The Nobel laureate, Dr. Yunus, is anything but a skilful person!
Dr. Shabbir Ahmed
The tyranny and misrule of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) for the duration 2001 through 2006 had help create a bad image for the politicians in general in Bangladesh. A good number of educated people in nation of 145 million harbor a very negative impression about politicians. This negativity had become so ingrained among our educated people that many of them prefer grouping all political parties and politicians under a same set and within a single pair of brackets. To them, there is no iota of difference between Awami League (AL) and BNP. Likewise, they do not find any difference between Mrs. Sheikh Hasina and Mrs. Khaleda Zia even though they possess totally different educational and political background.
In the aftermath of one-eleven, all the politicians in general were subjugated through intimidation and torture. The military-backed caretaker government went an extra mile to mix all good and bad apples and put them all in one basket.. The snobbish urban educated elites tried to portray all the politicians as bad apples. These opportunists thought that it was their time to undermine all the politicians and take the opportunity to gain power through a top-down process. They are too comfort-loving impatient people who do not want to take time and build the support base through a time-consuming bottom-up political process. In fact, they prefer support from the civil-military bureaucracy for getting to the helm of the power in a quick fashion.. After one-eleven, a group of urban educated elites wanted to take events in their favor by snatching the victory of the people who brought down the Khakeda-Nizami- Tarek controlled caretaker government under BNP-appointed President Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed.
Bangladesh’s only Nobel Laureate, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, took the lead to snatch the victory of the democracy-loving people and paved the way for the urban elites to capture the power. During the emergency rule under the army-backed caretaker government, it was a free pass for Dr. Yunus to float a political party and talk about his politics while many veteran politicians were trying to avoid arrest by taking shelter under a so-called reform process.
Dr. Yunus and his associates’ perceived strategy was to use a negative propaganda and vicious campaign against the popular political leaders for capturing power. In this effort, Dr. Yunus had surpassed all. His remarks were so severe and caustic that he labeled all the politicians as corrupt at one point of time. He did not want to separate those who did corrupt practices by abusing the government power and those who did not. In fact, a vast majority of politicians never did govern Bangladesh but they were eager beaver to assume power bypassing the normal way, viz., building a grassroots organization. Also, since these folks have never run the government, they were never mired in corruption; therefore, it was very easy for them to say that they unlike AL and BNP politicians are clean as a whistle. Unfortunately, Dr. Yunus colored all the politicians as “black.” In his analyses, there were no white or gray colors. A few politicians at that time requested him to distinguish between colors and distinctively identify black, white, or gray. Dr. Yunus maintained his silence but continued "building" his party. During the Cold War era, it was relatively easy for the urban elite forces to take a side and get support for clinging to power with the help of civil-military bureaucracy. Now the condition is not the same as it were in 70s and 80s.
Under the backdrop of the present geo-political condition, Dr. Yunus and the urban elites could not able to strengthen their political base, if there were any, even with the support from the civil-military bureaucratic forces. He had to give up his short-lived ambition for political power in a rather pre-mature fashion. Thereafter, many events and drama took place. Finally, an election was held on December 29, 2008in which Awami League alone secured about three-fourth majority in the parliament.
It was a matter of great surprise to see Dr. Yunus in the oath-taking ceremony of the winning political leaders, whom he bluntly and indiscriminately labeled as corrupt. Did he make a false statement about all the politicians? Has he changed his position about the politicians? Maybe, he has changed his views about politicians because he has many businesses to run for the poor people through his Grameen Bank and Grameen cell phone. He has a business on yogurt (Shakti dai) as well. For all his businesses, he might need support from the government formed by the politicians he tried to undermine not too long ago. As an intelligent businessman, Dr. Yunus has probably shifted his position like a skilful politician and by attending the oath ceremony of the newly elected politicians he proved it again that he is a very clever businessman.