Sunday, 8 August 2010

Vikram Akula vs. Muhammad Yunus

Everybody has heard about Nobel Laureate, the truly noble, Muhammad Yunus's Grameen bank.
McKinsey wunderkinder, Vikram Akula's SKS Micro finance has also garnered a lot of publicity.
Akula, backed by savvy investors like Vinod Khosla, has tapped the capital market very successfully pointing to Micro-finance as a highly profitable venture.
However, the question Yunus asks is whether for-profit Micro-finance might not tarnish the whole movement and render it a source of exploitation rather than empowerment for poor women.

Since Akula has a PhD from Chicago, we should respectfully refer to him as Dr. Akula - and not just any old blood sucker fastening his fangs on the necks of poor women.

DrAkula is locked in a custody battle with his wife- a lawyer in the U.S. She alleges domestic violence- it appears DrAkula has a conviction for this- and a sort of kidnapping by fraud of her son.
In piteous terms she contrasts the millionaire life-style the father can offer their son in India in contrast to the middle class life-style of her own home in the States where, however, the child can at least be brought up a proper Catholic. (His mother converted from Hinduism some years ago because Catholicism is known to be the most successful religion in fighting off Vampires)
This noble and courageous woman has launched her own non-profit Domestic Violence N.G.O. (to be clear, she is against it- not for it) which, perhaps in the fullness of time, may work productively with DrAkula's own Company which focuses on very poor and marginalized women. It is important that these females not be beaten domestically due to habituation to pain makes the job of the Micro-finance recovery agent/goons more taxing and time consuming thus negatively impacting profitability and p/e ratio.
In divorce we should always put the child first. Maximizing the value of his inheritance should be the priority.
We hope that if the husband and wife can not be reconciled then at least the organizations they have founded will be able to work hand in hand. This would be a beautiful example of symbiosis between the non-profit and for-profit sectors of the Poverty Relief industry.
True, Yunus Sahib has expressed some reservations. This due to his old fashioned ideas and failure to keep up with the spirit of the times. To paraphrase, P.M Manmohan Singh- kya karen? these Muslims are like totally backward yaar. Govt. sponsored Reservations is the only way to deal with Indians of that stripe- except Yunus escapes that fate being from Bangladesh.

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