The letter was marked "Not For Publication" and I hope that I am keeping the letter writer's trust by neither printing it nor by mentioning his name. However, let me here share with you the first half of the letter's first sentence, as it was the inspiration behind this editor's note: "Sir, Are you suffering from superiority complex?"
Not the most gentle of queries, I grant you, but refreshingly frank and to the point, and, as an editor, one must take the rough with the smooth, the brickbats as well as the hosannas.
The complaint was that Forum has no letters page and thus seems uninterested in soliciting feedback from our readers.
To our aggrieved reader I say: Sir, quite the opposite. In truth, we at Forum welcome and encourage (indeed crave) feedback from our readers. However, the (somewhat embarrassing) reason we have not yet instituted a letters page is that, dear sir, so far yours is, if not the only letter that we have received, one of the very few!
But, first, a heartfelt thank you to our valued reader for bringing this issue to our attention and for caring enough to write in. And the reader is correct. Forum should certainly have a letters page, and by pointing this out the reader has done us a great favour.
Lest we continue to put forth the impression that we are not interested in reader feedback or opinion, please let me take this opportunity to formally request feedback from all of our readers in the form of letters to the editor.
Please send your letters to us either via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to Forum, The Daily Star, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215. Typed letters would be much appreciated as hand-writing is sometime hard to decipher, especially if the letter is written in haste and high emotion, as is often the case with letters to the editor.
I would like nothing more than for Forum to have a stimulating and thoughtful letters page. I believe that our articles are thought-provoking and that our readership is the best educated and informed in the country. It is our fond hope that the Forum letters page will soon emerge as the most interesting and intellectually challenging letters page in any publication in Bangladesh.
Dear readers, please remember that brevity is the sole of wit, the shorter and snappier the letters are, the more likely they will be to appear in print. And please feel free to criticise, to condemn, to disagree, to object. It is only by hearing and responding to your critiques that we can improve. So, please: drop us a line. We would love to hear from you.