top of page


“Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man presents his views without penalty there must be the spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”~ Albert Einstein
Voltaire once said, “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance derives from the Latin word tolerant is or tolerare which means the ability to bear pain and hardship. In the aftermath of religious wars, the modern concept of tolerance, or the acceptance of diversity as a force for the common good, emerged during the Enlightenment.

Tolerance is respect for those whose opinions, practices, race religion, nationality, etc. are different from one’s own. This characteristic a critical for a civil servant in a multicultural country like India. Acceptance is a positive comprehension of tolerance. Swami Vivekananda was the first to advocate for this concept, emphasizing not only tolerance but also acceptance.

The very first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness.~Mahatma Gandhi

Importance for society

Tolerance, if not acceptance, is required for a society to live in harmony. It is a moral obligation – philosophers such as John Locke, Mill, Rawls, and Michael Walker have linked tolerance with respect, equality, liberty, fairness, and justice. The ideology of liberalism

The ideology of liberalism underlines tolerance, which is essential for individual freedom, which is fundamental for the development of people in a society, and it necessitates a spirit of tolerance on the part of society for the fulfillment of rights in the true sense.

Tolerance and mutual respect for diversity and various social groups are critical in any country. If there is no tolerance, there will be disastrous consequences – instability and deeper divisions that will stymie not only people's but also the state's growth. Tolerance fosters social cohesion and harmony, which in turn fosters the peace and stability required for a state to progress and prosper.

Anger and intolerance are enemies of correct understanding.~Mahatma Gandhi

Tolerance and Civil Servants

Civil servants deal with a wide range of opinions and people. Working in a team will expose them to a variety of viewpoints, and as a good leader, he or she must show respect or at least tolerance for these viewpoints rather than dismissing them. As Mill once said, we don't know what truth entails; the minority opinion that is being ignored may turn out to be the truth. Keeping this in mind, it's critical to be open to and tolerating novel ideas that differ from our own.


bottom of page