Youths 'should take part in politics'

Former activist says having strong faith is essential before starting on political path

Konradus R. Mangu, Serang, Indonesia

June 28, 2011

Involvement in politics is an attempt at creating a common good, while taking an active part in an organization is an absolute must for university students, according to a former political activist. “There are three things you must pay attention to before getting involved in politics. First, never see yourself as part of a minority group. Second, everyone is obliged to develop this nation and country. Third, you must have strong faith,” Hermawi Fransiskus Taslim told 40 Catholic university students at a June 24-25 gathering in Serang, in Banten province. However, the former National Awakening Party activist reminded them to first recognize the vision and mission of a political party they want to join. “It would be better if you join a political party which seeks to uphold pluralism in this country.” Acknowledging that he always saw Jesus Christ as his role model, he described the Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World) as the foundation for Catholics wanting to enter politics for the common good. The former chairman of the Union of Catholic University Students of the Republic of Indonesia in Medan, North Sumatra, also called on the students to take an active part in organizations. “By being a member of an organization, you can learn many things which you may not learn at the university,” he added. Also speaking at the gathering was Iding Mujtahidin, head of the province’s Regional Office of Religious Affairs Ministry. In his speech, he expressed his belief that young people have clear thoughts which would be useful for improving people’s lives. “Do things which are meaningful to all human beings,” he said. Related Reports: Atambua Diocese Encourages Young People To Get Into Politics Church activists want stronger Catholic voice in politics