I must've been in std 8, what I do remember clearly is that it was called the 'Year of Tolerance'. That was the first and last time I heard of such worldwide promotion of a virtue. Either I shut my ears to it after that or it actually stopped happening, I can’t say. What I can say for sure is that speaking about it in an assembly full of impressionable young minds would have at least had a fraction of an impact on the person on stage and the whole rest of the assembly, as it did on me. It was mentioned ever so often throughout the year, you could see the word and its depictions at every noticeable corner. If it has stayed fresh in my memory till now, it surely must be in some way responsible for shaping me up this way. Yet I don’t see it as so much of a mass virtue, in people from my own school, in my circle of friends, in my general sphere of acquaintance. Did your school celebrate the year of tolerance; did it manage to linger on in your mind? Or is it just me?
Today, there are examples to no end that tell how intolerant a society we are living in, we don’t need to wait more than a week to see it raise its head in a new avatar. There are leaders and scholars that no longer know what to do with the titles and the obligations thereof. And then there are individuals amongst us, who leave their otherwise sound judgments, and go ahead and support such atrociousness. Whether in actions or in words, with each individual, such support takes the sentiment of hatred one step further. We need a big, bigger than the earlier one, tolerance movement. We need students growing up to such values, we need grown ups educating themselves on it, we need to nurture it as a mass virtue. We don’t have to start from the beginning; we can start from where we are right now and set it right from here. It seems possible to me! To you?