Tolerance – UPSC Ethics

Tolerance essentially means acceptance of ”differences”. It is one of the most important fundamental value on which values of love and respect are premised.

The importance of tolerance is felt more in a diverse-democratic social set-up of the contemporary times , where people have authority over ‘voice’ and choice’. Intolerance in Politics have promoted disruption in parliamentary proceedings, hate speeches in rallies etc. It further has promoted ‘moral policing’ leading to religious Intolerance- in the form of beef ban etc.
Tolerance is not only important for respecting other people’ right but it also is equally important to freely exercise ones’ own rights. For example, Intolerance towards divergent view-points ruins a rational debate where no one can freely exercise their right to freedom of speech.
Although, tolerance is often envisioned as a positive concept, it has a negative connotation too. Thus, the need to know the right and wrong of tolerance.
In Indian culture tolerance is often associated with the weakest, i,e women and minorities. Women are pre-supposed to tolerate ”all” -which perpetuates crime like female foeticide and marital rapes.
Thus, one needs to know that tolerance moves along a ‘continuum’ and that disagreement doesn’t tantamount to In-tolerance, one thus also needs to know when exactly to ‘stop’ tolerating.



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