An arrest warrant has been issued against Bangladeshi economist and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus after he failed to appear in court. Yunus was summoned to appear for hearing in a case over the sacking of employees of a company headed by him. Three employees of Grameen Communications (GC) were sacked for allegedly trying to set a trade union.
The 79-year-old economist was not in the country during the hearing but the company’s CEO and a senior manager appeared for it secured bail for themselves. Yunus has been at loggerheads with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2007 after he desired to enter politics. In 2011, Yunus was sacked as the head of Grameen Bank, founded by him in 1983, citing a review of Grameen Bank activities. Yunus supporters allege that Sheikh Hasina orchestrated the whole thing to remove him.
Yunus launched collateral-free microcredit scheme for rural entrepreneurs of Bangladesh through Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize along with the Grameen Bank. The Norwegian Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Yunus and the Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”
The Norwegian Nobel Institute had said that Yunus “sought to realise his vision of self-support for the very poorest people by means of loans on easy terms”.
Yunus has received several awards and accolades till date for his ideas and actions. Apart from the Nobel Peace Prize, Yunus has been honoured with the Independence Day Award (Bangladesh’s highest award), Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award, Seoul Peace Prize, Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth, among others.
“His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves,” said the Nobel Foundation.
(with agency inputs)