Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yunus seeks people's advice for forming political party

Yunus seeks people's advice for forming political party
By Staff Reporter
The New nation
Sun, 11 Feb 2007, 13:01:00

Nobel Laureate Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus yesterday in a letter to all Bangladeshis living at home and abroad sought their support, opinion and advice as to what role they would play if he launched a political party and what steps he should take to make the idea a success.

The two-page letter, which explained the state of existing politics based on ‘polluted culture and practice and was launched through journalists, sought public opinions on 18 specific organisational areas, divided equally into parts, of his party.

The first part dwelt with issues, including how a nationwide organisational network of the party could be developed down from the village to the center, selection of honest and efficient candidates for polls as well as preventing the officials working in different institutions of the state from becoming party activists.

In the second part, Dr Yunus wanted know how the people, be it as an individual, community or professional group, would help or participate in his political projects. If the answer is ‘yes’, he wants them to let him know as to how they would work—as leaders, organisers, activists or supporters.

Moreover, seeking a written reply to his letter from the respondent either as an individual, a group or a community, he wanted to know whether the people was considering his joining would help ‘clean’ politics and establish a ‘pollution free and dedicated politics’ replacing the existing ‘polluted and outdated politics’.

Terming his initiative as ‘new politics’, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “I want to get opinions from political leaders, workers, industrialists, businessmen, professors, teachers, shopkeepers, labourers, farmers, professionals, artists, novelists, journalists, service-holders, housewives, youths, expatriates and others.”

He admitted that it would not be easy to reach the goal with slight support and said it would not be possible to steer clear of the outmoded politics “if we cannot make a strong initiative to create a new politics”.

The founder of Grameen Bank, said, “I am aware that joining in the fray of politics means nothing but becoming controversial. Even then I am ready to take the risk if the people feel my participation will help create a new political environment in the country.”

He said he would launch the proposed party if he gets tremendous public response.

“I will not enter the arena of politics the letter fails to gain strong feedback (backing) from the people,” he added.

When asked, he said there was no justification hold the stalled general election hurriedly to elect those people who vitiated the political culture, destroyed democratic practice and corrupted the whole society and system, including the politics.

He told another questioner that his proposed political party would contest the next general elections, if and when it takes place.

In his letter Prof Yunus said the necessary steps being taken by the Caretaker Government for radical changes in the crisis-ridden politics are making him “optimistic” like the people of the country.

“In this context, I am feeling with 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,” he said.

He pointed out that the people of the country could make possible anything that was impossible if they got the chance. “My main goal will be to establish political goodwill, qualified leadership and good governance.”

Reciprocating the enormous love and honour he got from the countrymen, he said, “I am ready to take risk of being controversial if you think that my entry into politics will help open a new political horizon.”

The Nobel laureate thinks it is the high time to construct a new political structure by getting rid of previous frustration.

In the letter Prof Yunus urged the people from all strata of society to send their opinions about building a good and effective political party.

He urged all to respond to his call to his e-mail addresses: and dryunus or by post to Hul Murs, 6/D, 66 Outer Circular Road, Maghbazar, Dhaka: Fax: 9334656.