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27 November, 2011

WHO WILL REPLY TO UNANSWERED QUESTIONS? JEROME TEELUCKSINGH, Ph.D.

International Men’s Day deals with current issues and debates. Freedom of speech, opinion and expression are crucial in any democracy. But this freedom has its boundaries. Any comments and criticisms will allow the promoters and supporters of IMD to improve our efforts, reshape strategies and reassess goals. We live in a constantly changing society with diverse voices. Thus, we must expect debates and different views on values, religion, gender, political ideology, morals, ethics and behavior. Which version of democracy is the most suitable for a country? Probably we need to accept the various shades of democracy that exist across the world.

Who will decide what is right and wrong? The government might believe that a jail term of fifty years is justice for a guilty murderer. Is it justice for the victim and the victim’s family? Many loosely use the terms ‘liberation’ and ‘freedom’. Is there one definition for such terms? Some perceive freedom as being allowed to criticize the government and dress differently. How can the poor boast of freedom? How can a democratic country allow racism, corruption and inequality to exist? Is it freedom if you have the right to vote but do not have access to proper health care?

What or who will be the yardstick to measure morals? Should the laws of a country decide on the behaviour or freedom of its citizens? Should traditional value systems be regularly replaced by new values? Will our actions decide our fate after death? Is religion improving society? Is it useless to attempt to change society? Can one person or group create permanent, positive changes? Should the decisions of the majority influence the minority? How can the voices of the minority be heard? Should we accept inequalities and injustices? Can we truly celebrate differences and diversity? Will permanent peace ever be achieved? International Men’s Day must try to find answers for these questions, offer suggestions and share ideas that would be beneficial to society.

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