Tags: Muhammad Yunus, Sk. Hasina, World Bank
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sk. Hasina proposes Dr. Yunus name for the the post of World president in a meeting with the envoy of EU. The proposal caught everybody off guard as nobody thought of Hasina would propose Dr. Yunus for the post.
So far Sk. Hasina kept no stone upturned to malign the image of Dr. Yunus in a serices of acts. The last action of her was removal of Dr. Yunus from the post of Chairman of Grameen Bank after 30 years of service to the bank that he had founded.
Dr. Yunus took the proposal as the change of heart of the Prime Minister.
But he refused to be president of the World Bank, rather he is more concern with the state of the Grameen Bank and wants to serve Grameen Bank longer period.
Will Prime Minister pay hid to the intention of Dr. Yunus ?
Padma Bridge: Dream yet not fulfilled October 28, 2011Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: Padma bridge, World Bank
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Padma bridge is a long cherished dream for the people of south of Bangladesh. Once done, it will connect the south with the other parts of the country. was thought to be a revolutionary step to eliminate the economic discrepency with the east .
A plan was chalked out and World Bank was set as the major donor for the project of about 6 billion dollar. It would provide more than 3 billion dollar and ADB, Jaica and IDB would share the rest of the burden. When people was hopeful about the start of the project , WB declared to stop the funding on the charge of corruptiontion in ralation to the handling of the project. Soonafter, ADB and Jaica also withheld their commitment. The finger pointed to the Communication Minister Abul Hossain who was recently heavily criticised for failure to maintain and develop the roads and hiighways of the country. Government said that no specific allegation was raised by the WB. Anti Corruption Commission made an enquiry into the allegation. The chief of the commission declared that they found no corruption in the project and there was attempt to wrong doing in the the process. In the meantime the Prime Minister declared in a public meeting that Padma funding is stopped due to corruption of BNP government. the PM also assured the natiom that if WB dont provide thw money then alternatives are there to suppot the project. Muhith said later that government is not looking for any alternative source. The pending of the WB fund is only a temporary one .After one or two days she expressed that a Nobel Laureate of Bangladesh is behind the stoppage of the funding. The only Nobel Laureate of the country Dr. Mohammad Yunus immediately protested the assertion saying that he was always advocated for Padma bridge and as a citizen of the country he never thought of preventing any effort for the briadge and added that WB can’t take such a major decision on the opinion of an indivividual. Finance Minister Muhith two days later denied any involvement of Dr. Yunus in influencing the funding of WB.
Then two days later, the senior information officer of Finance Minister issused an statement complaining that the media misreported the finance minister. PM in the current parliamentary session expressed that complications regarding Padma project will be solved soon and no alternative souce will be required.
Among all the hopes and contradictions, the dream of people for Padma Bridge still remain unfulfilled.
An ordinary citizen
Tags: Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank
Government has almost achieved what he intended to achieve that is to remove Dr. Yunus from the post of Managing Director of Grameen Bank. Whatever the reason behind the move, it will be a matter of past. But new issue will come up and will link it with the past.
What steps government takes to run the GB smoothly, will be the next issue to observe. It will be important not only to the political observers but more to the borrowers-shareholders of the bank. As because the issue is so much discussed nationally and internationally, international communities and micro-credit pundits will also observe the move.
Grameen Bank is a unique bank in structure and function, baptized in 1983 by a presidential ordinance. It has grown up into a huge financial institution with 83.3 lac borrowers with a branch in every village of the country.
One of the uniqueness of GB is that it’s borrowers are it’s shareholders. It is difficult to conceive how the borrowers could be the shareholder and the question is asked by a minister. The borrowers have to put a part of their borrowed money as obligatory deposit to the bank and GB incorporates them as the shareholders of the bank.
The money lending and money collecting system are also unique. Grameen lends money without collateral, but not an individual but to a member of a group where the group acts as the guarantor. Repay system is weekly. Grameen staff goes to door to door and collect the money. All these indicate a very strong organizational system,committed management and competent leadership.
It will be hard for the government to render that leadership and the management will become corrupt soon and the system will be disorganized.
Board of Directors of Grameen is composed of 12 members, 9 elected from borrowers-shareholders and 3 nominated from the government and headed by a chairman, nominated by the government. Board of Directors appoints the Managing Director and Bangladesh Bank approves it. Government has already appointed a chairman, how competent, time will only prove. Grameen Board of Directors are illiterate-commented a minister. I am not sure whether they will appoint more educated new directors on the board violating the constitution or changing it. But lest not we forget that these illiterate leaders of Grameen brought the Nobel peace prize to the bank. Any move to replace them, will cause the borrowers to lose their confidence in the management.
Losing trust of the borrowers will make AL-led government to pay the price politically in near future.
An ordinary citizen
Dr. Muhammad Yunus: Bangladesh new antihero? March 18, 2011Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, People, PERSONALITY, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank
Dr. Muhammad Yunus is struggling with the government and the court for his post of managing director of Grameen Bank. His personal appeal to the finance minister and explanation to the Bangladesh Bank all went in vein. His appeal to the High Court has been rejected. His counsels compelled to take the refuge to the Supreme court. After hearing on the first day from Dr. Kamal Hussain on merit of the case, supreme court suspends the case for 15 days. The attempts taken by Dr. Yunus, his counsels and Board of Directors so far couldn’t tilt the determination of the government to reconsider its decision.
A parallel current is also flowing at the same time. The board of directors , the borrowers and the beneficiaries of Grameen stand by the side of Dr. Yunus. They are not small in number. About 4 crore people are directly or indirectly connected with Grameen Bank. They are expressing their support for Dr.Yunus and worry for Grameen.
The citizens are reassessing the contribution of Grameen to the economy and judging the commitment and character of Dr. Yunus against the contemporary politicians.
Are the people of Bangladesh reinventing their lost hope in Dr. Yunus?
Is Dr. Yunus Bangladesh new antihero?
An ordinary citizen
Dr.Yunus’ ‘removal': exploring the reasons March 5, 2011Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: Dr. Yunus, Grameen Bank, microfinance, Muhammad Yunus
Government of Bangladesh is trying to remove Dr. Yunus from the post of managing director of Grameen Bank that he developed on his own pioneering idea of micro-financing to the poor and empowering the women for the last 30 years. As per a 1983 ordinance Government holds 25% statutory stake now with less than 5% of the contribution of the bank.
The Government found him more than 60 years of age, an age limit set for the employees of the Grameen Bank but not for its MD. Th other fault is not taking prior approval of Bangladesh bank before his appointment as MD, though the Board of Directors, the appointing Authority of this bank, duly appointed him.
Then where does lie the fault? The ordinary citizen can only speculate 4 possibilities to explain the situation:
1) This Government may consider him as a threat to it’s ambition to stay in power for an indefinite period. Dr. Yunus has shown his political interest in 2007 floating a political party, though shortly afterwords he had withdrawn himself from the venture. He was also approched by the sponsors of the last care taker government to hold the post of Chief Adviser though he refused, but had suggested the name of Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, a fellow economist who ran the caretaker government for long 2 years that successfully organized last national election of 2008 with the participation of all political parties. Dr. Yunus had his full blessing for the caretaker government.
2) Government may be thinking of taking control of Grameen Bank that has more than 8 million clients, has disbursed more than 16000 crore of money in the last year, has more than 20 commercial enterprises with renowned international companies like danone, Adidas, Viola.
3) May be the whole matter is personal. As Dr. Jafar Iqbal said in one of his recent articles that at one time Bangladesh was known to the world by the name of Bangabandhu Sk. Mujbur Rahman but Bangladesh is now known to the outside world by the name of Dr. Yunus and his activities. It may be difficult for someone in the center of the state to digest the matter.
4) Or there may be no apparent reason as Finance Minister MA Muhith said, there was no way out except to remove Dr. Yunus from Grameen Bank.
An ordinary citizen
Dr. Yunus – Does he represent the 3rd Force in Bangladesh? January 27, 2011Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: 3rd Force, Danone, USA
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Recently Dr.Yunus has become the focus of attention in the media in Bangladesh. But he was more focused in international media for his concept of social business and its practical implication for the last few months after he got the Nobel prize for peace in 2006. Though Dr.Yunus was also greatly involved in developing multiple projects in Bangladesh with the leading companies of the world as Adidas, few people of his country were closely following his ventures.
But he came to the limelight of the local media with the news of documentary on the transfer of money from Grameen Bank to Grameen Kalyan. In the debate , not only people of different strata took part and expressed their opinion, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh also made the harshest comment.
The debate died down with the clarification of Grameen and reply of Norwegian government but not in Bangladesh. A case has been filed against Dr. Yunus in a magistrate court miles away from the capital for his comment made in 2006 against the politicians. The magistrate accepted the case and summoned Dr. Yunus to appear before the court. In the meantime government has formed a parliamentary committee to probe into the allegations against Grameen Bank.
USA has asked the Bangladesh Govt to deal the matter related with Dr. Yunus with honour. It is to be noted that Dr. Yunus has recently received 2 highest awards in USA.
For parliamentary Committee, a preliminary paper is prepared where 16 points are identified to inquire into . A new case has been submitted against Dr. Yunus for adulteration of Skakti Dai- a product of Grameen-Danone, joint venture of Grameen and Danone, Danone a world leader from French in nutrition product. Grameen-Danone is also the first model of social business in Bangladesh and may be the first in the world.
The ordinary citizen is feeling puzzled with the new development of events relating Dr. Yunus where the government is also taking active part.
Is there any political reasons behind all these? Does Dr. Yunus represent the 3rd force in Bangladesh? That’s why he has become the target of continuous harassment by the government? The opposition has so far made no comment in this matter.
It is known that Dr. Yunus was first approached by the sponsors of the last Caretaker Government. He refused the offer but proposed the name of Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed who headed the CTG for long 2 years and Dr. Yunua had his blessings for the CTG.
In Bangladesh, no political government so far could gain the sustained confidence of people and could win consecutively for 2 terms.
An ordinary citizen
Dr.Yunus, controversies & comments December 16, 2010Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, Media, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: Grameen Bank, microcredit, microfinance, Yunus
When I first saw the news in a leading Bangla newspaper, I was surprised and hardly believe myself. The headlines and the news is arranged in such a way as if Dr. Yunus has removed $700m from Grameen Bank for his own purpose. Many people who didn’t go into the depth of the news would be confused the way it was presented in the media except a few.
Tom Heinemann, a journalist from Denmark cites in his documentary of the events of 14 years back that was shown in the Norway National Television. The documentary shows that Norway and allied countries collected 700m and donated to Grameen Bank for the alleviation of poverty.
Grameen Bank in a Board Meeting headed by Dr. Yunus decided to transfer the money to Grameen Kalyan for better utilization of money. The money was deposited back to Grameen Bank, the interest of which was utilized for education, housing and business of the poor people.
Interesting is that the news got huge coverage in Bangladesh media. They not only accused Dr. Yunus of wrong doing but many of them expressed their in-confidence over the microcredit system operating in the country and abroad. In the Internet blogs, facebook and other social media were flooded with posts and comments. While many of the comments from Bangladesh were crudely critical, the observation from outside were mostly cautious. The Grameen Bank on behalf of Dr. Yunus was awkwardly trying to defend Dr. Yunus by disseminating the facts at its hand. Even MPs demanded inquiry into the allegation. Prime Minister Sk. Hasina came out as the harshest critic on the event. Dr.Yunus hails the bid for inquiry. He emphasised that there was no wrong doing. A news also circulated in the media in reference to Indian PM which proved false.
When the tide was at it’s peak, the Government of Norway issued a statement that there is no irregularities or embezzlement of any fund by Dr. Yunus and Grammeen Bank and the issue was settled in 1998. The statement drew a curtain over the controversies regarding Dr. Yunus and Grameen Bank pointing at the shallowness of our thoughts and intellect as a nation.
I was amazed by some of the answers of Dr. Yunus to the journalists when he came back to Bangladesh a few day’s back. At the end of interaction, he hoped that Bangladesh will move forward by the collective effort of us all.
But one thing is not clear to me why Tom Heinemann, took an event of 14 years back, the dispute of which settled at that time. Is it because he is a self employed journalist who thrives on so called investigative report and chose Dr.Yunus, who was at his peak of popularity , as his target to become famous in days? But it is not him to blame but it the temperament of Bangladesh people that made the news so important.
An ordinary citizen
Vilification of Grameen: Daily Star editorial
Honouring ourselves- Dr. Rehman Sobhan
Proud of Dr. Yunus-Dr.. Muhammad Ali Bhuiyan-University of North Carolina
A very dignified response-Abdul Hannan in Daily Star
Why this tirade against Professor Yunus-Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed -a Rhodes Scholar
A case has been filed against Dr. Yunus in a magistrate court in Myemenshigh for making comments against the politicians in 2006.
A parliamentary committee has been formed to probe into the allegations against Grameen Bank.
Dr. Yonus appeared at the magistrate court to reply to the summon.
USA requested Bangladesh to deal with respect the matters related with Dr. Yunus.
Parliamentary subcommittee has submitted 16 allegations against Dr. Yunus and Grameen 8ank.
A case has been put against dr. Yunus for adulteration in the Sakti dai. Sakti dai is a food product of Grameen Dannon a joint venture of Grameen with Dannone- a world leader in nutritional product.
South Asian Union by 2030- Yunus new vision December 11, 2009Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, POLITICS, Yunus.
Tags: India, South Asian Union, Yunus
Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus in Hiren Mukharjee Memorial Speech in the Indian Parliament expressed his vison for a South Asian Union by the year 2030. He drew the picture of a common flag alongside the national flag of the member countries, a common currency and a large area of common domestic and foriegn policies for the union. The idea is the reflection of the political and economic success of the European countries after forming the EU.
His vision of South Asian Union is his new idea after projection his idea of social business on which he is now working in Bangladesh on a number of projects with some major companies of the world like Danone, VVeolia, Intel, Adidas, BASF and Otto.
At this moment the idea of South Asia Union is a difficult proposition as there are multiple conflicting issues exist among the South Asain countries and there are also distrust and religious and political differences among the nations.
Still the idea of Dr. Yunus will be pondered upon in future by both public and politicians alike of this area.
An ordinary citizen
Link: Full Text of the speech
Tags: Muhammad Yunus, Obama, Presidential Medal of Freedom, USA
Dr. Muhammad Yunus has been conferred highest civilian honour of USA by President Obama in a marked ceremony held at White House on 12th August 2009. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was also bestowed upon 16 others citizens of the world who includes Archbishob of South Africa Desmond Tutu, leading British Scientist Stephen Hawkins and former Iris President Mary Robinson.The medal is given for “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
President Obama lauded the contribution of Muhammad Yunus in alliviating the poverty from the world saying, ” Muhammad Yunus was just trying to help a village, but some how manage to change the world”.
In reaction in an interview Muhammad Yunus said that it is not a personal achievemnt of him, rather it’s an honour and an achievment of Bangladesh. He said that it proves Bangladesh can also do something good to the world. Microcredit which he started from a village in Bangladesh while he was a Professor of Economics in the university has now spread all over the world and virtually all the countries of the world are practicing microcredit now including the developed countries like USA, Canada and French.
It is also sad to say that when the world is recognising his contribution, some people in Bangladesh is trying to deny the impact of microcredit on the economy in Bangladesh.They say that microcredit is not enough to eradicate the poverty from the society.[DS] It’s true, microcredit alone is not enough to change the society, but in their deliberation there is a hint of denial of the impact of microcredit on the poverty in our country. This tendency of denial was also present in the past.[DS]
Dr. Yunus explained in the interview that the present banking system support the people from the upper layer of the society and it is arrested in the middle and can’t reach the people at the bottom. On the contrary, it is the microcredit which support people from the bottom of the society who have no money, no collaterals and no recommendation.
Regarding high interest rates of microcredit, he said that Grameen has 4 types of loan- one has 20% interest, the house loan has 8.5% interest, student loan has 5% which also count after the completion of the study and loan for beggers has no interest. Nearly 150000 beggers are enjoying this loan. Dr Yunus said that Grameen ensures the 100% education of the children of its clients, many of them could complete the intermediate level and enter into the universities and medical colleges becoming doctors, engineers and Ph D holders. Grameen provides scholarship to persue higher education in the foreigh countries like USA, Canada. he added that very recently 6 students had gone to Malayasia on higher studies.
On forced extraction of loan repayment system, he told that Grameen is established to ease the suffering of poor people, not to extract money in their distress. During ‘Aila’, the latest cyclone which inundated huge area along the sea belt, Grameen not only suspended the loan collection and also support the suffering people by supplying pure water and food and supporting in their rehabilatation.
On the question of increasing gap between the poor and the rich in Bangladesh as predicted by World Bank and few experts he said that statistics say that from 1990 onwards poverty decreases by 1% per year till 2000, then it decreses by 2% till 2005. The stats beyond that is yet not available. But if it continues in the same rate, we can decrease the poverty to 50% by 2015. He hoped that if it is possible to decrease the poverty by half in 2015, it is not impossible to eradicate poverty from Bangladesh by 2030.[Courtesy:NTV]
In the post ceremial reception of the award winners, Dr. Yunus requested Obama and Mitchel to visit Bangladesh which they agreed to accomplish as the time permits.
Bangladesh feel proud as a nation when Yunus got the Nobel Prive for peace in 2006. Bangladesh is again feeling proud for what Yunus has achievd fof him and for Bangladesh.
An ordinary citizen
‘Bangladesh would be able to see its dream come true’- says Nobel Committee Chairman Professor Mjos July 18, 2008Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Yunus.
Tags: Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank, Nobel Committee, Nobel Peace prize 2006, Professor Ole Mjos
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‘Bangladesh would be able to see its dream come true’- says Nobel Committee Chairman Professor Mjos The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Professor Ole Danish Mjos is on a visit to Bangladesh on an invitation of Dr. Muhammad yunus. Dr. Yunus first invited him while he was in Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 at Oslo.
In Bangladesh he attended the inauguration of Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition at Grameen Bank head quarters at Mirpur,Dhaka where he opined that Bangladesh would be able to see the dream come true through building a prosperous Bangladesh free from poverty. The exhibition was organized by The Norwegian Nobel Peace Center, the Norwegian embassy and the host Grameen Bank.[DS]
Professor Mjos also addressed some 3000 students of different institutions and universities gathered at Bangladesh-China Friendship Centre on 17 July 2008. He said, ‘lets together create a world without poverty, let’s build peace and prevent war, focus on integrity, fight global warming and protect environment and let us work for a word free from nuclear weapon’. [DS]
The visit by Nobel Committee Chairman Professor Mjos to Bangladesh is very remarkable and is the recognition of Dr. Muhammad Yunus’ contribution to peace and poverty alleviation the relation of the two is defined by Mjos as ‘the struggle against poverty is the work for peace of the first order’
An ordinary citizen
Mijos visited Damrai, a rural area where the women changed the fate of them and their families through microfinance from Grameen Bank. Mjos was greatly impressed with the effort of these women[DS]
Mijos in an interview to Prothom Alo on 20 July, 2008 , the leading bangla daily, ‘To be mid-income country or to attain the mellenium development goal Bangladesh needs good governance in total perspective and for that competent leadership is needed. Bangladesh has many problems. Climate change due to global warming has added to the problem of poverty. So problem becomes doubles. To overcome this and to progress to success Bangladesh needs educated, competent a trained leadership.’
His comment on Dr. Yunus is also interesting. ‘Professor Yunus is a man of rare qualities. If he stayed back in USA, then he would have been acclaimed as an exceptional scholar throughout the world….’ he said.
Details of the interview[PA]
OMS, Rationing and few words from the pages of Dr. Yunus April 18, 2008Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, GOVERNANCE, People, Yunus.
Tags: Dr.Muhammad Yunus, OMS, Rationing
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Bangladesh is passing through a very critical food crisis. To overcome the food crisis and to control the price of essentials, the government has introduced many programs which include OMS(Open Market Sale), sales through BDR shops , VGF, Work for Food Program etc.
There were suggestions for introducing rationing system also. But the government didn’t give much heed to the suggestion and give more importance to the OMS. But within days OMS service also proved to be inadequate. (more…)
Bangladesh should have gone for Deep Sea Port February 28, 2008Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, Yunus.
Tags: BNP, Caretaker Government, Deep sea port, Dr.Yunus
Dr. Mohammad Yunus, our Nobel laureate, in late 2006 and early 2007, in the loudest voice and in full conviction pronounced the need of a deep sea port. He also demanded setting up of a mega-port in Chittagong for exploring the potential of the area and bringing economic development.
With facilities for docking larger vessels the mega port could turn this region into a commercial hub of international standard benefiting all users, said the Nobel laureate. (more…)
Dr. Yunus on World Bank November 5, 2007Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Yunus.
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Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus said that World Bank has failed to achieve the goal of poverty alleviation. This is because of its failure to change its policies with the change of time. To alleviate the poverty first of all World Bank is needed to reform of its structural organization.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick was on a 2 day visit to Bangladesh and had a meeting with Dr.Yunus on 4 November 2007 .
After the meeting Dr. Yunus disclosed to the journalists the above conversation he had with the WB President. He said World Bank has been established 60 years ago. In this long period World had changed a lot but the World Bank didn’t change its policies.
Dr. Yunus in ‘Council of Elders’ July 21, 2007Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, PERSONALITY, Yunus.
Tags: Council of elders, Dr. Yunus, PERSONALITY
A new humanitarian alliance by the name ‘ Council of Elders’ was formed by the global leaders on the 89th birthday of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa
The ‘Elders’ is dedicated to find new ways to foster peace and resolve global crises, to support next generation of leaders.
The E’lders’ include along with Mandela, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Carter, Tutu, Koffi Annan, Ela Bhatt, a women’s right campaigner from India; former Norwegian Prime Minister Go Harlem Brudtland; Li Zhaoxing, a former Chinese envoy to the UN, who started his diplomatic carrier in Africa, Mandela’s wife Gracia Machei, a longtime campaigner for children’s right and former Iris President Mary Robinson.
There are seven Nobel Laureattes in the group including Dr. Yunus.
Dr. Yunus wins again July 3, 2007Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, PERSONALITY, Yunus.
Tags: Dr. Yunus, microfinance, PERSONALITY
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Business Week said that Dr. Yunus started his banking system by giving small loans to the village poor. Most of these loans are given to the women folk of the village. These women invest their money in different small agricultural and handicraft enterprises.
It continues that Grameen Bank which was established by Dr. Yunus now has 2422 branches. From its inception it has given more than 600 crore dollars as loan to the poor. Loan holders are also the main shareholders of the Bank. Grameen Bank became profitable within 3 years of it’s stablishments.
Other great entrepreneurs who are in the list include Bejamin Franklin(1706-1790), John D Rokfeller(1857-1945), Tomas Adison (1847-1901), Henry Ford (1863-1947), Azim Premji (1945), Oprah Winfrey(1954).
If, now retrospectively, we see how our leaders evaluated him, it will embarrass us, if not them. They tried to knock him out by malicious propaganda and false accusations because of the interest he had shown to come to politics.
He has not only withdrawn himself from politics but also withdrawn himself from the media and society also.
He had shown his good gesture to change the face of our politics and the fate of our country but we cound’t accept that.
A few days back, he had his 68th birthday passed in a very simple way in Dhaka.
Still then, he will be remembered as the first Nobel Laureate of Bangladesh and one the greatest Social Enterpreneurs of all times.
He will remain as a symbol of dedication, simplicity and greatness for the generations to come of our country and of the world.