Almost all Indonesians were celebrating the 65th Independence Day yesterday. This celebration took many forms, from traditional celebration, such as lomba makan kerupuk to formal military ceremonies. All Indonesians took part without exception from crawling babies to grannies and gramps. It shows that freedom is something that all people want and seek. But, what kind of freedom are people seeking? Freedom from what? Are all Indonesians really enjoying the freedom?
Is it that we have obtained freedom when there are many poor people having limitations to resources? Is it that we have achieved freedom when we still see that rich people oppress the poor? Is it that we have got freedom when some people are feeling afraid of doing their religious service because they got attacked from other religious people? Is it that we have obtained freedom when only certain people are enjoying education? Is it that we have freedom when many people have limitations to job vacancy? What is freedom for Indonesia then?
I am afraid that the definition of freedom understood by each Indonesian is not the same. It seems that freedom referring to what Indonesians celebrate each year is limited to freedom from colonialism. If that is the case, has Indonesia been really free from colonialism when plenty of natural resources of Indonesia are massively exploited by other countries? When economic and trade are legally taken control by other countries? When rich countries oppress Indonesia by giving Indonesia loans with oppressive conditionality? So which freedom is referred to when 17th August comes each year?
Since The Indonesian Independence Day was proclaimed 65 years ago, Indonesian has been learning how to be an independent nation. It seems that the learning is still going on. But let me ask you these last three questions, what is the definition of freedom? If yes, there is common definition of freedom, who to determine and what are the parameters to say that a nation or a people has obtained freedom? And again, are there any governments, people, or a person able to grant a guaranteed freedom?