Rights and duties are correlated. One is essential for another. If people are not under some obligations to discharge some responsibilities they will not understand the value of rights granted to them. For this purpose, by the Constitution’s forty-second Amendment Act, 1976, some responsibilities called the Fundamental Duties were added. Rights guarantee the freedom and dignity of an individual and we should all stand up for our rights. But if we do not fulfill our duties as citizens, standing up for our rights, these would be meaningless.
Our Constitution has guaranteed our Fundamental Rights. But it has also put down a list of Fundamental Duties for us to fulfill. Every Indian citizen needs to obey the following 11 fundamental duties mentioned under article 51-A:
1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem. Our first duty is to show respect to our Constitution. We should also show respect to our National Symbols like the National Flag and the national Anthem.
2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom.There were certain noble ideals that inspired our people during the national freedom movement. These were beliefs in the principles of democracy, non-violence and secularism. We are expected to respect these ideals and apply them in our daily lives.
3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so. Whenever required, we should be prepared to show our patriotism by defending our country in all circumstances. We must serve our country as best as we can in any field of activity.
5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. We should promote harmony and brotherhood among people, giving up differences based on religion, language, regions, etc. we should also give up practices insulting the dignity of women.
6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture.
7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
8. To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence. Often people demonstrating for some cause turn violent and destroy public property. They burn buses and stop trains, destroy the school and office furniture. One can demonstrate for a cause and take out processions but it should be done in a peaceful manner.
10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. We must also try to get rid of harmful social practices such as dowry, discrimination against people of different castes, drinking, taking drugs, and gambling.
11. As directed by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002, it is the duty of all citizens to provide educational opportunities to their child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Importance of Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution
We should note that there is no provision in the Constitution for enforcing these duties. However, people should be made aware of these duties as these have been framed in order to improve the quality of our lives. A feeling of responsibility towards these duties will help to strengthen our democracy and lead our country towards progress and prosperity. Fundamental duties of the Indian Constitution are an inseparable part of Fundamental Rights.
Our country is a developing nation. Under the British rule it was economically exploited. When India achieved independence it faced serious problems like poverty, social tensions and economic backwardness. To deal with these problems it was necessary for our national leaders to define our national goals. These goals give direction to our governments. It is important for the people to be aware of these objectives.
The people must also find out what is being done to achieve these goals. At the same time there is a need to be aware of the difficulties being faced in achieving this task. Only then the people of our country can play their part as responsible citizens and help the country move towards economic, social and cultural progress.
1. Fundamental duties remind the citizens of their duty towards the society and the nation.
2. Fundamental duties aware the citizen about the anti national or anti social activities.
3. Fundamental duties promote a sense of discipline and commitment among the citizens of India.
4. Fundamental duties promote the spirit of patriotism and inspire the citizens of India to uphold the unity of India.
5. Fundamental duties are specified in the constitution to encourage the feeling of oneness and brotherhood among the citizens and to maintain harmony and peace in the nation.
Facts on Fundamental Duties in Indian Constitution
1. Fundamental duties of Indian citizens are nonjusticiable in nature.
2. The idea of Fundamental Duties is derived from the Constitution of Russia.
3. Fundamental duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976 on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee.
4. Fundamental duties in the Indian constitution apply only to Indian citizens and not to foreign citizens.
5. There is no legal punishment or penalty for violating fundamental duties in the Indian constitution.