I applaud the number of articles in Te Daily Star in which noble souls express the wish that Bangladesh should become more democratic and more tolerant but the degree to which this is a challenge is illustrated by something I find acutely embarrassing:
It is quite usual, in our capital city, for the residents of smart apartment blocks - most of whom consider themselves well-educated and have positions of status in society to vote not to allow the maidservants to use the lifts. In our case, the thin little 'buah' who used to clean our common staircase was expected to carry a bucket of water up 5 flights. Because she could not cope with this harsh regime, imposed by the manager, she is now unemployed.
In a true democracy, her voter ID card is just as valid as anyone else's but how do we create a nation of people who have the courage to stand up against behaviour that denies the truth of that?