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View Poll Results: What is Dr. Yunus to us?
Friend 23 88.46%
Foe 3 11.54%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old February 13, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Lightbulb Dr. Yunus: Friend or foe?

With Dr. Yunus's entering politics, as expected, lots of debate is coming up regarding him. Along with the article by Taj Hashemi, challenging his Micro-Credit Poverty alleviation theory, another one has come up accusing him of being a puppet to MNCs.

Following is the link to both articles:

Taj Hashemi

BLiTZ Internet Edition

So what is Dr. Yunus to us? Friend or Foe?

I thought this deserves a poll.
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  #2  
Old February 13, 2007, 02:46 PM
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No it doesn't deserve a poll. It will not be even close. Why would he be a foe?
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  #3  
Old February 13, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Taj Hashemi has very logical points. He also made a very good point in requesting Yunus to be part of the ACC instead of joining the parliament where he will have less power in trying to bring change in Bangladesh.
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  #4  
Old February 13, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadi
No it doesn't deserve a poll. It will not be even close. Why would he be a foe?
Did you read the 2 articles? If not, please do. Any logical person should hear both sides of the argument before making a judgment.

Personally I am confused, I had been his fan, I still am, but those 2 articles definitely raised some questions.
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  #5  
Old February 13, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakirc
Did you read the 2 articles?
The article was most likely first published in the Countercurrents.org on Dec 12, 2006 authored by Omar Tarek Chowdhury.

In the conclusive comments the author said, "Undoubtedly, Dr. Yunus has become a blue-eyed boy of the corporate world ...."

Now, when we have blind-eyed girls by the sides and no-eyed boys all over, does the color of the eye really matter where someone with open-eye is badly needed?

- just a quick personal comical comment
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Old February 13, 2007, 04:13 PM
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There is NO FREAKING WAY someone can be worse than Hasina, khalida, ershad, golam azam..... (any of the current political leader). NO WAY.

let for the sake of argument say, Dr. Y is an spy of X/Y/Z... or whatever.

He will still be better than those.

what the heck is wrong with you people? how could he be foe? have not you had enough of the current bunch already?
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  #7  
Old February 13, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaman
The article was most likely first published in the Countercurrents.org on Dec 12, 2006 authored by Omar Tarek Chowdhury.

In the conclusive comments the author said, "Undoubtedly, Dr. Yunus has become a blue-eyed boy of the corporate world ...."

Now, when we have blind-eyed girls by the sides and no-eyed boys all over, does the color of the eye really matter where someone with open-eye is badly needed?

- just a quick personal comical comment
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubu
There is NO FREAKING WAY someone can be worse than Hasina, khalida, ershad, golam azam..... (any of the current political leader). NO WAY.

let for the sake of argument say, Dr. Y is an spy of X/Y/Z... or whatever.

He will still be better than those.

what the heck is wrong with you people? how could he be foe? have not you had enough of the current bunch already?
I think you people are misunderstanding the question here .... This is not a comparative question. The 2 articles mentioned suggests we may run from the tiger and fall in the mouth of a hyena (Forgive the analogy ... its not my view, not yet at least).
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  #8  
Old February 13, 2007, 08:46 PM
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Dr Yunus has a plan to take Bangladesh economy to the next level. For example: His plan is to make an interstate highway connecting India, Bangladesh, Nepal and others. he is very clear about it. He also discussed this issue with Indian Prime Minister Jogmohan about this high way. It is only Dr Yunus's influence with Jogmohan can get it done. One may ask what is the benefit for such a free way for Bangladesh.

Dr Yunus explained it in the secondary plan which is to make Chittagong port a world class facility. His plan is to anchor ships in chittagong port and use this interstate highway to supply imported products to land locked country and state like Nepal and Assam. This is a brilliant idea if you examine the plan carefully. Bangladesh will make enormous amount of dollar by providing logistic for this massive transportation revenue. This plan can bring billions of dollars annually for us. bangladesh can become a trade hub like Singapore. Imagine that!

Dr yunus is trying to get our politicians do these things for long time. This plan is nothing new. Our politicians do not have the organizing skill to bring India and Nepal into making this happen. Dr Yunus should be in the prime minister position to make this a reality. Our responsibility is to help him get there. Thanks!
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  #9  
Old February 14, 2007, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shujan
Dr Yunus has a plan to take Bangladesh economy to the next level. For example: His plan is to make an interstate highway connecting India, Bangladesh, Nepal and others. he is very clear about it. He also discussed this issue with Indian Prime Minister Jogmohan about this high way. It is only Dr Yunus's influence with Jogmohan can get it done. One may ask what is the benefit for such a free way for Bangladesh.

Dr Yunus explained it in the secondary plan which is to make Chittagong port a world class facility. His plan is to anchor ships in chittagong port and use this interstate highway to supply imported products to land locked country and state like Nepal and Assam. This is a brilliant idea if you examine the plan carefully. Bangladesh will make enormous amount of dollar by providing logistic for this massive transportation revenue. This plan can bring billions of dollars annually for us. bangladesh can become a trade hub like Singapore. Imagine that!
The Asian Highway project, up gradation of Chittagong port etc. issues have been around for more than 10 years. These projects seems to be very beneficial for Bangladesh on the surface but the problem is with the conditions imposed by India. From what I have read in newspapers, conditions for the interstate highway include allowing free access of Indian Army throughout the entire length for supposedly security. This also means that the Indian army will be allowed to do what BSF has been doing in our borders for decades, but they will be doing it right within the heart of our country.

So far every deal we had with India turned out to be sore for us, starting with Padma Water to all the trade treaties and agreements. I don't see any reason to believe that this is going to be different. One thing is for sure, Bangladesh will lose a big export market if this project is undertaken.

Remember Tata's investment proposal, well on the surface, everyone would welcome such a proposal. But later on we saw what terms they were expecting from us. Thanks to the press, the people became aware of those and the govt. did not dare proceed with it.
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  #10  
Old February 14, 2007, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubu
There is NO FREAKING WAY someone can be worse than Hasina, khalida, ershad, golam azam..... (any of the current political leader). NO WAY.

let for the sake of argument say, Dr. Y is an spy of X/Y/Z... or whatever.

He will still be better than those.

what the heck is wrong with you people? how could he be foe? have not you had enough of the current bunch already?
Yup. Please, please give me a spy over them.
I've had enough.
I'll go for a highly educated, nobel-lauriet, mastermind spy any day.

My other choices are thieves, terrorists, Hijra bahini commanders, corrupt, money-laundering, shameless, conscienceless politicians that have had 36 long years to play with our country, her wealth and her people. Many of them are doing it for a lot longer, come to think of it.
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  #11  
Old February 14, 2007, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Prof. Hashmi says I have not bought the concept of micro-credit as the panacea for the scourge of poverty and your claim that poverty would be only found in the museums in the 21st century (and I congratulate myself for not being wrong);
To this guy, the most important thing is to prove he is right and Dr. Yunus is wrong. It must be an old ego clash from his early days of teaching in chittagong.

Tackling corruption is not an easy task, but i agree with Yunus that honesty and integrity can take you a long way in fighting corrupt. If the government is sincere they can put a stop to most of the corrupt practices in our society. A good example is what the current caretaker government is doing? You don't need an ACC to figure out that people like saka chowdhury and Salman F rahman are corrupt people.

For me the most important thing is that Dr. Yunus developed the most effective tool of fighting poverty against many odds. He deserves credit for achieving something that nobody else has achieved before in such large scale. Intellectual only write about what should be done, but Dr. Yunus is one person who is capable of doing what he believe. His intellectual and spiritual pleasure come from eradicating poverty and helping people and not from predicting that micro-credit will not remove 100% poverty from society.

This thread illustrates a very interesting thing "what can rumour and confusion do to a person's thinking?" Political parties will employ such tactics to hinder Yunus, I hope he will be able to fight them effectively.

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  #12  
Old February 14, 2007, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakirc
The Asian Highway project, up gradation of Chittagong port etc. issues have been around for more than 10 years. These projects seems to be very beneficial for Bangladesh on the surface but the problem is with the conditions imposed by India. From what I have read in newspapers, conditions for the interstate highway include allowing free access of Indian Army throughout the entire length for supposedly security. This also means that the Indian army will be allowed to do what BSF has been doing in our borders for decades, but they will be doing it right within the heart of our country.

So far every deal we had with India turned out to be sore for us, starting with Padma Water to all the trade treaties and agreements. I don't see any reason to believe that this is going to be different. One thing is for sure, Bangladesh will lose a big export market if this project is undertaken.

Remember Tata's investment proposal, well on the surface, everyone would welcome such a proposal. But later on we saw what terms they were expecting from us. Thanks to the press, the people became aware of those and the govt. did not dare proceed with it.
Why India's army will come to Bangladesh? Nobody wants 14 crore poor people and their flood infected land. I do not think we have to worry about Indian army coming in through the high way. This is a misunderstood concern.

A highway is nothing but good thing. Bad deal happens due to bad negotiations. Good negotiations bring good deals. You do not stop making deal just because you made a bad deal before. Here Bangladesh hold the leverage. We have the port. We are willing to let India use it in return of money. Indian company can imort and exort goods cheaper using chittagong port. They have no alternatives. This will create storage facility job, transportation companies, transportation job in Bangladesh. Our shipping industry will boom. Its good for Bangladesh!!!!! When it comes to make a deal Dr Yunus is the master.
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  #13  
Old February 14, 2007, 08:54 PM
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I just want to know who is the "genius" who voted for "foe". Please enlighten us with your identity. Apnader moto manushder jonnoi Bangladesh er ei oboshta ekhono. People just look for a conspiracy theory everywhere !!! Bekar good for nothings.
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  #14  
Old February 15, 2007, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shahriyar
I just want to know who is the "genius" who voted for "foe". Please enlighten us with your identity. Apnader moto manushder jonnoi Bangladesh er ei oboshta ekhono. People just look for a conspiracy theory everywhere !!! Bekar good for nothings.
Lol!! . .wait another year or so bro, if this thread sticks around ... there will be more votes in that column.

By the way, I did not vote yet, I don't vote on the polls I post.
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  #15  
Old February 15, 2007, 02:53 AM
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I thought people will be more optimistic about Dr. Yunus joining politics. Just read these comments which came out in DS.
http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/02/15/d70215090196.htm

Response to Dr Yunus
On February 11, Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus declared his intention to join politics in an open letter to the people of the country, where he also asked for people's views. The Daily Star has organized an online opinion poll asking, "Do you support Professor Yunus's move to float a political party?" As of the time of printing there have been 3,766 votes: 67.8% yes votes, 29.6% no votes, with 2.5% offering no opinion. Here we print a representative sample of some of the comments sent along with the votes.I think our country needs a leader like Prof Yunus. I feel that if they come to politics, our country will get rid of the corrupted, greedy politicians.
Sunny
* * *
He is very talkative person. He should respect his senior politicians who are honest and fight for our country's good.
Jannatul Ferdoush
* * *
He always ignored the country at crucial moments. There is no evidence that he played any positive roll in critical moment. He always confuses people. Any political person should clear his vision.
Mahmud Hasan
* * *
Dr Yunus is highly qualified academic turned corporate business person. His contributions in corporate business in Bangladesh and other countries are very much appreciated. However at this stage of democratization and cleansing process, I think he could contribute more as non-partisan civil society representative rather than a politician. I also quote him: "[He] has achieved enough and there is nothing he wants."
Dr Enam Karim
* * *
I think that Prof Yunus should not join Bangladeshi politics. He is a decent man who is widely respected. Bangladeshi politics is extremely dirty and corrupt. The current caretaker government is doing a brilliant job in trying to clean it up. It will take a long time to clean up something that has been dirty for such a long time. If Prof Yunus gets involved he will damage his character and that would not benefit the country.
Abdul Halim
* * *
No, he is not a good man.
Bhajan
* * *
He is our last hope.
Zayed Hossain
* * *
He should not join politics. It's not his job. Let him be an intellectual. If he wishes, he can only be an advisor to the PM or president.
Kashif
* * *
We need clean and dynamic persons should run the country. We cannot afford to miss our opportunities for our country's development. Long years have passed, so called leaders could not provide us any fruitful things. So we need a pragmatic leader who has the practical vision for our overall development. Bangladesh should prove to be a successful country in all aspects and we believe we have that ability. We need honest politicians, committed persons. Dr Yunus is the right person to move us towards that long cherished goal.
Afsarul Arifeen
* * *
At the present circumstances, what else could be the better option?
Shaulee Kamal Khan
* * *
I think good people should come in politics so that people can choose good people to elect.
Ayub
* * *
I don't want the professor to join politics. Because politics and micro-credit is not the same thing.
Saif
* * *
I support him. But he should inform us of his plan for the nation beforehand, so that we can appreciate the difference between the current political culture and his plan.
Mohammad Nurul Azim
* * *
I give my opinion that it would be a new way for Bangladesh and clear indication for the people of Bangladesh. Its a great and huge opportunity that was opened in front of the country's people. So I support him and will join his party as a worker.
Majibor Rahman
* * *
For an active and effective democracy, a country must have an active, vibrant, and visible civil society. If Prof Yunus forms political party with the people of civil society (as he will not take leaders from other parties), then there will have a vacuum of civil society in the country. He can be father figure of the nation. He should not get down in the field and start playing, rather play the role of referee actively and effectively.
Moniruddin Ahmed
* * *
I think Prof Yunus has taken a right decision. People are tired of destructive politics of the present prominent political parties. I think if Prof Yunus comes to politics he will definitely make a difference. Bangladesh politics will definitely benefit from his innovative ideas but he must be very cautious regarding choosing people.
Kazi Nasim Ahmed
* * *
If we claim to be a civilized society, people like Yunus should be encouraged to come and take responsibility of the country, not the existing thugs.
Razzaque
* * *
I wholeheartedly support Dr Yunus's move. Two major political parties ruled Bangladesh since 1991, but instead of taking the country forward, they only indulged in corruption, nepotism, etc. In fact, these two major political parties proved they are nothing but the two sides of the same coin. Bangladesh has great potential to be a success, but it must need an honest government, opposition, and honest politicians who will care for people instead of caring themselves. Look at Malaysia, how far they went under Dr Mahathir Mohammad. Indeed, Dr Yunus can be the Mahathir Mohammad of Bangladesh.
Bazlul Wahab
* * *
This is a golden opportunity to reconstruct our political system. I don't know how come 29% people said no to this offer. This is surprising indeed. How can these people who are against this decision not recognize the great endeavour that the Noble laureate has taken?
Triporna Das
* * *
A real democratic party for establishing economic and political freedom and social justice with honest and dedicated people under your thoughtful and caring leadership is the best gift you can offer to our people.
QMK Ali
* * *
I think that he will be unable to compete with other politicians of our country because of his inexperience. Maybe he is a good man but not all good men are good leaders. If he comes to politics then he will go to hell day by day, because our country top to bottom all are corrupted. Please stay with your Grameen Bank and do something better for our poor people.
Md Shohel Rana
* * *
Honest political process should be the only alternative to bring rule of law and accountability. Dr Yunus is the right person to initiate this process to eliminate corrupt politicians from our political system forever and to create a new environment for the country.
Nazir Dewan
* * *
I would prefer seeing the expertise of Dr Yunus as a special advisor to the government on economic and social reform matters of the state. Forming a political party and running for power will have unneeded stress and could heavily have negative influence on his character.
Mashruf Habib
* * *
People can trust Professor Yunus. He is an honest, sincere and highly educated Bangladeshi who has sacrificed his whole life for the cause of the poor. He is well respected in the world. He should be the saver of Bangladesh image in the world. I am willing to join him if he accepts me. In my student life at Dhaka University, I was elected vice-president of Dacca Hall and actively participated in six-points movement. This is an opportunity for me to take part in politics again.
Dr Abdur Rahim
* * *
It will be suicidal for Dr Yunus to get involved in politics. I strongly request him to stay out of politics and contribute his huge potential for the people and country remaining outside the politics.
Ali Ershad
* * *
It's very good to see that some wonderful people of this land want to put their feet into troubled Bangladeshi politics, to make it more effective for the betterment of people of this country. But we have to be on the lookout for what has been the bane for this country over the years -- foreign influence. Bangladeshi people cannot afford it anymore.
Hosnay Mobarok
* * *
We need politics of brilliant, honest and efficient person(s) who can change the fate of the mass of the country. We believe that general people will be always with you. Wish you best of luck.
Md Salah Uddin
* * *
I think it is high time that people like Dr Yunus get involved in politics. Our current politicians want to push back our country 30 years so that they can do their looting and corruption. We need visionaries and honest people like Dr Yunus so that we can bring our country back into the 21st century. Go ahead Dr Yunus, you will have my complete support: moral, spiritual and even financial.
Anonymous
* * *
Why did he not compete with all the democratic political parties when everyone had a chance? Is he not an opportunist who simply wants to use the backing of this military backed interim government to grab power? If he has guts he should compete with the mainstream parties after the next election. I suspect he is going to be our Hameed Karzai.
Nuf
* * *
In our country we really require honest, educated, sincere person like him. In fact we lack a good leader, otherwise we have everything. Only a sincere leader can change the scenario. If a father is good, then his family members will also maintain certain discipline.
Kazi Mahbubur Rahman
* * *
Although I hate the leaders of BNP, Awami League and Jamaat, but I don't believe creating another party will solve the problem. He should join one of the current political parties and change the system. Party doesn't belongs to any family but to the people of Bangladesh. My personal choice would be LDP.
Sawgat Chowdhury
* * *
Prof Yunus is a very honest and respectable man and him getting into politics can only improve the country. However, at this point in time, if he was given the position of the head of ACC, at the head of ACC he will bring credibility to the fight for corruption, and finally people will see hope that it can be fought. I feel he can do more for this country than anyone has since independence. So, no, I feel he should not get into politics as of yet.
I do support Dr Yunus's move to float a political party. I also believe that he will score in an open field in the next polls if the current anti-corruption drive is completed impartially before the election. However, I believe that before doing that, he should clear his stance regarding: 1) the role of Sirajul Alam Khan behind the party he is going to float; 2) the negative impression about the NGO sector in Bangladesh; and 3) his perceived closeness to the US Democrats.
Saquib
* * *
Dr. Yunus is an honest man and so he cannot be a politician. Also he is a great patriotic person. He deserves more respect in coming days ahead. But if he forms a political party, he would not be able to find honest people for him to work with. He should not trust anybody, as people are dishonest and corrupt all over Bangladesh. So far, after 1971, all political leaders failed to demonstrate their patriotism. I personally don't trust any politician in Bangladesh and I hate all of them. I have never cast my vote after 1971. I hope Dr. Yunus will not engage in politics.
Merazul Hoque
* * *
Here is my full support for you to go ahead with all your noble plans to build a new Bangladesh.
Ajmal Huda
* * *
This is an excellent news. We need educated, dynamic and well known persons as a head of government. He will bring new ideas and dynamism in the politics. Allow younger people to be involved in politics. As an NBR, I'll be interested about Bangladesh politics in future if he forms political party.
Tawhid Khan
* * *
Dr. Yunus is a very respectable and honourable person not only in Bangladesh, but all over the world. He should not get involved in the politics of Bangladesh. Instead, he should work for the greater good of the world, and continue to advocate for a poverty-free and peaceful world. This way, he can positively affect the lives of millions of people living in poverty throughout the world.
Tonmoy Islam
* * *
My question to those who doesn't support Prof Yunus's move: Would you re-elect BNP or AL who has again and again let us down or give a chance to a new era in politics led by a much honest and noble person?
Istiaq
* * *
With the current state of political affairs, it is still not appropriate for Dr Yunus to step into politics. Politics is a balancing act and I fear that he might not be able to reform the system without dirtying his hands. The timing is all crucial -- Dr Yunus should work rather from the outside and act as a voice for the civil society.
Safwan Shabab
* * *
I do believe that he is a wonderful man and that with his own political party he will go a long way. I believe that he can do great things for Bangladesh and will get Bangladesh back on track as a country and help it to grow out of corruption, and bring it out of the current bad state it is in. I believe that Prof Yunus is the man to do this.
Alexandra Haider
* * *
I do not support his political party. He got the Nobel prize. He made us proud by getting this prize. If he joins politics, then this will create debate. He should advise the nation from outside.
Mamun
* * *
Politics in Bangladesh needs to be revamped and rebuilt. A new leader without the usual "baggage" of corruption that prevails in Bangladesh's political sphere is long overdue. While Dr. Yunus is more of an intellectual than a shrewd politician, I strongly endorse a more moderate leader than a polarizing one. I believe that Dr. Yunus will be that centrist leader who will be able to transcend blatant divisions that currently erodes Bangladesh. We have come a long way since the early 50s, and we can do a lot more to provoke advancement. Dr. Yunus has the world mandate; he deserves a chance.
Jawad Khan
* * *
I appreciate the courage of Dr. Yunus to come forward to join politics defying the fear of getting into controversy. And to me somebody of his stature must try to infuse goodness in the filthy politics that we are in.
Mohammad Salam
* * *
Yunus should definitely go for a new party. People needs a party that really reflects and understands their aspiration. He may help the nation to free itself from marauders, cheats and thugs who claim themselves as politicians. The current politicians lack political acumen and education to run the country.
Zahedul Amin
* * *
This is very nice step to build new Bangladesh but we are tense about the representatives of Yunus who will participate in election. Are they all like Yunus? Also, can Yunus survive in our current polluted and corrupted politics?
Islam MM
* * *
Political leaders (not politicians) can no longer be trusted. They have no social or religious values in them. Due to their sick politics all democratic institutions have been politicized. Judiciary, administration, education and military -- all are politicized. We have only one way to change this highly negative trend.
Istiaq
* * *
This is the time to reshuffle and form a new Bangladesh for challenging world in the 21st century. Best of luck.
Dr Md Al-Saad (Bachchu)
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  #16  
Old February 15, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Corruption is the main source of income for a lot of people. Of course they are not going to like his emergence in the politics.
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  #17  
Old February 15, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubu
There is NO FREAKING WAY someone can be worse than Hasina, khalida, ershad, golam azam..... (any of the current political leader). NO WAY.

let for the sake of argument say, Dr. Y is an spy of X/Y/Z... or whatever.

He will still be better than those.

what the heck is wrong with you people? how could he be foe? have not you had enough of the current bunch already?

Rubu has a point. I'll go with that too.
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  #18  
Old February 15, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Link below is an article which explain how Dr Yunus use reward to alter bad behavior and bring discipline to life.
http://business-times.asiaone.com/su...224567,00.html
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  #19  
Old February 15, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shujan
Link below is an article which explain how Dr Yunus use reward to alter bad behavior and bring discipline to life.
http://business-times.asiaone.com/su...224567,00.html
Could you please post the article here? BusinessTimes requires membership to read the page you referred .
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Old February 15, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubu
Corruption is the main source of income for a lot of people. Of course they are not going to like his emergence in the politics.
That is exactly the case and only people who benefit from the current system of politics will oppose Dr Yunus. We have one brave one amongst us as he/she was brave enough to vote "foe" in this poll. There may be others but they just refrained from voting I guess. Ei shob corrupt civilians gulakeo jail e dhukano dorkar along with the corrupt politicians.
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Old February 15, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Published February 15, 2007


Money isn't everything in micro-credit

By M BAKRI MUSA
MUHAMMAD Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, is widely lauded for lifting millions of Bangladeshi peasants out of poverty through his micro-lending initiative. He awes his audiences with stories of how loans of just a few dollars can be life-transforming for the recipients, allowing debt-ridden villagers to free themselves from the clutches of ruthless moneylenders, or enabling small-scale entrepreneurs to get on their feet.

Yet Grameen's success has less to do with the amount of credit extended than with the accompanying behavioural changes that the bank demands of its borrowers. That is why some attempts at replicating this wonderful idea elsewhere have been less than successful.
Malaysia, for example, has a similar programme, run by the government, but its impact on poverty reduction has been unimpressive. Instead, it has bred a pile of dud loans. With the government carrying the operating costs, the programme quickly acquired a bloated bureaucracy that spent more time training employees than advising borrowers, with priority for some loans going to the politically connected. The recent conviction of its top executive for corruption reflects the rot.
More significantly, the Malaysian initiative also failed to change negative cultural and religious perceptions on the practice of charging interest. Initially, the programme camouflaged interest rates as 'service charges'. This inability to change local cultural norms is a common problem that has led to the failure of micro-lending elsewhere. In rural India, for example, the involvement of women in business fuelled a rapid increase in divorce.
Values over money




When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, Mr Yunus said that Grameen Bank had lent nearly US$6 billion over the last 30 years in loans that average US$130 each. A key stipulation of the programme is that its loans must be for income-producing activities, not consumption. But, perhaps more important, Grameen's borrowers also must commit to the programme's '16 decisions', which include family planning, educating their children, not accepting or giving dowries, and embracing 'discipline, unity, courage and hard work' in all walks of life. The emphasis on values over money is wise advice, and not just for poor Bangladeshi peasants.
The success of Mr Yunus is inspiring others to emulate the Grameen Bank's programme. Various governmental agencies, non-profit organisations and commercial entities are entering the field. There are even eBay-like enterprises linking borrowers and lenders. But these well-intentioned endeavours will fail - as with the Malaysian experience - if they focus only on lending, and not on changing underlying attitudes and behaviour.
The Malaysian initiative could be enhanced by not linking the programme to the political establishment, the main reason for its degeneration into political patronage. Lenders could also have taught their borrowers the fundamentals of running a small enterprise and used their clout to negotiate discounts on behalf of their borrowers. In one effort to help poor fishermen mechanise their boats, the bank simply provided the money. Local suppliers, on hearing of the fishermen's sudden bounty, hiked prices, jeopardising the economic viability of the project.
Cultural stimulus
The most important lesson from Grameen is that cultural values, even those long entrenched, can be successfully modified. Bangladesh is a Muslim country, where concepts such as charging interest or using contraception are considered 'un-Islamic'. Yet, by using micro-loans as a cultural stimulus as well as an economic instrument, Mr Yunus changes the attitudes of his fellow citizens at the grassroots level. How many Bangladeshi families have been doomed to poverty because of large families and extortionate dowries?
The operational details of Grameen are equally noteworthy. By requiring weekly payments, borrowers are constantly reminded of their obligations. The close relationship between borrowers and lenders means that they know exactly the consequences of non-repayments: other potential borrowers - often fellow villagers - will be deprived of their opportunities. Grameen's emphasis on behavioural changes alone may indeed be more of a help in easing people out of poverty than the money itself.
A medical metaphor will illuminate my point. Imagine an overweight, chain-smoking couch potato seeking medical help. He is advised to lose weight, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, quit smoking, and is then prescribed expensive medications to lower his blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He follows the advice religiously and lives to a ripe old age. When asked for the secret of his longevity, he gratefully attributes it to the miracles of modern medication. Yet had he pursued a healthy lifestyle to begin with, he would have had little need for those expensive wonder drugs.
The Grameen Bank miracle is in using those micro-loans as a social stimulus to effect needed changes in personal behaviour and cultural values. This key point is often missed by those enthusiastic in replicating the bank's success. - IHT
M Bakri Musa, a Malaysian-born surgeon in Morgan Hill, California, is a columnist for Malaysia Today

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Old February 15, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shahriyar
That is exactly the case and only people who benefit from the current system of politics will oppose Dr Yunus. We have one brave one amongst us as he/she was brave enough to vote "foe" in this poll. There may be others but they just refrained from voting I guess. Ei shob corrupt civilians gulakeo jail e dhukano dorkar along with the corrupt politicians.
May I suggest one thing. We should encourage everybody to express themselves openly no matter what is his or her opinion is. Afterall all this is the democratic means where people express their opinion freely. Thanks!
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Old February 15, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Among the negative responders, I see two distinct groups -

GROUP#1 (Nei Kaj to Khoi Vaz group):
These people are responding negatively becasue they want to keep Dr Y the apolitical personality that he used to be. It seems that these people think Dr Y's reputation can be protected by keeping him away from the political dirt-mongering.

These idiots need to kick themselves on the behind and realize that no one is forcing Dr Y to join politics. He consciously staked his own rep and he doesn't need to be protected. Obviously, getting respected by people is NOT all that he needs or wants. He wants to do something about our bankrupt politics even if it means getting muddied by the swines.

GROUP#2 (Ke jane ki uddeshshe era negative kotha bolchhe):
Everyone has his/her own opinion and everyone is entitled to it. This group of people are better than GROUP#1 in the sense that they are not trying to play protector of Dr. Y's rep, but rather their reasoning is based on the information (or lack thereof) that they have and they just do not like this idea.

No comment on these people other than to say that - thank God, these people are the minority.


In Summary
Our current CTG is working so well because it consists of competent and smart people. Our politics has become such a whore-house lately that no self-respecting smart person wants any part of it.

From all his accomplishments (forget the Nobel prize), it is obvious that Dr. Y is a hard worker and a smart competent business man. Whatever he does, he will do it in a smart way. Instead of nay-saying, let's welcome his courage and help him succeed.

If he fails, the country doesn't lose anything. But if he succeeds, just think about how wildly our political landscape is going to change for the better.

But if Dr Y gets discouraged and end up not floating his new organization, we will be very lucky to get another qualified person like him interested in politics within next few decades, if ever.

Comprehende??


..
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Old February 15, 2007, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shujan
May I suggest one thing. We should encourage everybody to express themselves openly no matter what is his or her opinion is. Afterall all this is the democratic means where people express their opinion freely. Thanks!
And thats exactly what I was doing. My post is my opinion on the corrupt or "conspiracy theory" seeking civillians who got nothing better to do than just oppose the only good thing to happen to Bd politics after 1990. This is not my site,as in I dont own it so I cannot stop anyone from making comments or posting their opinions. I dont know where you got that idea from.
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Old February 15, 2007, 03:57 PM
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Thanks Sujan for the article. It is a good one and I completely agree.

I heard a story from a relative who worked in Grameen Bank for over 10 years. He once said a story,

During the early days of operation GB officers would go to villages and offer loan. Next morning loan-seekers were all gathered in a field and asked to perform a set of exercises such as sit-ups etc. The objective of this was drive away the well-off people who were there to take a chance. This system worked like magic for them. Coupled with this, by creating borrower groups, each depending on the repayment performance of the remaining members of the group, GB ensured a monitoring system within each group. Such techniques definitely is a requirement for the success of micro-credit.

While I liked these steps of GB, I could never accept its 30% + rate of interest. The links that I posted gives some insight into that aspect. Also, I still fail to understand how a person who invented a supposedly magical economic development model, gets the nobel prize fro peace?

To me it all looks like a master plan to create an automatic choice for Bangladesh people since where the country was heading was clear since early/mid 2006.
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