Fundamental Duties were added by 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India and it consists of only one Article - 51-A. It is basically a moral and civic duty on every citizen of the country. Fundamental Duties were recommended by Swaran Singh Committee which were constituted by Indira Gandhi.
The Fundamental Duties were originally ten in numbers but in the year 2002 by 86th Amendment increased its number to eleven (11).
The concept of Fundamental Duties was taken from the USSR. The constitution of India is considered as the longest written constitution in the world. A very significant feature of Indian Constitution is that it balances citizens’ rights and duties. There are eleven (11) Fundamental Duties provided under Article 51-A of the Constitution of India.
Following are the Fundamental Duties prescribed by the Constitution:
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India-
- To abide by Constitution and respect its ideal and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem.
- To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
- To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
- To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
- 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.
- To value and preserve the right heritage of our composite culture.
- To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creature.
- To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
- To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
- To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievements.
The 11th duty was added by 86th Amendment, which is:
- Who is parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.Importance of Fundamental Duties
This reminds Indian citizens of their duty towards the society and the nation. Fundamental duties are applicable to citizens only and not aliens. It is the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.
These serve as a warning to the people against any anti-social activities.
Fundamental duties are very important aspect of a democratic state. Citizens are expected to behave in accordance with fundamental duties. Every citizen plays a key role in building India. Rights and duties have to exist together. Let us all remember our fundamental duties as it serves a very useful purpose.
Avinash Ankit is an advocate in the Supreme Court of India. He hails from Samastipur (Bihar).