ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two Faces of Intolerance


Indian politics, particularly its electoral dimension, decides the boundaries between tolerance and intolerance. Disposition of tolerance is embedded in the feeling of compassion, which, in turn, is sedimented in the community. However, these sedimented values need to be defended when they receive threats by political forces that exist both within and outside a particular territorial community, for example, Bangla, Malayali or Tamil. When political parties fail to defend this value or the constellation of normative values, people as voters take the responsibility to defend them through their voting power. The electoral results of these three states that the decisive section of these voters perceived in the right wing turn to electoral politics as a threat to this sedimentated value of compassion that binds the voters to each other.

The political parties are supposed to acquire epistemic agency to summon the normative values, such as tolerance, from its sedimentation to argumentation. Political parties, thus, are supposed to convert, rather on a regular basis, the abstract values into their concrete realisation. Parties are supposed to perform this intellectual function by adopting different forms of mobilisation. When parties fail in their epistemic responsibility, it is the people who then take over the function of not only defining the values but defending them in the event of the danger that seeks to undermine their moral significance. The absence of epistemic function gives rise to people’s initiatives in defending values through their electoral verdict.

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Updated On : 15th May, 2021
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