By: Arif Satria
Rector of IPB University
Happy Youth Pledge Day. This momentum is important to explore the values of the struggle of young people in the early 20th century. Their sincerity to take off regional clothes and ethnicity to unite to become Indonesia has an infinite value. Oath one blood, one nation and uphold the Indonesian language of unity. It's not an easy thing to be able to continue to care for unity amidst diversity like this for 91 years.
There was something interesting when comedian Ari Kriting came to IPB University and stressed that caring for diversity is not easy. Developed countries alone may not be able to do that. America until the 1960s was still racist. White exclusive rights do not belong to blacks or African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics.
Only after Martin Luther King Jr. burning 250 thousand people who gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 with his famous speech "I have a dream", then American racism began to fade. It reads something like this: "I dream that someday my four children will live in a country that does not judge someone based on their skin color but on their character". In Indonesia, national awareness with ethnic equality has grown since 1928. America only began to realize in the 1960s.
Encouraging an economic growth is not as difficult as encouraging a well-preserved ethnic diversity in unity. This is Indonesia's achievement even though economically it is not as advanced as it is but successfully taking care of diversity. Caring for diversity is caring for humans and this is actually a great civilization. Namely a civilization that glorifies human values. Only with high human values can caring for diversity be successful. Only with high humanity can tolerance be maintained. This is the great thing about Indonesia, where the people continue to humanize human beings that keep us united. We must be proud of the sincerity of all of us to continue to unite. Yugoslavia finally scattered. The Soviet Union must suffer a similar fate. Even though their ethnic numbers are nothing compared to ours.
Diversity-based unity is a very important social capital. The basis of this social capital is trust. It means we are united because we trust each other even though we have different ethnicity and culture, including different languages, different arts, different social norms, different knowledge systems and different belief systems. Therefore maintaining this trust is the most important agenda of the Indonesian nation today. The most important trust is trust to enlarge each other. Interdependence is created between us. Created a network between us. Created brotherhood between us.
To bind trust to be maintained and we must be together in the framework of national unity is Pancasila. Pancasila is a joint consensus about the values that must be maintained and upheld in the life of the nation and state. Without a joint consensus through Pancasila it is difficult for us to unite. This is because Pancasila is a binder of trust between us so we have the same reference value to live together and continue to unite.
Caring for diversity is a teaching of nature. For a moment we see how the universe works. Nature's work should be an inspiration and lesson for human life and culture. According to Capra philosophers, there are 5 ecological principles namely diversity or interdependence, networking, holism and flexibility. Nature has taught these characteristics so that nature can survive. The five ecological principles can be a source of culture. Humans should also imitate the principles of nature's work, so that humans can recognize diversity, build interdependence, network, holistic insight and continue to adapt to the dynamics of change so that humans can survive. If there are people who do not recognize diversity, do not want to be interdependent, do not want to network with a completely different community, meaning that humans have violated the nature of nature.
That is why IPB University has always had a policy of recruiting prospective students from all parts of the country through the invitation channel without testing. It is not because IPB University is aware that equality of access to higher education for all Indonesian people is a necessity in caring for diversity. Although historically there are trusts to unite but if they are not treated by ensuring equal access to education, economics and politics, it is very dangerous for the trust itself. This is where justice must be upheld, namely access justice. It is this justice that will treat trust between us. This justice will make us feel like we are siblings.
IPB University then developed the spirit of diversity with a 1-year dormitory system so that multicultural life could be awakened. Cross-cultural communication is also getting smoother. Since the beginning students are educated to recognize and appreciate multi-culture. The annual student event in the form of the Gebyar Nusantara by BEM KM IPB University and the Nusantara Cultural Festival by students of the Vocational School of IPB University are a reflection of student awareness about the importance of caring for diversity. It was on this momentum that all regional student organizations (Omda) at IPB University displayed various cultures in the arts, fashion and culinary specialties of the region. None other than this event to build an appreciation of cultural diversity. This is the commitment of IPB University students to continue to strengthen national unity by caring for diversity.
It should not be excessive if the student recruitment policy for the entire archipelago and multicultural life on campus as above we want IPB University to become a Diversity Campus. Although on a still small scale, this is the contribution of IPB to continue caring for diversity. These are the small candles that IPB University keeps on lighting. No matter how small the candle that we light today will continue to have hope that one day we will light the world.
Bogor October 26th , 2019