Sunday January 20, 2019
Home India Murdered Mald...

Murdered Maldivian Blogger’s Father wants India’s help to Ensure Justice for his Son

0
//
Yameen Rasheed , Twitter

New Delhi,  May 20, 2017: The father of a prominent Maldivian blogger murdered last month wants India’s help to ensure justice for his son.

“I want India to press the (Maldives) government to make my son’s murder case investigation go for a fair trial,” Hussain Rasheed, father of Yameen Rasheed who ran a popular blog called The Daily Panic that poked fun at politicians of his country, told IANS during a visit here.

Yameen, who was known for his fight for democracy and human rights, was found dead in his apartment in Male with multiple stab wounds on April 23.

This was the latest in a series of attacks on media persons and politicians critical of the government of President Abdulla Yameen ever since then President Mohamed Nasheed controversially resigned in February 2012 following a mutiny by a large number of army and police personnel.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

Yameen was also very vocal about the disappearance of fellow blogger and best friend Ahmed Rilwan since August 2014 and was getting threats. He approached the police in December last year but had to really push to get his concerns registered.

He is the third media person to be attacked in the last five years. In 2012 another blogger, Ismail Rasheed, narrowly escaped death after a knife attack.

Also, in October 2012, reformist religious scholar and Member of Parliament Afrasheem Ali was killed.

Painting a grim picture of the prevailing situation in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation which is faced with growing Islamic radicalisation, the senior Rasheed said that the current government of Abdulla Yameen did not enjoy much public support.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

“I think if you hold a fair election, the government of Maldives will not get even five per cent of the votes,” he said.

According to him, this was evident from the recent local council elections in which representatives of the ruling dispensation fared poorly.

Noting that India was the Maldives’ closest friend and neighbour and the biggest democracy in the world, he said that an unstable government in his country would not be good for India’s neighbourhood.

“We want India to help us to bring the government back on the path of democracy,” Rasheed said.

On Friday, at a discussion on “Threats to Free Speech and Press Freedom: Murder of Prominent Blogger in the Maldives” organised by the Observer Research Foundation think tank, Rasheed gave an account of the events surrounding his son’s murder.

He said that after being informed by the police about it at his parental home in one of the southernmost islands of the Maldives early April 23 morning, he rushed to Male but the hospital authorities there did not allow him to see his son’s body as he could not have tolerated it.

When the body was finally handed over after being cleaned, Rasheed found that his son sustained 34 cuts on his body, including 14 on the chest, one on the throat and three on the forehead.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

Rasheed said that his son had been getting death threats since 2011 but he was not told about it because of his heart condition.

After studying till class 12 in Kerala, Yameen Rasheed graduated in computer science from an institute in Bengaluru and was working at the Maldives Stock Exchange till the time of his death.

Speaking on the occasion, Shauna Aminath, a prominent Maldivian human rights activist, said that since 2012, there has been a severe decline in the democratic environment in her country.

“I fear the situation will soon become irreversible. We are witnessing new elements coming into play, especially Islamic radicalisation,” she said, adding that President Yameen was increasingly becoming authoritarian.

“It is an ideology that is killing liberal values and democracy.”

Aminath said that most opposition political leaders were in jail and there was no press freedom with two newspapers and a TV channel being shut down under the current regime.

She said over 200 young Maldivians have left to fight in Syria.

“We are in India’s backyard. I hope India will not remain silent,” Aminath said.

Next Story

India Needs to Improve its Educational Outcomes to Catch up with China

To catch up with China, India needs to lay emphasis on improving its educational outcomes

0
The Article 30 of the Constitution gives religious and linguistic minorities “the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”
India needs to improve its educational outcomes to catch up with China. Pixabay

By Amit Kapoor

Both China and India started building their national education systems under comparable conditions in the late 1940s. Different policies and historical circumstances have, however, led them to different educational outcomes, with China outperforming India not just in terms of its percentage of literate population and enrollment rates at all levels of education, but also in terms of number of world-class institutions in higher education, and greater research output.

The roots of China’s successful education system date back to the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), which unintentionally expanded access to the primary education through democratising the schooling system, which was previously elitist in character, thus addressing the problem of mass illiteracy.

In contrast, India continued to focus on its higher education system since independence and only realised the importance of basic education in 1986, keeping it behind China and many other countries in Asia in educational development. In terms of enrollment, China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

In terms of secondary school enrollment, India and China both started at the similar rates in 1985, with about 40 percent of their population enrolled in secondary schools. However, due to a wider base of primary school students, the rate of increase in China has been much faster than in India, with 99 percent secondary enrollment rate in China and 79 percent in India in 2017.

India is closing in on the Chinese rate in terms of access to education, but on the literacy level front, there is a huge gap in the percentage of literate populations in the two countries. In the age group of 15-24 years, India scores 104th rank on literacy and numeracy indicator, compared to China’s 40th rank.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses after every three years the domain knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, science and finance, revealed that students in China performed above the OECD average in 2015. Moreover, one in four students in China are top performers in mathematics, having an ability to formulate complex situations mathematically. Further, China outperforms all the other participating countries in financial literacy, by having a high ability to analyse complex finance products. For India, the comparable data is not available as it was not a participating country in PISA 2015.

abroad, study
Representational image.

However, in India, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 provides data for rural youth, aged 14-18, with respect to their abilities to lead productive lives as adults. According to this survey, only about half of the 14-year-old children in the sample could read English sentences, and more than half of the students surveyed could not do basic arithmetic operations, like division. For basic financial calculations, such as managing a budget or making a purchase decision, less than two-thirds could do the correct calculations.

With regard to the higher education system, both India and China dominate the number of tertiary degree holders because of their large population size, but when it comes to the percentage of the population holding tertiary degrees, only about 10 per cent and 8 per cent of the population possess university degrees in China and India, respectively. By contrast, in Japan, almost 50 per cent of the population holds a tertiary degree, and in the United States, 31 per cent of the population hold a tertiary degree.

In terms of the international recognition of universities, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking for 2019 places seven of the China’s universities in the top 200, compared to none for India. The global university rankings, which are based on various performance metrices, pertaining to teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industrial income, shows progress for several of China’s low-ranked universities, largely driven by improvements in its citations.

In fact, the Tsinghua University has overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS) to become the best university in Asia due to improvements in its citations, institutional income and increased share of international staff, students and co-authored publications.

Also Read- Researchers Turn Carbon Emissions into Usable Energy

While India has progressed in terms of massification of education, there is still a lot which needs to be done when it comes to catching up with the China’s educational outcomes. China’s early start in strengthening its primary and secondary education systems has given it an edge over India in terms of higher education. Moreover, Chinese government strategies are designed in line with the criterion used in major world university rankings, especially emphasis is on the two factors which weigh heavily in the rankings — publications and international students.

The relentless publications drive, which is very evident in China, is weak in India and has led to a growing gap in the number of publications contributed by the two countries. Further, China enrolled about 292,611 foreign students in 2011 from 194 countries, while India currently only has 46,144 foreign students enrolled in its higher education institutions, coming from 166 countries. The large number of international enrollments in China is a reflection of its state policies granting high scholarships to foreign students.

To catch up with China, India needs to lay emphasis on improving its educational outcomes. Massification drive for education has helped India raise its student enrollments, but a lot needs to be done when it comes to global recognition for its universities. Further, it needs to focus on building the foundation skills which are acquired by students at the school age, poor fundamental skills flow through the student life, affecting adversely the quality of education system. (IANS)