A Nobel laureate does not retire
What an amazing country Selukus!" From my school days I used to hear from my eldersabout this remark of Alexander the Great to one of his generals. His comment has been pervading my thoughts for the last several months centering round a quite negative situation prevailing in our country regarding Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus. This admirable international personality is being misunderstood, maligned and insulted in his country. This is extremely unfortunate and painful.
As days pass, it is becoming absolutely clear that the jealousy, vengefulness and anger that have been accumulated, not in the minds of the common people but in some high-ups, burst forth all on a sudden just after the telecast of a report by a Norwegian reporter in a Norwegian TV channel. It is as if some of us had been waiting for a long time for this opportunity and, at long last, when the opportune moment arrived, then shells started hitting a great global personality one after another. The cat is out of the bag and it is clear as daylight what was hiding inside.
There is no denying that Prof. Yunus' social business model has attracted youths to academics and businessmen to governments in different countries. According to world leaders, the social business concept of Dr. Yunus can help deal with important issues like education, habitation, health and food. Dr. Monmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, while inviting Dr. Yunus to deliver his historic speech in a joint session of the Indian Parliament said: "Dr. Yunus is truly an exceptional human being who has revolutionised the idea of micro-credit and made it accessible to the poorest of the poor."
If reputed psychiatrists Frued or Elis were alive today, one would have liked to know their considered opinion about Dr. Yunus' case. If anyone from Bangladesh seeks an opinion from any famous foreign psychologist as to why Prof. Yunus is being maligned by some quarters in this way in his own country, and if that psychologist offers any positive comment on Prof. Yunus, then both the parties would be considered part of an international imperialistic conspiracy.
The most unfortunate side of the story is that even after the government of Norway had declared that no corruption was involved in the transfer of funds by Prof. Yunus, accusations of corruption have been directed at him in such a way that it is being made to appear that the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to him was a wrong decision of the Nobel Committee.
It is a good thing that Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa were not born in Bangladesh. If Mandela had been born in this country, perhaps it would have been said by some quarters that in collusion with the past white president of South Africa he had influenced western powers to grab the Nobel Peace Prize. Because Mother Teresa belongs to Europe, in the name of spreading Christianity, she has embarrassed the poor and was awarded the Nobel peace prize wrongly.
Can't Yunus, who with his sweat and blood kept alive an institution like the Grameen Bank for the last thirty years, not for his own benefit but for the welfare of the poor of this country in particular and the world at large, be requested to stay as a guide, philosopher and friend of the Grameen Bank as its chairman? Isn't he the founder of Grameen? If this man is guilty of corruption and misappropriating money, the matter should be investigated and a White Paper should be issued on this.
The people of the country have the right to know how many poor women have committed suicide for not being able to repay Grameen's loan in time. Who are they? Where did they live? Without any proper statistical evidence, no one will believe in emotion and sentiments in this age of information technology.
In future, no one in this country, who has the ill luck of becoming a Nobel laureate, will be willing to accept the Nobel Prize fearing that he/she might be condemned and maligned in his/her own country.
Finally, it is the earnest wish of the neutral citizens of Bangladesh that institutional or political view should not be the reason to treat the Grameen Bank in this way. It is not the property of any person or a particular government. It is a national property, and its preservation is the responsibility of all national parties and governments. This is absolutely necessary today, when Prof. Yunus is alive, and also when he will be no more with us.
The word "ex" cannot be inserted before a Nobel laureate's title; he does not retire or go on LPR. He serves his country and the world till his last breath.