What are the Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizens?

Introduction:- In this article, we will cover the topic of the fundamental duties of Indian citizens and their importance. For a better understanding of the article, we will also cover the meaning of fundamental.

How many fundamental duties are there in the Indian constitution, from where they are taken. Lists of 11 fundamental duties written in the Indian Constitution.

What are the Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution?

Fundamental duties and its importance

Fundamental Meaning:-

the meaning of fundamental is forming a base or core of central importance. In other words a set of principles on which something is based.

Fundamental Duties:- The original constitution of India contained fundamental rights, not duties. It was during the “National Emergency” of 1975 there felt a need for fundamental duties to make people more conscious of their duties about the nation. Consequently, in February 1976 a committee under the Chairmanship of Sardar Swaran Singh was appointed to make recommendations on them.

However, on the recommendations of the committee in 1976, the fundamental duties of the citizens of India were added to the constitution by the 42nd Amendment. A separate part was added to Chapter IV-A under Article 51 (A).

Fundamental duties are like the directive principle of the state policy of the Constitution in Part IV. It lay down some set of guidelines to be followed by the state.

Likewise, fundamental duties in Article 51 (A), lay down rules that should be followed by citizens. Violation of these rules in both cases doesn’t invite any punishment.

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How many fundamental duties are there in the Indian Constitution and from where they are taken?

Originally, 10 duties were added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. However, The 11th duty was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002.

The fundamental duties in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the constitution of erstwhile USSR. Japan is the only democratic country in the world that contains a list of duties of citizens.

List of 11 Fundamental Duties written in Indian Constitution and their importance:-

List of 11 Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizens written in Indian Constitution

According to Article 51 (A), it shall be the duty of every citizen of India:-

  • (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect the National Flag and the National Anthem.
  • (b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  • (c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India
  • (d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  • (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all 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 rich heritage of our composite culture
  • (g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
  • (h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
  • (i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
  • (j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity
  • (k) to provide opportunities for education by the parent the guardian, to his child, or a ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be (this clause was inserted through 86th Amendment Act of 2002).

Importance of Fundamental Duties:-

  • They serve as a reminder to the citizens that they also have some fundamental duties along with rights to follow. They should be conscious of the duties they owe to their country, society, and fellow citizens.
  • They act as a warning against anti-social activities and anti-national activities like burning the national flag, constitution, public property and so on.
  • They are a source of inspiration for the citizens.
  • They promote a sense of discipline and commitment amongst them.
  • They make citizens feel like active participants in the realization of national goals.
  • They help the court in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law.
  • They are enforceable by law depending on its merit and principle of constitutionalism.
  • The Parliament can provide for the imposition of appropriate penalty or punishment for failure to fulfill any of them.

Features of Fundamental Duties:-

Features of Fundamental Duties
  • Some of them are moral duties while others are civic duties. For example, respecting the Constitution, National Flag, and National Anthem is a civic duty while cherishing noble ideals of freedom struggle is a moral duty.
  • They refer to such values that have been a part of the Indian tradition, mythology, religious and practices.
  • These duties are applicable to the citizens only and they don’t extend to foreigners.
  • They are non-justiciable. The constitution does not provide for its direct enforcement by the courts.
  • There is no legal sanction against their violations. However, Parliament is free to enforce them by suitable legislation.

Criticism of Fundamental Duties:-

  • It doesn’t contain other important duties like casting vote, paying taxes, family planning, etc. The duty to pay taxes was also recommended by Swaran Singh Committee.
  • It can not be questioned in the court of law for enforcement. However, various other acts have been introduced to give effect to these duties.
  • There are various phrases mentioned like noble ideals, composite culture, scientific temper and so on, which are difficult for the common man to understand.
  • Critics believe that these duties should have been added after Part III to keep them on part with the Fundamental Rights. The inclusion of these duties as an appendage to Part IV of the constitution has reduced their value and significance.

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