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Day 37 – Q 3.What is tolerance? Why is it considered to be a foundational value for a civil servant? Explain.

3. What is tolerance? Why is it considered to be a foundational value for a civil servant? Explain. 

सहिष्णुता क्या है? एक सिविल सेवक के लिए इसे एक मूलभूत मूल्य क्यों माना जाता है? स्पष्ट करें।


“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”-Voltaire

Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation for those whose opinions, practices, race religion, nationality etc. are different from one’s own. 



  • According to UNESCO, Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace.
  • Tolerance is not concession, condescension or indulgence. Tolerance is, above all, an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. In no circumstance can it be used to justify infringements of these fundamental values. Tolerance is to be exercised by individuals, groups and States.
  • Tolerance is the responsibility that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), democracy and the rule of law. It involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments.


  • A civil servant posted in a state other than his own if not tolerant may face problem in adapting and dedicating himself to the service of people. Tolerance as virtue is important to pursue high ideal of secularism enshrined in constitution. Intolerance would breed injustice and violence which are antidotes to a balanced development in a culturally diverse nation.
  • Courage to fight for others right – Tolerance gives respect for others and hence courage to fight for their rights like fight against racial discrimination, LGBTQ community, minority etc.
  • Better decision – Tolerance avoids impulsive decisions. It buys times and helps in minimizing lose and damage.
  • Allows healthy debate and discussion to take place between different sections and hence outcomes are democratic.
  • In times of peace, people have a chance to thrive socially, economically and emotionally. Tolerance creates a society in which people can feel valued and respected, and in which there is room for every person, each with their own ideas, thoughts and dreams.
  • Without tolerance and harmony, the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.
  • Tolerance allows individuality and diversity. It is more about mutual respect and the common good, and not about who is right and who is wrong


Historically tolerance has been the central virtue of some of the greatest empires. Be it Asoka’s Dhamma or Akbar’s Sul-i-kul, tolerance was a key principle. Being tolerant of each other and caring for each other is what makes us human. This is why we have believed tolerance is important and an essential aspect of a healthy, livable society. In fact, it is the only way in which a country as diverse as India (Politically, religiously, economically) can function and use each and every difference to make its people thrive rather than suffer.

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