Vol. 5 Num 961 Mon. February 12, 2007  
Front Page

My personal letter to you
Dear citizen,
I am writing this letter to you with the hope of receiving a personal reply from you. You might have noticed in what situation many people requested me to join politics and why I had to consider it with utmost importance. I, like you, witnessed where our political culture has brought the country and how it attempted to destroy the country's future possibilities. The way the present caretaker government is trying to create an acceptable atmosphere by carrying out necessary reforms has made me optimistic along with all citizens of the country. In this situation, I feel it with my heart that I should, showing due respect to the people's expectation of me, participate in the mission of taking the nation to the height it deserves. It is now clear to all that it is not possible to reach the goal maintaining the existing political culture; it is only possible by bringing a comprehensive change to the culture. Through my work and experience, I feel with all my heart that the people with their innate sense of endeavour and creativity can achieve the impossible if political goodwill, competent leadership and good governance can be established. If I have to form a political party in response to the people's desire, it will be dedicated to this very objective.

I have received pure love and respect from people of all ages ranging from the poorest to the most powerful, I do not know when again a Bangladeshi individual will have this good fortune. By the grace of Allah, I am a very fortunate man. There is nothing left for me to desire. I know that joining politics is to become controversial. I am ready to take the risk if you think me joining politics will help in ushering of a new political climate.

It is high time to form the proper political structure conducive to the huge task of building a Bangladesh we all dream of, by freeing ourselves from all past frustrations. I need the active participation and assistance of you and all others like you if I have to go forward with this mission. I need your advice on how I should go forward. I also want to know how you want to participate and assist in this task. The efforts of you and me to realise everybody's desire for a new politics in order to build a new Bangladesh will get strength if these can be learnt from you in the form of a letter.

You can give your advice in your own style on any topic regarding the formation of a new political party. I can point out some topics as examples: a) how the party can stay involved with the people of all villages and neighbourhoods and work to realise their expectations; b) how the party can be helpful to the common people in their daily struggle and in solving their problems; c) how the organisations of the party can be built on the basis of spontaneous devotion of men and women of all ages and professions; d) what can be done to encourage the eager, enthusiastic, honest and competent people of all levels to align with the party and to become active in it; e) how the honest and competent among them, having public support, can be nominated for different local and national elections; f) how can we ensure transparency and honesty of all the people involved with the party, and of the party itself; g) how democracy can be established within the party; h) how can the flow of opinions directly from the grassroots level be ensured; and i) how the officials and employees serving in state institutions can be prevented from turning into activists of political parties -- your thoughts and advice on many such questions are vital.

At the same time, it is important to know what role you (and your friends) can play in the party, how you can actively contribute or support, is also very important to know. For example, you can play the role: a) of a member of a village or neighbourhood-level organisation; b) of a pioneer of the party's welfare initiatives; c) of a local organiser; d) of an organiser of a community organisation; e) of an activist taking party calls widely among the people; f) of an adviserresearchertheoretician for the party; g) you can contribute to the party by using your special skills or expert knowledge in its service; h) by taking a leadership role in popularising the party as an enthusiastic supporter; i) by demonstrating your organising power; and so on.

I want to know your opinion and get your advice whether you are a political leader, activist, leader or worker of an association or organisation, industrialist, businessman, professor, teacher, shopkeeper, farmer, labourer, artist-writer-thinker, professional, journalist, service holder, housewife, teenager, youth or an expatriate Bangladeshi.

Please write a short or detail personal reply to my letter. Your friends, all members of your family, neighbours, classmates and colleagues can also put in their thoughts in the same letter. You can reply through email and distribute copies of it among all your acquaintances. You can also send a short reply through SMS and encourage all your acquaintances to do the same. You can send copies of my letter to your relatives and friends abroad and encourage them to reply. It will not be possible to come out clean from old politics if a strong momentum for a new politics is not created. We will not be able to reach our goal with feeble support.

I hope my letter and your reply to it will only be the beginning of our sincere communication. The communication established will be able to go forward actively towards a common goal from now on.

You can use my following address to send your reply or may arrange to send it to me in any other way.

Contact Address:
Dr Muhammad Yunus
HAL Mars
6/D, 66 Outer Circular Road
Moghbazar, Dhaka 1217
Fax: 9334656
You can call the following numbers for inquiries about the letter: 01713082277, 01717760870
Waiting for your reply.
With thanks and greetings,
Muhammad Yunus
February 11, 2007
(Translated from Bangla by The Daily Star)