|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.
flickr / The US Army
On 1 December 2013, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the US of cutting fuel supplies to Afghan security forces. Despite US pressure, Karzai continues to stall the signing of a Bilateral Security Agreement.
From our archive:
Subel Bhandari looks at the Strategic Partnership Agreement, noting its avoidance of contentious issues. (April 2012)
Vijay Prashad reviews Syed Saleem Shahzad’s Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11, discussing Taliban strategy in the context of NATO withdrawal. (October 2011)
Aunohita Mojumdar explores questions of accountability in relation to the West’s “hasty exit strategy”. (February 2011)