Fundamental Duties under the Indian Constitution

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The Fundamental Duties of citizens were added to the Constitution of India by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, upon the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee which was constituted by the government earlier that year. Fundamental duties apply only to citizens and not to the foreigners. India borrowed the concept of Fundamental Duties from the then USSR. The addition of Fundamental Duties brought our Constitution in line with article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with provisions in different modern Constitutions of other nations. Out of the eleven clauses in article 51A, six are positive duties, and the other five are negative duties. Provisions require citizens to perform these Fundamental Duties actively. It’s suggested that a few more Fundamental Duties, namely, commitment to vote in an election, obligation to pay taxes and duty to resist injustice can be added in due time to article 51A in Part IVA of the Constitution.

Initially, the Constitution of India didn’t contain these duties. Fundamental duties were added by 42nd, and 86th Constitutional Amendment acts. As of now, there are 11 Fundamental duties. Citizens are morally obliged by the Constitution to perform these duties. Nevertheless, like the Directive Principles, these are non-justifiable, without any legal sanction in case of their violation or non-compliance.Even though there’s no provision in the constitution for direct execution of any of those duties, courts are guided by these duties while interpreting various laws. Following are the eleven fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution of India:
a) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem
b) to love and follow the noble ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom
c) to support and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India
d) to protect the nation and render national service when called upon to do so
e) to promote harmony and the spirit of universal brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
f) to value and preserve the wealthy heritage of our composite culture
g) to defend and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and also to have compassion for living creatures
h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of investigation and reform
i) to safeguard public property and also to abjure violence
j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so the country continuously rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
k) To provide opportunities for education by the parent or guardian, to his kid, or a ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be.

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