|Sketch: Somalee Banerjee|
The start of a very few bad months for Muhammad Yunus, the managing director of Grameen Bank, began in November, with the broadcast of a documentary on Norwegian Television. It was not so much the film’s criticism of micro-credit that was worrying for Grameen – microcredit has been under some sustained critical assessment for quite some time. Rather, the film made allegations directed at Yunus personally, as well as claims that the bank misused millions of dollars of donor money.
Prime Minister Hasina might be betting that both Yunus and Grameen Bank are vulnerable due to the former’s weak links with Bangladesh’s civil society. Yunus does not come from Bangladesh’s elite, and has never ingratiated himself to it; further, many question whether he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet against this, Yunus remains an international statesman, and has support not only at the highest reaches of the US government, for one, but also among civil-society elites throughout much of the world.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).