March is the month in which we celebrate our independence, and this year we at Forum have chosen to commemorate that momentous month in 1971 by reprinting pieces from the three issues of Forum that came out in March 1971: March 6, March 13, and March 20.
The March 27 issue never made it to market as the Pakistan army closed down the magazine while it was at the printers. To read these contemporaneous eye-witness accounts is to see history unfold before our eyes. It makes for riveting, unputdownable reading, and we are certain that you will find the pieces as thrilling as they are evocative.
In addition, we also include several original pieces that touch on one or other aspect of that turbulent and ultimately triumphant time. We include some superb original research on the much-debated issue of the declaration of independence, together with a piece on the making of the seminal 1971 movie, Muktir Gaan, and another piece of original research (that may surprise you) on what Henry Kissinger had to say about Bangladesh at the time.
Moving to the present, we include Prof. Md. Anisur Rahman's magisterial essay on the fundamental economic and social changes necessary to bring lasting prosperity to our shores, as well as a thought-provoking and provocative disquisition on the political dynasties that have dominated Bangladeshi politics.
Finally, moving beyond our borders, we include a fascinating study of the power and reach of the military in two of our neighbouring countries, Burma and Pakistan, and the attendant implications for us here in Bangladesh.
This month's Forum is truly a special one, and we hope that you will enjoy our tribute to the spirit of the Liberation War that we have tried to recreate in these pages. The original Forum was a leading voice of Bangladeshi nationalism in the days before March 26, and we hope that, while this current incarnation can never hope to match the original's influence and immediacy, that this month's issue does its bit to keep that original flame burning, and that we will continue to maintain Forum's ethos long into the future.