February and March are historical months in the nation's psyche, and this year, it seems, we are determined to add to the history. It has been quite a month for Bangladesh since the last issue of Forum came out on February 15.
The biggest stories of the past month have been the continuing anti-crime and anti-corruption drive that netted the BNP senior joint secretary general Tarique Rahman in the early hours of March 8 and the announcement by Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus on February 18 that he would be floating a new political party, Nagorik Shakti.
Neither incident was entirely unexpected, nor does either have anything to do with the other, but certainly they have both contributed to the growing sense that we are at a watershed moment in our nation's history and that unprecedented changes are taking place before out eyes.
Events are moving almost too fast to chronicle and process, but that is where Forum comes in. Once again, we hope to provide our readers with unique insights into and analysis of the current situation, for those who would like to go deeper, behind the scenes and beyond the headlines.
Afsan Choudhury and Farid Bakht provide us with the most hard-hitting and perceptive analyses of the caretaker government's performance and where we are heading as a nation that you will find anywhere. These are supplemented by expert and timely pieces on our policy prescriptions by Ghulam Rahman and Mamun Rashid.
For the first time, we include a piece from our archives by Rehman Sobhan to help bring alive the month of March 1971 and also include pieces of historical interest by Syed Badrul Ahsan and F.S. Aijazuddin that make for fascinating and indispensable reading for anyone interested in our freedom struggle.
Keeping up Forum's tradition of quality investigative journalism, Tasneem Khalil and Amirul Rajiv bring us an exclusive in-depth report on the depredations of the Modhupur ecopark project and the effect it is having on the local communities.
Finally, in addition to our now customary book reviews and literary analyses, we include a superb disquisition by Syed Manzurul Islam on Bangladeshi art.
We envisage Forum as a platform for the discussion of all major issues facing the nation: political, social and cultural, and hope that this month's issue will remind you of the glory of Bangladesh's past as well as shed some light on where we are heading in the future.