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Prevent the Spread of Radicalism by Strengthening Nationalism


By: Aulia Hawa )*

Radicalism can be completely counteracted by strengthening nationalism because if everyone has a high sense of love for their country, then they will not waver against the advances of radical groups and terrorists. To strengthen nationalism, you can provide stories of heroism in history lessons. Students are also required to be given entrepreneurship courses so they can love their country more.

Indonesia has become a peaceful and prosperous country with the concept of democracy based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. Democracy is very fitting because it fits the condition of this country which has many tribes, cultures and 6 beliefs that are recognized by the government. 

However, there are radical groups who are very annoyed because they want to uproot Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution and replace them with a caliphate state. Even though this format is more suitable in monarchic countries which are usually located in the desert, and does not suit Indonesia which is more dynamic. But they forced themselves to hate all the rules from the government.

The danger from radical groups is very real. Apart from the threat of bombings, they also provoked the public to hate government regulations. If this happened it would be chaotic because it could trigger riots in Indonesia. Therefore, society is obliged to prevent the spread of radicalism by fostering nationalism.

Police Commissioner General Boy Rafli Amar, Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency, stated that the process of cultivating a sense of nationalism in society is an important part as a response to the polarization phenomenon that often occurs ahead of democratic parties. Transformation of national insights in order to maintain national unity and integrity is important in order to make society not easily influenced by a number of groups who often take advantage of identity politics for momentary interests.

Police Commissioner General Boy Rafli Amar continued, he hoped that together with elements of the nation the level of awareness in society’s democracy would get better, people’s rights were obtained fairly and without intimidation and hatred in carrying out this democratic party. He reminded that in the life of the nation and state one must uphold the spirit of a nation and state that is tolerant and loves the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. With tolerance, radicalism and terrorism will be tackled.

In a sense, nationalism can prevent radicalism because people who love their country do not want to associate closely with members of radical and terrorist groups. They don’t want to be persuaded, instead they report when there are terrorists roaming and undercover in their environment.

Radicalism must be prevented because 2024 will be a political year when there will be general elections. Don’t let a grand event like the election be chaotic because of the actions of terrorist groups. Therefore, society must avoid radicalism and terrorism by increasing a sense of nationalism.

Politician Susaningtyas Kertopati stated that the way to prevent the spread of radicalism was by strengthening nationalism. In a sense, when everyone understands nationalism, they will not be easily affected by radical and terrorist groups.

Strengthening nationalism is very important because in fact every citizen must have it, not only by memorizing Pancasila and the history of Indonesian independence, but also by implementing it. The way to do this is with education, both at school and at home.

Each student must receive lessons on nationalism, for example the teacher can tell stories of heroism before the independence era. They can understand that the proclaimer is Bung Karno and the concept of Pancasila has existed since time immemorial. It cannot be simply replaced with fundamentalist ideas because they are not in accordance with Indonesian culture, after all, radical groups had no part in fighting the colonialists before 1945.

In addition to theory, students can also be invited to learn directly. For example by visiting a museum to see tanks and other objects that were used in the war for independence. On Heroes’ Day, they and their teachers make a pilgrimage to the heroes’ cemetery to pray, sow flowers, while learning more about nationalism.

An introduction to nationalism must indeed be conveyed from an early age, even now kindergarten children are invited to memorize Pancasila. They also paraded wearing traditional clothes as a love of their country’s culture. Instead of being invited to a carnival wearing a black costume and carrying a plastic gun like what happened to a kindergarten student whose teacher was suspected of being radical, a few years ago.

Susaningtyas added that nationalism also needs to be instilled in the younger generation, because they are often easy targets for radical groups who are looking for new cadres. In a sense, students should take entrepreneurship courses to increase their sense of nationalism.

The younger generation must also be aware of radical content on social media which is increasingly vicious. Don’t easily believe content because it could just be a hoax or a twisted statement by a character, even though the context is not like that.

To eradicate radicalism from Indonesia, the people must strengthen their sense of nationalism, from childhood to adulthood. Teaching about nationalism is very important, not only at school but also at home. In this way, radical groups cannot develop in this country.

)* The author is a contributor to the Nusa Bangsa Institute

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