A bunch of friends decided to celebrate an festival – they blocked the road, put up a stage with terrible singers and installed massive amplifiers that blared music for a kilometer around. They were exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression, they said. The people in the neighborhood spent a sleepless night, and the next morning hauled them to court – they were exercising their right to constitutional remedies, they said. Then the noisy bunch said that they also had a right to equal protection by law. And then…
This is a never ending story! It’s nice to know and use your rights; it’s nicer still to know that other people also have rights. As Oliver Wendell puts it – “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” Try swinging your fist past your friend’s nose and see what happens where that takes you! With rights, come responsibility. Every parent has a right to discipline the child, but they are also responsible for providing them a good education, food, shelter and so on. With rights, come duties towards the nation and other fellow-citizens.
What are the Fundamental Duties of an Indian citizen?
The Fundamental Duties of an Indian citizen, as defined by the Constitution of India by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, in 1976, states that it is the moral obligation of the citizen to uphold the unity and integrity of the country.
Fundamental Duties are not enforceable by law.
Why have the Fundamental Duties added to the Constitution of India?
Fundamental Duties have been added to the Constitution of India to help Indian Citizens understand that it is important for the growth of the country, to maintain peace, harmony, in the country. Fundamental Duties help and guide us to understand our civil and social responsibilities and that by observing them we ensure democracy in India is upheld.
11 Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen under the Constitution of India
The Indian Constitution has outlined 11 fundamental duties. We will put then in four simple categories here.
1. Duty towards the country
- Follow the law
- Respect the flag
- Stand whenever the National anthem is sung
- Understand that the struggle for independence means that we should learn and grow and serve our country, so it never depends on another nation for anything again
- To do nothing that will put our country in danger and allow a foreign power to sneak in
- To protect our borders or do social work whenever needed
- In short, look after the country in every possible way. You can begin by just learning more about your country.
2. Duty towards citizens and culture
- To respect all religions and languages
- To respect women
- Understand that our 29 states are all different and that the songs, books and learning in each state are important
- Love everyone and see what you can learn from them.
3. Duty towards environment
- Protect public property
- Protect natural resources like water, forests and minerals
- Protect animals
- For starters, don’t litter, don’t waste anything and don’t scribble on your school desks.
4. Duty towards yourself
- To learn more and more about many subjects for the benefit of society and country
- To excel in your personal talent for the benefit of society and country
How will excelling in your personal talent benefit society?
Well, suppose you are a great footballer. You learn, you compete, you play for football clubs. Many people want to be like you. They learn to be physically fit, they exercise, they become sharp. They will always be of use to the country.
Every duty that you fulfil is good for you and for everyone else. Isn’t that great?
Maintain a diary for a week. Make the following four columns.
- Duty towards the country
- Duty towards citizens and culture
- Duty towards environment
- Duty towards yourself
See whether you can at least fill out 2 from each category in 2 weeks time.
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