May was a tumultuous month for Bangladesh, with Prof. Yunus's announcement that he would not be entering politics, and the return of Sheikh Hasina to Dhaka following a protracted struggle to keep her out of the country and to also send Khaleda Zia into exile.
Rehman Sobhan's "Where do we go from here?" insightfully dissects the implications of the latest developments for Bangladesh's polity, and is supplemented by pieces by Zahin Hasan and F. Salahuddin that ask tough questions and offer inventive solutions to the stubborn political questions facing the nation. These are indispensable reading for those wishing to keep abreast of the ever-changing political environment.
June is budget month, and who better than Dr. Atiur Rahman to discuss the imperatives that the country is facing and how the budget might be used to advance the nation's development? His impassioned plea for a pro-poor budget is the best essay you will find anywhere on the subject this year.
In addition, Forum has by now established itself as the premier policy sounding-board in the domestic print media, and we present a number of policy-oriented pieces by experts that lay out a road-map for the current government and any future one on issues such as foreign affairs, energy, water, and science and technology.
Maintaining Forum's reputation as the pre-eminent platform for serious cultural and artistic essays and reviews, we include an exclusive interview with the renowned Kolkata-based film critic and theorist, Father Gaston Roberge, as well as Fakrul Alam's appreciative review of the collected works of Bangladesh's finest living English language poet, Kaiser Haq, and a thought-provoking essay by S.I. Zaman on the decline of Bangla.
Finally, keeping up Forum's commitments to rights-based reportage, Philip Gain follows up on the dire situation of the Garos of Modhupur forest, and we include a first hand account of Drik's round-table on press freedom, held on World Press Freedom Day.
All this, and much more, including a new focus on science and technology. Forum grows and diversifies intellectually every month. We hope that the latest iteration offers even more food for thought than our previous issues, and will keep you coming back to our pages.