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IL News 026/2020
October 9th, 2020

Puansari Siregar from the Leimena Institute was the facilitator in Ethical Discussion held by Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP) on October 9th, 2020. This bi-weekly discussion is ICRP’s effort to build the spirit of peace among the youths, mostly in relaxing but fruitful discussion about a book or movie. The discussion was joined by the youths from several regions in Indonesia, such as Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

In this event, Puansari shared a chapter titled “Indonesia Doesn’t Need Tolerance” from a book “Tolerance: Action and Narration”. The author questions ‘tolerance’ term, because in etymology it means ‘to ignore’. She proposes “love” as the substitute, where human beings are actively involved in peace process, including forgiveness to others.

Puansari thinks it is a critical thinking to step forward from current condition where we tend “to ignore”, which is passive in nature, to second step where everybody is actively involved in building peace accordingly. Puansari put tolerance into analogy as someone who have a toothache. At a certain point, when one can’t tolerate the pain anymore, he/she will take an action: either to have tooth extraction or filling. So is tolerance: what if one can’t tolerate others’ worship style anymore?

This is where loving our neighbour is much needed. Puansari further explained that Pancasila is the love itself. People who practice Pancasila, won’t hurt humanity by destroying others’ worship practice. People who practice Pancasila will prioritize unity, justice, deliberation, worshipping the Almighty God in civilized way, and love humanity. Unfortunately, Pancasila was ignored most of the time – treated as unimportant. It is a public secret that Pancasila does not have a place here.

So, does Indonesia not need tolerance? Perhaps what Indonesia need is Pancasila in practice, in public policies, and in relationship amongst citizens.