On Tuesday, Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus was deposed as managing director of the microcredit organization he founded 30 years ago, Grameen Bank. The reason? Bangladesh courts say the 70-year-old is too old. Yunus is now in violation of a national mandate that all citizens retire at age 60. Grameen Bank insists the issue was resolved a decade ago, when a then-59-year-old Yunus received government permission to continue [PDF].
Yunus’s removal comes just a few days prior to the English-language premier of a Danish documentary, Caught in Micro Debt, (Micro Debt in the English version), which takes aim at Yunus and Grameen. The film, which debuts in London today, is directed and produced by Tom Heinemann and has a different take on the man who has long been hailed South Asia’s savior to the poor. Indeed, Yunus has been so highly lauded by prominent people like the Clintons, President Obama, and Bono (not to mention Western humanitarian circles) that it’s only surprising a backlash to Yunus’ empire didn’t come sooner.
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