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Yunus starts groundwork for joining Bangladesh politics

The Nobel laureate has begun work to counter the divisive politics of the country's two main political parties - the BNP and Awami League.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 13:01 IST

Bangladesh's Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has started the groundwork for floating a new political stream to counter the divisive politics of the country's two major parties-the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Awami League.

"I know politics makes people controversial. But I am ready to take that risk if you think my involvement in politics would help create a new political ambience," said Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize 2006 along with the Grameen Bank that he founded three decades ago to eliminate poverty.

Reading out an open letter prior to his departure to Kolkata to receive the 'Shera Bangali 2006' award, Yunus asked journalists to suggest and advice him on whether he should join politics or not.

He also invited opinion from the general public. A few weeks ago, Yunus who is world-wide known as 'Banker to the Poor' announced that he would join politics if it was necessary.

The micro-credit trailblazer said he wouldn't enter politics if the letter failed to gain strong feedback from the general masses.

"In this context, I am feeling with my heart that I should participate in the huge task of putting the nation in its cherished position.

But it is now clear to all that it is not possible at all to achieve that under the current political culture—it is only possible through its radical changes," Yunus said suggesting reforms in the crises-riddle political culture in the country.

He said his main goal would be to establish political goodwill, qualified leadership and good governance if he gets positive response from the people.

He thinks this is the right time to get the country rid of the previous frustration.

A group of Bangladesh's civil society members had launched a campaign earlier in search of honest and capable candidates prior to the country's ninth parliamentary election suspended for indefinite time now.

Yunus was one of them, and he had floated a set of proposals in search of capable politicians.

Yunus was elected 'Shera Bangali 2006' by the people of West Bengal and the Bengali community across India through an SMS vote.

ETV Bangla of Kolkata will confer the best-Bengali honours on Yunus at a reception on Monday at the Science City Auditorium.

During his stay in Kolkata, Yunus will deliver a keynote speech at a seminar at Calcutta Chamber of Commerce and attend a reception hosted in his honour by West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

First Published: Feb 12, 2007 13:01 IST