The UN’s International Day for Tolerance is observed globally today (16th November), mainly to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.
The International Day of Tolerance educates people about the importance of global tolerance, 2019 theme is “Tolerance inMulticulturalism : Achieving the Social, Economic, and Human Benefits of a Tolerant World“.
Along with that, the spike in religious violence is global and affects virtually every religious group. A 2018 Minority Rights Group report indicates that mass killings and other atrocities are increasing in countries both affected and not affected by war alike. While bloody encounters were recorded in over 50 countries, most reported lethal incidents incidents involving minorities were concentrated in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Hostilities against Muslims and Jews also increased across Europe, as did threats against Hindus in more than 18 countries. Making matters worse, 55 of the world’s 198 countries imposed heightened restrictions on religions, especially Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey (Source : weforum.org)
History of International Day for Tolerance
International Day of Tolerance was established on 16 November 1995 in response to the racial and religious wars in Bosnia and Rwanda. Te year 1995 was chosen by UNESCO to mark the year for tolerance as well as the 125th birthday anniversary of the Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi in order to promote tolerance and non-violence. The world wide campaign of the tolerance and non violence has been launched by the UNESCO in the year 1995 to make it more tolerance and trust effective for all groups of people of diverse communities.
To mark the day, the United Nations launched a campaign to promote tolerance, respect, and dignity across the world.
From history we learn that intolerance, like violence, injustice, marginalisation, and discrimination, is often a result of ignorance and fear. Such ignorance and fear is often passed down to the next generation when people in positions of authority (parents, teachers, etc.) remain ignorant. Ignorance then lead to fear, fear can lead to hate and hate can lead to violence.
Fighting intolerance requires multi-dimensional approaches, from law education, information to individual awareness as well as local support to prevent it being global. Education and knowledge are keys to avoid going down the path of intolerance and to inculcate deep values of peace, harmony, tolerance for diversity and to enhance the social fabric of the community.
Teaching people about our shared rights and freedoms are is the first step in tolerance education. Learning about other cultures is also important to help us see the similarities between all cultures, and to respect and celebrate our differences.
Technology can also empower societies to unify people from different religions, cultures, social and economical background and share positive messages to create cohesive and vibrant societies.
Building tolerance and trust in diverse communities takes time and commitment. it shouldn’t be just a day of commemoration but rather a daily practice, part of our daily lives. Tolerance day is an opportunity to see what progress has been made throughout the year, and rededicate our commitment to promote tolerance, respect, cooperation and dialogue between different cultures in our communities and between societies and nations.
Why it should be promoted more effectively ?
Naturally, people worldwide are diverse. It is only tolerance which ensures the combined living of people from mixed communities all over the world. Tolerance
Tolerance is not merely an ethical duty, it i the political and legal necessity for the individuals, groups, states and etc. Based on this, an equal opportunity should be emphasized to all groups of people in every state worldwide.
In today’s context, the role of tolerance is critical in maintaining peace, and reconciliation post conflict that can lead people of diverse culture, religion, social and economic backgrounds to get their ultimate objectives of living together peacefully and harmoniously.
The dangers of intolerance, in any of its form such as violence, racism and terrorism, is observed as the big hazard to the peace and democracy and, inevitably could hold back progress of national goals as well as the global goals. It is antithetical to human development.
Overall, it’s about learning more about tolerance and intolerance and celebrating the differences between cultures. Start a conversation with someone with a differing viewpoint, you will likely find you have more in common.
Practice Tolerance Every Day - 3 Simple Steps
Tolerance is respecting the right others have to an opinion or practice, not the opinion or practice itself.
It is about respecting others because of our difference not despite them.