The Burden of Tolerance

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Mehta argues that democracies must broker demands for social tolerance founded on diversity, pluralism and community with ideas of freedom, equality and individual dignity.

Bibliographic Details
The Burden of Tolerance Hardback
June 2018£20.00
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This book is a rumination on challenges to the idea of social and political tolerance, in both democracies and autocracies. It examines some of the conceptual confusions associated with the idea of tolerance, and how these distortions arise.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta reflects on the new challenges to socio-political openness and acceptance, in a world increasingly affected by neo-populism—from Russia and Hungary to Turkey and the Philippines—and considers the sources of social resistance to them. He also connects this political development with larger changes in our thinking about self, identity, representation and the distinction between public and private. He concludes by contending that we not only need to fashion new concepts of freedom and pluralism, but should even reimagine the idea of the state itself.


Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was educated at Oxford (PPE, St John's College) and Princeton (PhD) and taught for nine years at Harvard University. He is widely acknowledged as one of India's foremost public intellectuals.