This is an op-ed I published in “Jurnal Nasional”, a new national daily. In this essay I argue that Indonesian historians have mostly overlooked the important period of the 1950s. Called by the New Order regime as the period full of “historical mistake”, the 1950s Indonesia is actually the most politically vibrant and democratic period. I also argue that historians place too much emphasis on the concept of Indonesia as an imagined nationhood and in so doing conflate the nation with the state. Drawing from anthropologist Begona Aretxaga’s concept of a “hollowed state”, I argue that the type of the Indonesian nationalism that emerges from such imagination is an empty nationalism. And Indonesian historians are mostly “guilty” for promoting such perspective of nationalism.