By Abebe Gellaw
The official website of India TV that had published a dubious online ranking two weeks ago that it claimed to be a list of the “top 10 most educated politicians in the world” has retracted the story.
Indiantvnews.com has now pulled back the “top 10” story and changed the title saying the random list was just intended to highlight the educational backgrounds of 10 leaders from around the world without any sort of ranking.
In response to an email inquiry challenging the authenticity of the original list that contradicts publicly available facts, Anushrav Gulati, an editor with the website, acknowledged mistakes in the confusing ranking. “The list was not intended to be any sort of ranking of politicians on the basis of their educational qualifications, but, on the other hand, is merely intended to highlight the educational backgrounds of ten persons,” the editor explained.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was erroneously included in the list despite the fact that he and some of those ranked as being “most educated” turned out to be less educated than so many leaders who were not included in the list. Many leaders with PhD degrees and an impressive list of advanced academic credentials were not included while others with first degrees like Putin were listed among the “most educated politicians.”
Gulati blamed the mishap on the title which originally claimed to be a “top 10” ranking. “You are, perhaps, justified in pointing out that the title of the news item in question could be said to generate some amount of confusion. We have modified the title to reflect the true intention behind the list as being one highlighting the educational backgrounds of 10 leaders from around the world.”
Hailemariam Desalegn was ranked as the 4th most educated politician in the world. However, it was highlighted to the website that he was not the most “educated politician in Ethiopia, let alone in the world.” In Ethiopia, a country whose literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world, there are several academics and scholars in politics who hold PhD degrees. It is, however, widely believed that educational qualification is less important in politics than other attributes such as humility, honesty, leadership, selflessness and the ability to inspire and empower others. TPLF’s puppet Hailemariam Desalegn is more known for his naked opportunism than his political acumen and leadership qualities.
Indiantvnews.com had ranked U.S. President Barack Obama, who got a B.A degree from Columbia University and J.D. from Harvard Law School, as the foremost educated leader in the world. Although Obama is arguably one of the most outstanding politicians in the world, he is not among the “most educated” politicians in the word.
If educational credentials matter to rank politicians, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe can claim the gold medal. The 90-year old dictator has amassed 8 degrees in various fields, without counting nearly 20 honorary degrees he received from universities around the world. After qualifying as a teacher, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Fort Hare in 1951. He received six more degrees including a Bachelor of Administration and Bachelor of Education from the University of South Africa. Then he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Laws, Master of Science, and Master of Laws, all from the University of London. He earned the two Law degrees while he was in prison. He got a the Master of Science degree while he was Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (1980-1987).
According to his biography, Hailemariam was born in 1965. In the same year, current Malawian President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika,74, got a law degree from the University of London. The distinguished scholar received LL.M in 1966 and a doctorate degree in law in 1969 from Yale University. Then he became a professor and taught at University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Haile Selassie University (Ethiopia), Rutgers University (USA), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Program for Foreign Service Officers from Africa and Asia at Makerere University (Uganda), and for 39 years at Washington University (USA).
Prof. Mutharika was democratically elected as President of Malawi defeating Joyce Banda in the general elections held on May 20, 2014.The Indian website that did not even mention Mugabe or Mutharika, among many others such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel (PhD, Physics), Chinese President Xi Jinping (PhD, Law), and Belgian PM Elio Di Rupo (PhD, Chemistry) seemed to be oblivious of the facts when it compiled its random “top 10” most educated politicians list.
Other African leaders that have advanced degrees include Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (PhD in Zoology), President Yayi Boni of Benin (PhD in Economics) and the outgoing Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Navin Ramgoolam, who was a distinguished medical doctor with numerous academic and professional credentials. It appeared Surbhi Gloria Singh, the reporter who compiled the list failed to do her homework well enough.
TPLF army of cadres distributed the bogus “top 10” list online without checking publicly available facts. Hailemariam, who lacks depth and communication skills, is probably the only Prime Minister in the world who is given a title with little power and influence while TPLF bigwigs command legislative, judicial and executive branches of government.
-10 world leaders with doctorate degrees