This is our second issue since we took the decision, due to overwhelming demand for the magazine, to make Forum available to all Daily Star readers free of charge. We welcome all our new readers and thank again all our original readers and subscribers, without whose support Forum could never have got off the ground and made it as a viable and valuable publication.
This month features a lead article by economist Prof. Nazrul Islam on the relationship between economic growth and democracy, that, in light of the on-going budget debate, is especially relevant and thought-provoking. This is followed by a superb and hard-hitting essay on corruption by Adil Khan, one of the world's foremost experts on corruption eradication.
Farid Bakht makes a welcome return, with his piece taking aim at the World Bank and IMF, and he is joined by the internationally renowned M. Shahid Alam and Larry Jagan, the latter delivering an eye-opening account of the burgeoning relationship between Burma and China, that is a must-read for anyone interested in the latest in Asian politics and inter-state relations.
We also include two longer essays that take up the contentious issue of religion in this country: Tayeb Husain questions the utility of the current madrasa education system we have in place, and Rubaiyat Hossain pens a moving essay in defence of our indigenous Bangladeshi Islam that has been nurtured and developed over the centuries.
Finally, don't miss our special feature on the spectacular plans that world-famous architect Moshie Safdie has for the Asian University for Women campus being developed in Chittagong.
There is much more, of course. Please take a moment to peruse the table of contents: we are confident that there will be something of interest for every reader. Now that our readership has been expanded twenty-fold, we reiterate our invitation to our readers to write in with comments and contestations.
Please do not hesitate to let us know your thoughts and we will do our best to keep Forum evolving and growing to suit your taste.