Meaning of Tolerance

  • Tolerance refers to a permissive attitude towards those whose opinions practices, race, religion, nationality etc differ from one’s own. In simple words, tolerance is an act or capacity to endure the diversity of views and practices in our environment.

Need of Tolerance

  • Tolerance upholds the human right to a dignified life and the rule of law. It leads to harmony and peace in a pluralistic society in which diversity is there in many contexts.
  • If we take a larger view, then any form of injustice inflicted on others is a reflection of intolerance. Intolerance is antagonistic to free thinking and promotes violence and injustice. It’s the reflection of narrow-mindedness and is against civilised living. It is detrimental to social progress and welfare.
  • Correcting one’s belief
  • To encourage diversity
  • Synthesis of ideas

What else required for tolerance?

  • The other values of rationality, impartiality and objectivity also require tolerance towards society as a pre-condition.

Tolerance is a basic value for other values

  • Empathy and compassion are not possible without tolerance. That is why-
    • Plato has called temperance one of the four cardinal virtues.
    • Aristotle has talked about the ‘golden mean’.
    • Voltaire – I disagree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

Example of tolerance

  • Jawaharlal Nehru has been very tolerant of criticism. After the Indo-China war, his ministers criticised him in the parliament. He listened to them and acknowledged their criticism.

Importance of Tolerance for Civil Servants

  • To be impartial, objective and non-partisan.
  • A civil servant cannot treat everyone equally if he is not tolerant.
  • To make a fair decision.
  • It is a constitutional obligation of civil servants. Tolerance is inherent in secularism.
  • Tolerance is important to develop social capital.
  • Article 19 – civil servants must show tolerance not only for different practices but also for different viewpoints.
  • To do service even in case of value conflict.
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