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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What do you understand by the terms Compassion, Sympathy, Tolerance, and Equity in your life? Explain.

    29 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about the above-mentioned values.
    • Discuss the values of Compassion, Sympathy, Tolerance, and equity.
    • Conclude suitably.


    All of the concepts mentioned above—compassion, sympathy, tolerance, etc.—are qualities shared by all people and contribute to the fact that men are emotional beings.

    Main Body

    • Sympathy: It is a feeling and expression of concern for someone, often accompanied by a wish for them to be happier or better off. In general, sympathy implies a deeper, more personal, level of concern than pity, a simple expression of sorrow. It is a first step towards compassion, it is followed by empathy and eventually leads to sympathy.
    • Compassion: It is a deeper level of empathy, demonstrating an actual desire to help the suffering person. It is a unique feeling of sympathy for the suffering of others that involves emotions and empathy towards others, a sense of understanding, and the drive to protect.
    • Tolerance: It is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our culture, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is also accepting others when their opinions and beliefs are not in line with yours. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience, and belief. E.g. A policymaker while formulating policies for weaker sections of society must be tolerant enough to hold his/her own personal views for the welfare of all.
    • Equity: “Equality is treating everyone the same, equity is giving everyone what they need so that they can be treated as the same.” The Constitution states that all citizens are equal before the law and the government should ensure that the social inequalities on the grounds of caste, religion, and gender are eliminated. Article 15,16 and 17 guarantee the same with some provision for positive discrimation like reservation to uplift the backward sections of our society.


    Adherence to human values such as love and compassion is required in today’s world which is affected by many conflicts such as civil wars, refugee crises and terrorism. It is with those human values that one becomes truly able to put into practice his/her ethical values, such as justice, integrity, refusal of violence and ban to kill – even in a crisis situation. Human values convey a positive and affective surge, which reinforces the rationale of moral values. They are the values that permit us to live together in harmony and personally contribute to peace. Human values are a tool to manage human relations and a tool for peace when the tension is high.

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