Monday, May 19, 2008

Dr Yunus: The liability of our pride

Report of Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten on Grameen Phone
exploitation of workers
Grameen Phone, the milk-cow of Dr. Yunus, is in fact bilking it’s poor workers. The documentary, made by Danish journalist Tom Heinemann and to be aired on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Thursday evening, reveals shocking working conditions at the firms supplying Grameen Phone. Employees were shown working with hazardous chemicals and heavy metals virtually without any safety protection. This recent finding of labour scandal of Grameen Phone and Telenor consortium has cast a shadow on already controversial image of Dr Yunus.

Nobel Prize, particularly in peace has often been tainted with political intrigues which can be likened, in the context of Bangladesh, with the action plan of DUDAK. DUDAK is using it’s anti-graft campaign as a strategy to achieve it’s goal to decouple politics from public. Nobel Peace Prize, often seems to have a political agenda behind it’s peaceful fa├žade. It gets mired in further controversies when an economist, instead of getting recognition for his giant contribution in economics, gets a peace prize.

Henry Kissinger has been indicted for war crime and bloody political conspiracies in Vietnam, Cyprus, Cambodia, Chile, East Pakistan and Bangladesh. He was the architect of ‘Operation Condor’ which unleashed killing, execution, disappearance and torture of hundreds of thousands of left political activists and intellectuals throughout Latin America in 70s. He received Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Menachem Begin, in 1945 had dead or alive bounty of ₤10,000 on his head by British Imperial Administration in Palestine, won Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 with Anwar Sadat of Egypt for Camp David Peace treaty. The peace treaty has ever been collecting dust in the shelf of White House. Nobel Prize in Peace, literally, gave him the license of heinous crime to invade Lebanon and to slaughter hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

These are the few examples to expose the nobility and novelty of the Peace Prize. Dr. Yunus has joined the hall of fame of the global capitalist elites for turning poverty into a lucrative commodity for capital. To unmask his other face, take a snapshot of his recent choreography on our political stage when the curtain dropped to a mysterious end. But truly that is not the end. He is still lurking in the murky water of our post one-eleven politics. Remember, when DU campus exploded against present regime and then military sledge hammer came down ruthlessly on the teachers and students of DU, in frugally worded single sentence, our guardian angel expressed his reaction – ‘everything is going fine.’ During his recent visit to USA, Dr Yunus gave a keynote speech in front of the august audience of Commonwealth Club of California. Next day, he was speaking to a selected gathering of glamour-struck, myopic gold-fish Bangali community in USA. Please listen to these two speeches, if you can, which will help you diagnose the diabolic bipolarity of our Nobel Laureate Dr. Yunus.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Recent comment of Sheikh Hasina on whitening black money by Dr. Kamal has created few ripples in the frigid political lake of Bangladesh. Public perception has, long ago, dumped Dr. Kamal as a politician. But we, the educated class, the sour milk of Civil Society, could not discover his duplicity until the nation was struck by the one-eleven conspiracy.

In fact in every critical juncture of our nation, his role has been largely obscured in mystery and often in conflict with his projected image. In 60s, as a rookie politician, he was parachuted into Awami League politics by an alliance of national and international interest groups to derail the forward march of Bangalee nationalism saturated with socialism and secularism. His role in 1971, 1975 and most recent pre and post one-eleven political contradictions bare his true political fangs. His latest joint venture political ploy, with prolific partners like Badruddoza, Sirajul Alam Khan, Ershad, Yunus and the civil-military bureaucracy, stokes public fear of lethal future of our democracy. He is the team lead to design and develop a greenhouse democracy which will be grown in the garrison and harvested by the army Generals. In this new role he had emerged as a ‘political cannibal’ by spearheading conspiracy of eliminating Awami League from political landscape of Bangladesh.

He is undoubtedly a much respected professional figure which gave him leverage to earn huge fortune. A list of his national and international corporate clientele would not only manifest his professional acumen, but also would help one map his political clout in international arena. Evading tax is corporate culture and Dr. Kamals are paid heftily to give this culture legitimacy. While he himself became a tax dodger, Badruddoza, his political partner, found no foul play in it. It is statistically true that Dr. Kamal is a merely a mole with respect to Giasuddins.

As opposed to his ever flourishing legal career, his political career in democracy has reached nadir. Geriatric reality, negligible public support and craving for throne; either one or all of these factors have persuaded him to ride on the Trojan horse to gallop to power.

Bangabandhu used to confide in Dr. Kamal. So did Bangabandhu in Mushtaque as well, while distancing himself from Tajuddin. Due to those political lapses of Bangabandhu, misfortune not only struck him and his family, it devoured the whole nation. The saddest reality is, the architects of our national calamities, like Dr Kamal, can be likened to mythical Chameleon, who can escape every national crisis unscathed and emerge from each crisis in new color and vigour.