Ignorance and greed

Demonstrations in Dhaka these days, supporting Yunus

I was teaching in one of the universities while the country was suffering from a severe famine. People were dying of hunger, and I felt very helpless. As an economist, I had no tool in my tool box to fix that kind of situation.
I went to the bank and proposed that they lend money to the poor people. The bankers almost fell over.
They explained to me that the bank cannot lend money to the poor.

‘Mohammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, is one of the people I most admire in the world today.

In Nov 2010 e was one of my CHARACTERS OF THE WEEK in this blog.

A man who made an enormous difference in this world by creating the microcredit, Yunus now has to face ignorance and greed

Some alarming events have unfolded over the last days. This reached a climax on March 8th when the High Court of Bangladesh upheld the Central Bank’s decision to remove Professor Yunus from his post as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, which he founded over three decades ago.

Poor people are a like bonsai tree, a little tree.
You pick the seed of the tallest tree in the forest and take the best seed out of it, and plant it in a flower pot. You get a tiny little tree, we call it a bonsai.
Nothing wrong with the seed, you’ve got the best seed possible.
Nothing wrong with the tree, because you actually picked the tallest tree in the forest.
But actually it grows this far… why? Because we put them in the flower pot. The base.
We need to change the base.

Next Tuesday (TOMORROW!!!) the ultimate decision about Prof. Yunus’ position as Managing Director of Grameen Bank will be taken by the Supreme Court. If the verdict is negative, Prof. Yunus would have to leave Grameen Bank and probably also his house. Yunus Centre could be shut down in order to block international communication and Prof. Yunus might even be arrested if he continues fighting after the verdict.

Poverty is unnecessary.

The only weapon that we currently have and that the government doesn’t, is international awareness and presence in media and people’s heads!
If you agree that Yunus deserves your support, please use this FACEBOOK LINK: Support Yunus and leave there your comment. It can make a huge difference.

For more information, please contact >Friends of Grameen


  1. Beate says:

    the rich and powerful feel threatened.And the governement wants control,because they want to put money in their own pockets.

  2. Albina Ruiz says:

    Dear Paulo, I love your blog, in addition to your strong support to Muhammad Yunus, also from the Healthy City Group, join us in supporting our dear and beloved Mohamed Yunus, I have been fortunate to be in Bangadesh visiting this magnificent work made from the Grameen Bank and the positive impact on the lives of women especially in rural areas. Social entrepreneurs in the world will unite to make vows to be reinstated as director Yunus at the Grameen Bank as soon as possible

  3. Ligia says:

    Oi Paulo! Sou uma grande fí£ e acredito que li todos os seus livros, a ní£o ser pelos primeiros que sí£o impossí­veis de encontrar hoje em dia! Estou lendo novamente o diário de um mago e estou muito interessada na ordem de RAM, entretanto ao fazer uma busca pela mesma na internet, ní£o encontrei resultados. Gostaria de saber, se for possí­vel me responder, como faí§o para estudar a ordem de RAM, existe algum livro especí­fico, ou pessoa especí­fica? Comeí§arei a realizar os rituais realizados por vocíª no livro, mas gostaria de saber mais! Vocíª é um grande escritor e seus livros fizeram e fazem parte da minha vida e personalidade, muito obrigada!

  4. Erik says:

    I would like to make one critical remark here.
    Lending money to poor people does not perse create wealth.

    It is a good idea to lend to a poor person who has a sound idea to make money, thus creating wealth to pay back the loan and create economic activity that benefits the entire community.

    On the other hand have I read that the so-called micro credit business has gotten out of hand (not by the hand of Dr. Yusun, but by big banks) and that money is lend to poor people to buy refrigerators and TV sets. When the payback problems start (methods of these banks are often very questionable) the desperation is so big that even tragic suicide follows for some people.

    As always a good idea is one, but a pure excecution of the idea is also crucial to the succes.


    1. Keith says:

      There is a difference to what Grameen does and loan sharks!

  5. Asad says:

    We Bangladeshis clearly understand the vendetta behind this crime. State institutions are being used to gain personal revenge of a vengeful woman. Someone who thinks Nobel prize is something she only deserves in this country and she also has the right of reiceving it. She has similar thoughts about my country, she thinks it is inherited by her father and their family full of criminals.

    We are ashamed of this leadership failure and the heinous crimes against someone who actually did something not only for the nation but also for the humanity. Unlike the vengeful woman who only sells her father’s dream to the illiterate people and this country to her mentors just across the border.

    However people do understand and people would provide the proper reply in due course of time. For the time being we are praying for Dr. Yunus.

  6. Inayat says:

    hi i am from India but i was hugely motivated by the efforts he put into this work and made an example in front of the world….but seeing that he might have to leave his post, is very sad….hope the decision comes in his favor..

  7. Rosa Lugo says:

    La codicia y la ignorancia humana sólo nos podrán vencer si nosotros lo permitimos, mantengámonos en pie de lucha para vencer a quienes no tienen corazón, a los cuerpos que vagan sin alma en este bello mundo! Animo Yunus que Dios concede la victoria a la constancia!!!

  8. Dina says:

    I’m an expatriate Bangladeshi, who had witnessed the country’s ups and downs for a long time and sadly more downs than ups. In chapter three of his book, Baker to the Poor, Yunus writes about leading a strong-worded petition about the 1974 famine against the then government of Bangladesh. The head of the country at the time of the famine was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the current prime minister’s father, who was a leader of the nation’s independence (1971), but later declared a one-party rule, banned all except four state-run newspapers and whose personal paramilitary force is said to have killed tens of thousands of people. The current government is on a mission to filter the history of the country, highlighting only Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s role in the country’s independence and erasing everything he did afterwords. It is appropriate that his positive contributions are highlighted, but for the sake of history a whole balanced picture needs to be retained, and the man remembered for for all his deeds, not just the good or the bad. I believe Yunus is a victim of many factors, one being his stance against the prime minister’s father in the mid-1970s, others being corruption, greed, envy and who knows what else.

  9. C.A.R. says:

    I could only think the reason for this is that the Bangladesh government need its people poor to keep getting help from foreign countries which internally is distributed among the rich and powerful and it never gets down to the needed ones.

    Those that control the country need the poor ignorant and uneducated to use them as slaves to feed their ego, insecurity and greed.

    He has raffled some nasty, powerful and corrupted feathers and they want to crucify him.

    I hope for the court’s positive outcome.

  10. idea geniale quella del dr. yunus, dovrebbe essere presa come modello dai nostri economisti/banchieri che tanto si danno da fare per risolvere i problemi di un paese… poichè nulla puí² giustificare la fame, in un mondo di sprechi.

  11. When I see how little money need someone to be happy I shame on myself how much money I have got and spent, but I still did not find happy !

  12. Florence says:

    wow why are they doing that ?
    Pr Yunus is an amazing man, he needs and deserves to stay ! What can us people do to help ?

  13. glendzmira says:

    Topple the corrupt men ,nit the Good man….

  14. glendzmira says:

    How unfortunate that in this world,there’s just a few good men like Prof. Yunus…. but it is all the more unfortunate if he’s fellow goodmen won’t even try to help him…Topple the corrupt men, not the goodman…

  15. Tha says:

    If a person cannot do some thing for other, then they should let those who are nor greedy to help others.

  16. Bill says:

    Poverty is truly not necessary and the world’s wealth can be shared to the benefit of both the poor and rich. My great wishes go out to Prof. Yunus and this very important institution. I hope for a postive and peaceful reconcilation.

  17. SILVA HUZJAN says:

    ..thank you very much Mr Coelho for spreading the news and supporting such a remarkable man as Mr Yunus…I am sharing it on my FB wall for my friends to read…and I agree with you….POVERTY IS UNNECESSARY….!!!!

  18. Goran Skonvall says:

    Why do we mow our lawns, and allows another to grow freely, from the ground up.
    Self-help, in cooperatives let this idea be tested without interference.

    mr yunus thank you!

    göran skönvall

  19. osaf ullah marwat says:

    I possess deep respect for sir dr younis. He has been changing the economic world of poverty ridden bangladeshis.The government decision of removal him will bring stormy wind among the people. Actually bangladeshi government is stuck in indian specific lobby. she is envious of bangladeshi growth.

  20. Nasir says:

    I am from Pakistan and I am saying this to my Bangladeshi Brothers and sisters….It is you who can play the major role for Dr. Younus…he is the hope for Bangladesh and therefore you will have to come out of your homes and protest (peacefully) for Dr.Younus, as we did the Long March for Chief. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary as he the hope for Pakistan.

    All my best wishes with you and Dr. Younus

  21. My best wishes and my prayer are Mr. Yunus company, to clear out the real reasons of those people working on his demission. He is a ray of hope for people there. May public interest help him to strengthen his position against greed and avarice.
    Cheerful regards Balael-Jordan Rajkoff

  22. Veronike says:

    El es un hombre admirable necesitamos en este mundo mas personas Como el
    Lo admiro xk piensa en el projimo!!

  23. Alyson Hoag says:

    There must be something we can do. SOMETHING. I am knowing right now that goodness will prevail and that the light will find it’s way to the dark. In the meantime need to know some actions to take….. Thousands of people calling someone who can do something should have an impact.

  24. Himani says:

    people in power usually don’t make efforts for doing anything good and who do they can’t stand them…i wish the right decision should come out..

  25. Ato Ribeiro says:

    Why listen to us artists in these bureaucratic societies that we live in? We have only been around telling the truth forever! What Dr. Yunus represents and Coelho is addressing are simple issues that have been tarnished with the wrong intentions. So my only question is why remove the individual with most reasonable solution? hmmmm… perhaps its more complicated…. perhaps.


  26. Darren Poke says:

    Paulo, I’m genuinely saddened by this news. Thanks for letting us know and I pray that justice prevails for this great man.

  27. Wahida says:

    I am a Bangladeshi. To me, Dr. Yunus is a hope, inspiration of dream. Trying to demolish him means trying to demolish my hope and dream. I want to stand by him for my own survival. I don’t want to be a dead person who can breathe but forget to dream.

    1. idea geniale quella del dr. yunus,dovrebbe servire da modello per i nostri economisti, poichè nulla puí² giustificare la fame.

  28. Cajetan Fernandes says:

    I wholeheartedly support this great man of the masses at this juncture of his inspiring career. If there is anyway we can sign a petition, let’s go ahead and do our bit.

  29. Lamb's Bread says:

    As a former equity trader, I’ve followed Yunus. It’s sad because most Americans don’t know about him and his revolutionary, economic ideas. He is proof that we can adapt/amend a system without crippling it altogether. There is no excuse for starvation in a world created to supply all of our most basic needs.

  30. christian says:

    Let’s support professor Yunus and organize peacefull demonstration in front of Bangladesh Embassy / Consulate ! http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151428221582916 Events are planned in Berlin, Paris, Roma…

  31. Prof Yunus needs support now, the court decision is on Tuesday!

    If you want to support Prof Yunus

    -Facebook >> http://www.facebook.com/SupportYunus
    -Demonstrations >> http://www.meetup.com/Support-Yunus/
    -Sign the petition >> http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42857.html
    -Friends of Grameen >> http://www.friendsofgrameen.com

  32. Atia Shahnaz says:

    Thanks Paulo. You have done which should be done by our Bangladeshi writers.Indeed they are more busy with their power politics and yellow journalism (except a few). I’m sharing this on my FB profile. We want to do something for Yunus. But don’t know any effective one, can u help us? And again thanks for your support, it counts a lot.

  33. shariful islam says:

    dear all,

    Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank have been under sustained severe attack for the past few months. Many of us feel that these attacks have nothing to do with the actions of either Professor Yunus or Grameen Bank and that they are motivated by reasons which are personal and political in nature. We have come together to form a Support Yunus page on Facebook to encourage and support Professor Yunus in this very difficult time for him.

    We invite you to join us in supporting Professor Yunus by joining the campaign on Facebook at the following URLs:



    Please Change your profile pic to ‘Grameen Check’

    Furthermore, we are requesting you to spread the word by sending requests to people on your friends list to also join the support movement.

    There are a number of petitions which being used to galvanize support for Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank. You can sign these petitions from the following urls:






    Feel free to forward these links to people in your network, so that more people can also sign up. Thank you.

  34. Marie-Christine says:

    It is interesting to note that women and children are always the ones that are being disadvantaged in the deals and how important it is to be standing up for your rights.
    Someone doing something positive about it is of a rare nature.
    Hopet he Governments will come to their senses in this matter.

  35. coolguy1609 says:

    I join in with my intention and affirmation that… “On our planet everyone is abundant”

    I believe we should make people a “source” and not a “resource”


  36. Ronie says:

    Dear Paulo, I’m an avid reader of your books and have been following your blog for some time now. But never written anything to you. Whenever moving along was tough – I kept coming back to your writings.

    But can’t help without writing this time – Cause I’m from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Its so hard to accept what’s happening with Dr. Younus. But then again its even harder for general people like us cause we are not being able to do anything about it.

    Thanks to you for your efforts to create awareness about it. Hopefully justice will prevail.


  37. Subis Cirico says:

    Direi tríªs frases de tríªs palavras 1º vocíª esta protegido, 2º ní£o se preocupe, 3º eu te ADORO @oaleph

  38. Nancy says:

    Disturbing news. I bet Professors Yunus’ accomplishments were more surprising and helpful then their jaded, monetary mind could ever imagine.

  39. Diana says:

    It’s sad to use the weapons of power in such negative ways. what Mohammed Yunus has done for the people of Bangladesh is what we yearn to see around the globe in order to end the extreme disparity between the rich & t poor. Hopefully this post will prove to be a movement to keep Yunus’ system running.

  40. HECTOR says:


  41. Hector J. Roman says:

    He founded a bank and a centre to help poor people and got a Nobel prize. Now, as a gesture of appreciation, he will be retired from the bank and his centre and will get a comfortable accomodation in a facility with all his needs covered (sarcasm intended).

  42. Aline says:

    Na verdade. Os poderosos ní£o querem acabar com a miséria. Talvez isso para eles desistabilizasse um jogo econí´mico. Ní£o pensam que ha vidas por tras dos números. É cruel morrer de fome!Resolver isso deveria ser primordial.
    E aplausos para o Prof Yunus!!!

  43. Adam says:

    Thanks for this Paulo – I am sharing it on my FB wall.

  44. Sad but true, as sang Metallica! In these feral times, We couldn’t expect nothing else than this kind of action from that kind of people!
    Nice would be if all benghali people could go for assuring freedom and justice to Mr. Yunus as well as have acted middle-eastern crowds!

    Paulo, create a campaign in Twitter, with hash-tags, e.g. #YunusFreeNow, #IWantYunusFree, #YunusFree. etc.

    You can do it…everyone would follow up!


  45. Michael says:

    “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.” Lord Byron.

    Sad to see an amazing man with an amazing idea come under such an attack. Getting rid of poverty isn’t good enough for some people, huh?

  46. michelle says:

    i want to help but i dont know how, what can i do ?

  47. Um mundo melhor só será construí­do por pessoas melhores…uma pequena minoria nesse momento…

  48. kealan says:

    The Law is fundamentally flawed. It allows murders to walk free and innocent people to be arrested and locked away. I hope that Professor Yunus gets to finish what he started on his own terms.

  49. Annie says:

    Hoping with all my heart that the verdict is positive..
    thank you for spreading the news and also spreading awareness for this remarkable man..

    Love and Gratitude

  50. Keith says:

    I heard this on the BBC World Service a few days ago. I am baffled. Why is there an attempt to remove him from the Grameen Bank? He has dome a lot of good. Or is it that the rich and powerful in corrupt Bangladesh feel threatened when the poor are empowered

    Like Paulo, although I have never met him, he has a great deal of respect from me.