imperfect | world | 2010

Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Feb 25,2008

Here is a delicately written Economist article which pulls the rug from under nobel laureate Yunus’ feet. You remember the Danone thing where the good Professor, always a man for stunts,  invited the great Zinedine Zidane to Bangladesh? The article deals with the business model inherent in that set up and compares it to other approaches,  namely a book by Paul Polak.  And the article sticks the boot in….but oh ever so subtly.  Some excerpts:

In his new book, Mr Yunus describes how Grameen and Danone agreed on a joint venture to sell nutritious food to the poor. It is a wholesome tale of French businessmen finding meaning in their lives, and Bangladeshi children enjoying something better than rice gruel to eat. But Mr Yunus also smothers the story in molasses, making claims about the originality and profundity of the enterprise that are simply too rich to take.

And the absurdity of Yunus’ hyperbole is collapsed like a house of cards:

However tasty and nutritious the yogurt they eat, the poor will not consume their way out of poverty. To escape, they must find a way to make more money. This simple truth is repeated by Paul Polak, the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), in “Out of Poverty”, his wise and engaging new book.

Muntassir Mamoon

  • Filed under: Review
Feb 12,2007

has done a fantastic job in his book “The Festivals of Bangladesh.” Yes I know he wrote it 10 years ago but I have just come across it. And as there are over 150 visitors to this blog everyday, I thought I would make it known to you …..He describes eid, muharram, janmashtami, durga puja. And its all absolutely fascinating. Did you know that eid has only become a big thing in the last forty years or so??! I felt a little apprehensive after reading this book. We have so much to lose if communalism ever succeeds in Bangladesh. The ultra-slim book immerses you in history, in poetry, in humanity and here and there hints at a deeply inclusive philosophy.