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Ten years? You are Fired!
In Terms of both Content & Intent, Yunus’ ouster Elicits Controversy

The latest joke in Bangladesh after the dismissal of Dr.Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank, from the post of MD, reads thus – In hell, every other nationality is kept in guarded cells but the one housing Bangladeshis remains unguarded. Because if anyone tries to leave, jealousy ensures that the others pull them back!

After a documentary (aired on Norwegian TV) that tried to prove how Dr.Yunus is embezzling funds (later proved wrong), Yunus seems to have become a prime scapegoat of the media and the ruling Sheikh Hasina Wajed-led Awami League. He has been accused of “making a sweeping statement against politicos”, promoting adulterated yoghurt. Above all, Sheik Hasina has called him as the one who is “sucking blood from the poor in the name of poverty alleviation.”

In 1997, when the world was worried about providing micro loans to 100 million poor people by 2005, Yunus was one of the key enablers who made it possible by 2006. The recent bashing against him can only breed conspiracy theories. The most prominent is that Sheikh Hasina has been livid that Yunus’ Nobel Prize makes his stature in Bangladesh higher than her own. She has spared no opportunity to malign him since he planned a political party in 2007.

Moreover, the central bank has set a new record in bad timing! The argument that the retirement age was 60 (he’s 70 now) and Yunus had failed to take permission when appointed indefinitely to the post in 1999 does not help the government’s cause at all. If the issue was alleged financial irregularities, it never came to the fore in the ruling. Unfortunately, the only achievement is a bad name to Grameen Bank and the micro finance industry. And it hasn’t made Sheikh Hasina’s glory any greater.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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