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Time to challenge what we know: Radwan Mujib Siddiq

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Radwan Mujib Siddiq. File photo

Policymakers need to revisit their assumptions and undertake a more detailed analysis of who and what makes Bangladesh tick as the country looks to emerge stronger from the global pandemic, says Bangabandhu's grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq.

"The story of Bangladesh is a complex one, with multiple layers and a rich cast of characters," writes Radwan, a trustee of Center for Research and Information (CRI), who edits WhiteBoard, the country's first policy journal, in the quarterly's editorial note.

With a caption "Hot off the press", he posted the link on his verified Facebook page to allow readers free access to the content of the latest issue. 

Referring to the government's policy of inclusive growth with trickle-down effect to benefit the poorest, Radwan termed the developmental turnaround as "remarkable" in his editorial note.

Emphasizing the need for fresh perspectives to help the country meet future challenges, he said the global pandemic has shown that countries need nimble thought leadership to be truly adaptable. "Fresh perspectives, detailed analysis, and good data are essential."

With a renewed call for participation from a pool of writers, he sought continued support of its readers, contributors and sponsors, to establish WhiteBoard as the premier space for the next generation of analysts, academics and professionals.

The 5th issue of the quarterly covered some crucial policy issues such as the importance and relevance of agriculture in the country's march towards its middle-income status and the role of middlemen in labour migration.

Earlier, during the launch of the fourth issue, he said it is time to move on from talking about the "Bangladesh Miracle" and start focusing on the "Bangladesh Model", as the country seeks to consolidate its position as a middle-income country.

In his editorial note of the 4th issue of WhiteBoard, Radwan said the model outlined in Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh embraces people-centric policies that ensure the much-needed distributive justice.

In this latest issue of WhiteBoard, MA Razzaque explains why the importance of agriculture will not diminish even as Bangladesh consolidates its position as a middle-income country.

He shows how key policy decisions over the past 50 years have transformed the sector into an engine for growth and poverty alleviation.

The future in the sector includes precision agriculture, increased foreign investment, and bold new partnerships, he added.

WhiteBoard in its first issue had narrated the futuristic policy decisions taken by the Father of the Nation in post-independence Bangladesh, an issue often outshined by his leadership and struggle towards the country's freedom.

The magazine featured detailed analysis on a gamut of policy issues, penned by internationally acclaimed academicians, researchers, and journalists.

Radwan, a London School of Economics graduate, has led some first-of-its-kind in the country initiatives such as Mujib Graphic Novel (based on the unfinished memoirs of Bangabandhu), "A Daughter's Tale" (a docudrama based on the life of Sheikh Hasina as daughter of Bangabandhu), Joy Bangla Concert (the country's biggest concert for youths, themed on the nation's sacrifice for freedom).

He is widely credited with drawing the next generation closer to the country's glorious history of Liberation War and growth through creative storytelling.