Federal Republic of Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Bhopal on Saturday said that his country was an apt example of how “bad politics” could divide even a completely homogeneous society — which has one religion, one sect and one language.
Addressing a function organised at Barkatullah University to confer honorary D Lit and MTech (education) degrees on the Somalian President, Mohamud said, “Somalia is a country where people of only one religion, namely Muslims, reside. All of them come from the Sunni sect and they speak the same language, but bad politics divided the society so much that it was pushed into civil war.”
‘Civil war, terrorism destroyed entire generation in Somalia’
Do not support politics which divide people, Mohamud urged the students. He also shared how his country was suffering.
“The civil war and terrorism has spoiled an entire generation in Somalia. All the education institutes and schools were vandalised and bombarded in the war. We have lost all the records, data and documents related to different aspects of the country,” he said. “Staring at a bleak future, the younger generation was attracted towards terrorism to survive. Terrorist groups al Qaida and others had turned Somalia into their bastion. Our country didn’t have any history related to piracy either, but piracy emerged due to instability.”
Mohamud all praise for India’s unity in diversity
In contrast, Mohamud was all praise for India’s much-touted unity in diversity.
“We have a great example of stability in the form of India. Despite several diversities in the form of religion, sects and languages, if India could progress and become a stable democracy, why not Somalia,” he said.
He also shared his vision for Somalia and how they are today working to attract parents and children towards education with food, much like India’s mid-day meal concept.
“Still, we have scars of the past. The major challenge is how to offer good life to the young generation. As we don’t have good resources, we have started vocational training to make them employable,” he said.
Recalling his days at the Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTTI), now National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), in Bhopal, Mohumad said, “The city has changed a lot in the past 27 years. It is really good to see the city progressing.”
Later, the president visited the NITTTR. His presentation on the project based on a four-stroke engine when he was a student there was also displayed at the institute.
Professor LN Verma, who taught education technology to Mohumad at TTTI, said, “He was the student of NITTTR in the academic year 1986-88. There were six students, who had come to study at TTTI from Somalia. He was one of them and a good student too.”
In the function, Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, higher and technical education minister Uma Shankar Gupta and vice chancellor MD Tiwari were also present.
The president also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for understanding the problem of Somalia and sympathetically assuring help in revival of the country.
CM meets Somalian President
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a meeting with Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The president said there were a lot of similarities between Somalia and India, and considerable opportunity to work with MP.
The chief minister told President Mohamud that people of the state were happy and proud that a student of Bhopal (university) has become the president of a country. Chouhan expressed confidence that under Mohamud’s leadership, Somalia would progress at a fast rate.
Mohamud said Bhopal was a beautiful city and he felt a deep connection with it. He said he was happy to be back and assured the chief minister that the two would work together in the future.