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Fundamental Duties Of Indian Citizens | Fundamental Duties In India

Published on 02 Apr 2018 by Shivi

The rights and duties of a person are interconnected. A person cannot be entitled to all the rights without any duties, and a person cannot be expected to fulfil all his duties without having certain rights that protect his interest.

The law lays down certain legal and fundamental rights which provide certain freedoms and liberties to the citizens, and also states the fundamental duties which must be followed by every citizen. On these lines, fundamental duties of one person are construed as the duty to not violate the rights of another.

Fundamental duties of India are drafted on the lines of the values that are an integral part of the India culture, mythology, religions and tradition. Fundamental duties, in essence, are the codified moral or civic duties that each citizen must perform.

Originally, there were no Fundamental duties in the Constitution of India. To strengthen democracy in India, Fundamental duties were added by 42nd and 86th Constitutional Amendment Act. Prior to the 86th Amendment to the Constitution in 2002, there were 10 Fundamental Duties, however, the amendment added one more duty to the list of fundamental duties.

Article 51A of the Indian Constitution lays down the fundamental duties of citizens in India. The 11 fundamental duties of India are as follows:

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

  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.

  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our 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 the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

  11. To provide opportunities for education by the parent the guardian, to his child, or ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be.

Each citizen has a moral obligation to perform these fundamental duties laid down under the Constitution. However, the fundamental duties under Article 51A are non-justiciable, i.e. no legal action can be taken against any form of violation or non-compliance of these duties.

There have been numerous instances in the past when people were accused of violating the fundamental duties. However, since they are non-justiciable, no action was taken against the people. For instance, famous actor Johnny Lever was accused of violating the fundamental duty to respect the flag, when he disrespected the Indian Anthem, flag and Constitution at a private function hosted by Dawood Ibrahim’s family member. The actor was sentenced to imprisonment for 7 days, however, the charges were later dismissed.

In Vijoy Immanuel vs State of Kerala (1987), the Supreme Court overruled the decision of Kerala High Court and decided that though to Constitution provides it to be the duty of a citizen to respect the National Anthem, it does not provide that singing of the National Anthem is part of such respect.

Some of the fundamental duties of India have been converted into separate laws, which make it punishable under the law to violate them. Fundamental duties are also enforceable in form of departmental codes of conduct, which are applicable to people who hold public offices. Any violation of fundamental duties in such case attracts sanction from the department.

Fundamental duties in India serve as a reminder that the citizens have to uphold certain fundamental duties along with enjoying the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Additionally, fundamental duties of Indian citizens lay down a deterrent against anti-national and anti-social activities by someone.

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