Sunday, November 16, 2014

International Day for Tolerance

Jessica Lange once said, “Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons”.  When the UN General Assembly gathered the UN Member States in 1996 to pen 16 November as the International Day for Tolerance, their thoughts might have been similar to that of Lange.

With wars blazing across the planet, especially in the name of faith and violence in all shapes and forms surfacing, the International Day for Tolerance seems even more significant today. Observed every year on 16 November, the day is dedicated to educating people about the negative effects of intolerance. It also tends to encourage tolerance and respect towards rights and beliefs of others, focusing on the negative impacts caused by injustice, oppression, racism and discrimination.

Different activities are carried across the globe in different manners by different groups to celebrate the day. Educators write articles about tolerance while human rights activists organize events and speak on human rights law, focusing on banishment and punishment on hate crimes and discrimination. Secretary General of UN, Ban Ki-moon said about this day, " On this International Day of Tolerace, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future."

But the actions inspired by this day should not be limited to the day. The day is to advocate and inspire others, while the rest of the 364 days are to work for a tolerant community, city, nation and most importantly a tolerant you. So, let’s join our hands together for a more tolerant society, so that we and the future generation could live in a more harmonious and peaceful society.

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