions he dealt with; it might be useful too towards a better understanding of the ideas lying behind the words. Although sacrificing of some idiomatic expression in English, it brings the content, however, nearer to the original and the spirit of the extemporaneously speech.

“Panca Sila” (pronounced Pan‑cha See‑lah) is the collective name of the five principles upon which the Indonesian State is based. These principles was for the first time enunciated without written text by Dr Soekarno, and immediately incorporated in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, where they are stated as: Belief in God, Humanism, Nationalism, Sovereignty of the People, and Social Justice. All of the five principles as proclaimed by Dr Soekarno are without exception incorporated in the Preamble of our Constitution. Even though the arrangment of the five principles were slightly change in order to adjust the wordings of an oral speech appropriately into a written document, the original Soekarno’s spirit is still preserved. In fact, the Panca Sila discourse by Soekarno is the nucleus of Indonesian philosophy, dating far back into the history and culture of our people.
     The five principles as was expressed by Soekarno in his extraordinary marvellous speech on one hand, and the different arrangement regarding its sequence in the Preamble of our Constitution on the other, had incited some scholars of the New-Order Regime to dispute Dr Soekarno as the conceptor of the Panca Sila. Although obviously ridiculous, the “de-Soekarnoisation” and suchlike campaign was stubbornly carry out for quite sometime throughout the country by the propaganda apparatus of the New-Order government and their accomplices. Fortunately, the campaign definetely extinct as a matter of course.
     It is worthwhile to notice that the principles contained in Panca Sila emerged in spite of those in power during the ferocious Japanese occupation army. The circumstance that the democratic principles were formulated during the  occupation shows that the Indonesian people dared to take a stand of their own at a time when the military regime suppressed all democratic freedoms. It is true that the “Investigating Committee for Preparation of Independence” was established with the permission of the Japanese occupation authorities, but this permission was obtained only after a great deal of pressure from the Indonesian people and it is clear that permission was granted with a view to staving off even more serious insurrections than those which had already occurred.                 

 Joesoef Isak, ed.


by the former Chairman of the Investigating Committee
for Preparation of Independence

I was glad to receive a request from the publishers of this book to write a few words of introduction, and it is with great pleasure that I comply with that request.
      As Chairman of the Investigating Committee for Preparation of Independence, I was in attendance and myself heard this speech by Bung Karno* who is now President of our State.
      Therefore it was sure to please me very greatly to learn of the publisher’s intention to print a booklet of this speech of Bung Karno’s which contains the birth of Panca Sila.
      The Investigating Committee for Preparation of Independence met for its first session from May 20th until June 1st, 1945, and for its second session from July 10th until July 17th, 1945.
      The birth of Pancasila is a stenographic report of Dr Soekarno’s speech which was delivered extempore on June 1st, 1945, during the first session, when “the Principles of our State” were being discussed that they might be formulated from our ideas.
      A speech delivered extempore cannot but show imperfections with regard to its composition. However, more important is of course the contents! If we carefully study “The Birth of Panca Sila” it will be clear that this is a democratic principle. This is the Principle which forms the foundation of our state; it is a principle which had become deeply imbedded in Dr Soekarno’s spirit and become one with it, so that it came out spontaneously, regardless of the strict censorship exercised by the Japanese military administration.
      Indeed, a spirit which craves for freedom cannot be suppressed!
      Dr Soekarno never relinquished the domocratic idea during the whole period of the Japanese occupation. He held fast to it and always tried to find a way to bring it to realisation.
      We may express the hope the “Panca Sila” will serve as a mainstay and guide for our people in their efforts to achieve independence for their country.
    Dr K. R. T. Radjiman Wedijodiningrat
        Walikukun, July 1st, 1947

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