Relevance of Fundamental Duties

In Caitlin’s words, “Citizenship is the statutory position of a person which leads to various political and social rights by gaining membership of a politically organized society.” Rights are required while at the same time to ensure the smooth functioning of the state’s system, the state citizens Is also expected to discharge Rtvyon. Significantly, in the joint session of Parliament on the occasion of Constitution Day in the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also emphasized the importance of constitutional duties, clarifying the difference between service and duties.

Concept of duty

directive principles of state policy

  • It is important to note that India is one of the few countries in the world where the glorious tradition of democracy existed since ancient times. Noted historian K.K. According to P. Jaiswal, the concept of republic in ancient India is older than the Roman or Greek republic system.
    • Historians believe that the story of the present form of Indian democracy is hidden in this ancient concept.
  • There has been a tradition of discharging duties in India since ancient times and the emphasis has been on the “duties” (kartavya) of a person.
  • The Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana also motivate people to perform their duties, as Lord Shri Krishna states in the Gita that one should “discharge one’s duties without expecting fruit.”
  • Gandhiji was of the view that “Our duties are the right source of our rights and we will not need to demand rights if we discharge our duties properly.”


Indian Constitution and Duties

fundamental

  • A key feature of the Indian Constitution is that it balances the rights and duties of citizens.
  • It is known that during the Emergency, Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution incorporated fundamental duties through the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
    • Earlier the concept of fundamental rights was kept in the original constitution, but fundamental duties were not included in it.
  • There are currently 11 fundamental duties mentioned under Article 51 (A), out of which 10 were added through the 42nd Amendment while the 11th Fundamental Duties were incorporated into the Constitution in the year 2002 through the 86th Constitution Amendment.
  • The concept of Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution is inspired by the Constitution of the then USSR.


42nd Constitution Amendment

institutions national flag and national

  • It is considered to be the most important amendment of the Constitution. This is known as a miniature constitution. Apart from the fundamental duties, some other important amendments were made under it-
    • Under this amendment, three new words like ‘socialist, secular and integrity’ were added to the Indian Constitution.
    • In this, the President was forced to accept the advice of the Cabinet.
    • Under this, the Directive Principles of Policy were broadened by excluding constitutional amendment from the judicial process.
    • The subjects of education, protection of forests, wildlife and birds, measurement and administration of justice and the formation and organization of all the courts except the Supreme and High Courts were transferred from the State List to the Concurrent List.


Fundamental Duties provided in the Constitution

  • Obeying the Constitution and respecting its ideals, institutions, national flag and national anthem.
  • To follow the noble ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  • Maintaining and protecting the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
  • To protect the country and serve the nation when called upon.
  • To create a sense of harmony and common fraternity among the people of India that goes beyond all forms of discrimination based on religion, language and region or class.
  • Also renounce practices that are against the honor of women. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our overall culture.
  • To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for the first time.
  • To develop humanism, scientific outlook and sense of learning and improvement.
  • Protecting public property and abstaining from violence.
  • Strive for excellence in all areas of individual and collective activity so that the nation consistently achieves a high level of achievement.
  • To provide education opportunities to children between the ages of 6 to 14 years. (Added by 86th constitution)

Features of Fundamental Duties

Indian Constitution and Duties

  • Fundamental duties include both moral and civil duties. For example, ‘following the noble ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom’ is a moral duty, while ‘obeying the constitution and respecting its ideals, institutions, national flag and national anthem’ is a civic duty.
  • It may be noted that some fundamental rights are available to Indian citizens as well as foreign nationals, but fundamental duties apply only to Indian citizens.
  • According to the constitution, fundamental duties are non-justiciable or non-enforceable, meaning that no legal restriction can be imposed by the government in case of their violation.
  • The fundamental duties mentioned under the constitution also relate to Indian tradition, mythology, religion and practices.
  • Non-enforceability of fundamental duties
  • Significantly, Article 37 of the Constitution makes the Directive Principles of State Policy non-enforceable and non-justifiable, but no such special provision has been made for fundamental duties under the Constitution.
  • However, no special provisions have been made under the Constitution for the enforcement of these fundamental duties, so no penalty can be given for its violation unless specific provisions are made for it in the Constitution.
  • According to Article 20 (1) of the Constitution, before a person is convicted of a crime, it is mandatory to have a law in relation to that crime and that law should also be violated.
  • Critics of non-enforceability of Fundamental Duties say that there is no specific meaning of this law due to no specific provision in relation to it.
  • Importance of Fundamental Duties
  • Significantly, many countries around the world have embodied the principles of ‘responsible citizenship’ to transform themselves into developed economies.
  • The United States can be considered the most outstanding example in this regard. The US issues a document called Citizens’ Almanac to its citizens, detailing the duties of all citizens.
  • Another example of this is Singapore whose development story began with the duty of citizens. As a result, Singapore quickly transformed itself from a Least Developed Nation to a Developed Nation.
  • The Fundamental Duties act as a kind of alert for the citizens of the country. It is important to note that citizens should be aware of their duties towards their country and other citizens.
  • These act as a warning to the people against anti-social activities like burning of flag, destroying public property or disturbing public peace.
  • These help in achieving national goals by promoting the sense of discipline and commitment to the nation as well as ensuring active participation of citizens.
  • Criticism of Fundamental Duties
  • Many critics do not consider the list of fundamental duties to be complete, according to them, this list of fundamental duties should include some other important topics like tax and voting.
  • Many fundamental duties are not properly defined. It may be difficult for a common man to understand the complex words present in the fundamental duties such as overall culture and great ideals.
  • It is known that these duties are not enforceable by law and that is why critics believe that there is no special significance in the Constitution.
  • These duties are placed in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution, which comes after the Directive Principles of State Policy, which is why according to experts, they have not been given such importance.

Features of Fundamental Duties

  • Fundamental duties include both moral and civil duties. For example, ‘following the noble ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom’ is a moral duty, while ‘obeying the constitution and respecting its ideals, institutions, national flag and national anthem’ is a civic duty.
  • It may be noted that some fundamental rights are available to Indian citizens as well as foreign nationals, but fundamental duties apply only to Indian citizens.
  • According to the constitution, fundamental duties are non-justiciable or non-enforceable, meaning that no legal restriction can be imposed by the government in case of their violation.
  • The fundamental duties mentioned under the constitution also relate to Indian tradition, mythology, religion and practices.


Non-enforceability of fundamental duties

  • Significantly, Article 37 of the Constitution makes the Directive Principles of State Policy non-enforceable and non-justifiable, but no such special provision has been made for fundamental duties under the Constitution.
  • However, no special provisions have been made under the Constitution for the enforcement of these fundamental duties, so no penalty can be given for its violation unless specific provisions are made for it in the Constitution.
    • According to Article 20 (1) of the Constitution, before a person is convicted of a crime, it is mandatory to have a law in relation to that crime and that law should also be violated.
  • Critics of non-enforceability of Fundamental Duties say that there is no specific meaning of this law due to no specific provision in relation to it.


Importance of Fundamental Duties

  • Significantly, many countries around the world have embodied the principles of ‘responsible citizenship’ to transform themselves into developed economies.
  • The United States can be considered the most outstanding example in this regard. The US issues a document called Citizens’ Almanac to its citizens, detailing the duties of all citizens.
    • Another example of this is Singapore whose development story began with the duty of citizens. As a result, Singapore quickly transformed itself from a Least Developed Nation to a Developed Nation.
    • The Fundamental Duties act as a kind of alert for the citizens of the country. It is important to note that citizens should be aware of their duties towards their country and other citizens.
  • These act as a warning to the people against anti-social activities like burning of flag, destroying public property or disturbing public peace.
  • These help in achieving national goals by promoting the sense of discipline and commitment to the nation as well as ensuring active participation of citizens.


Criticism of Fundamental Duties

  • Many critics do not consider the list of fundamental duties to be complete, according to them, this list of fundamental duties should include some other important topics like tax and voting.
  • Many fundamental duties are not properly defined. It may be difficult for a common man to understand the complex words present in the fundamental duties such as overall culture and great ideals.
  • It is known that these duties are not enforceable by law and that is why critics believe that there is no special significance in the Constitution.
  • These duties are placed in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution, which comes after the Directive Principles of State Policy, which is why according to experts, they have not been given such importance.

Major Committees in this regard

Major Committees

In 1976, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Sardar Swarn Singh to make recommendations for fundamental duties, the main purpose of setting up this committee was to make recommendations on fundamental duties and their necessity during emergency. The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate chapter in the constitution under the title of Fundamental Duties, so that citizens are made aware of their duties while exercising fundamental rights. Accepting the recommendations of the committee, the government included a separate Article 51A in the Constitution and 10 fundamental duties were included in it. Although the Swarn Singh Committee suggested the inclusion of only eight fundamental duties, the 42nd constitutional amendment included ten duties.


Verma Committee

The purpose of the Verma Committee, formed in the year 1998, was to formulate a strategy and methodology for implementing the fundamental duties in every educational institution and for a program launched worldwide to teach these duties in all schools. The committee in its investigation found that the main reason for non-operation of fundamental duties within the country is lack of strategy for its implementation.


Relevance of Fundamental Duties

  • Even three decades after the fundamental duties were included in the constitution, there is a lack of adequate awareness among citizens regarding this.
  • A public interest litigation filed in 2016 revealed the fact that about 99.9 percent of the citizens of the country, including Supreme Court lawyers, judges and MPs, do not fulfill the duties described in Article 51A of the Constitution. The main reason for this is that they are not aware in this regard.
  • Presently, it has become mandatory to emphasize the need of discharging fundamental duties for the progress of India.
  • Significantly, it seems from several recent events that we have been unable to maintain the spirit of brotherhood in the country.
  • It is important that we will not be able to strengthen the roots of democracy in Indian society until citizens exercise their fundamental rights as well as perform fundamental duties.


The conclusion


Despite being non-enforceable, the concept of fundamental duty is important for democratic nations like India. A democracy will not be called alive unless its citizens are ready to take an active part in governance and to take responsibility for the best interest of the country. Therefore, it is not in the Indian interest at all to abolish the concept of Fundamental Duties from the Constitution, it is necessary to discuss reforms in its various aspects and find necessary alternatives.

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