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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 17 August, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties

Recently, the Chief Justice of India said fundamental duties in the Constitution are not merely to serve a "pedantic or technical" purpose.

CJI’s opinion:

  • The primary law that governs the interaction between the people and the government is our Constitution.
  • Although it has bestowed upon us unalienable rights, it also imposes upon us some fundamental duties
  • The fundamental duties were included as the path to social transformation; they are not only technical or pedantic.

Fundamental Duties

  • Incorporation of Fundamental Duties: Although there existed a Part III for Fundamental Rights when the Constitution was adopted in 1949, there were no provisions regarding Fundamental Duties to the Citizens.
  • On the advice of the Swaran Singh Committee, which the government appointed, the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1976, adding the Fundamental Duties of Citizens to it.
  • The Committee recommended that actions be made to make sure that the person did not neglect his responsibilities while exercising his fundamental rights.
  • Part IV-A of the Constitution contains the basic obligations.
  • The idea of fundamental duties was imported from the previous USSR.
  • In Article 51(A), 11 fundamental duties are listed.
  • 10 were added with the 42nd Amendment, and the 86th Amendment in 2002 added the eleventh.

Importance of fundamental duties

  • It acts as a constant reminder to citizens that, while exercising their rights, they still have obligations to their country and other citizens.
  • These operate as a deterrent to the populace against anti-social behaviour that denigrates the country, such as burning the flag, damaging public property, or upsetting public peace.
  • These aid in fostering a sense of discipline and loyalty to the country.
  • It aids the Court in deciding whether the law is constitutional.

Criticism of Fundamental Duties

  • They are rendered inherently non-justiciable.
  • Important responsibilities like paying taxes and family planning, etc., are not covered.
  • Provisions that are difficult for the average person to understand because they are vague and ambiguous.
  • Provisions that are unnecessary since they would typically be observed even if they weren't included.

Nature of Fundamental Duties

  • The traditions, mythologies, religions, and rituals of India are largely included in the fundamental obligations.
  • These were essentially the obligations that codify responsibilities essential to the Indian way of life.
  • Additionally, it used instances from "ancient India" and the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita to support the claim that "Indians have a tradition of carrying out their duties."
  • Every person should be constantly reminded of their Fundamental Duties because the Constitution specifically granted them certain Fundamental Rights.
  • Because rights and obligations are related, it also calls for citizens to adhere to some fundamental standards of democratic behaviour.
    The existence of legislative provisions for implementing parts of the Fundamental Duties was noted by the Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens (1999).
  • According to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971, no one is allowed to disrespect the national flag, the Indian Constitution, or the national anthem.
  • The Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1955 established penalties for any offence involving caste or religion.
  • The Fundamental Duties, on the other hand, are not subject to legal proceedings, whereas the Fundamental Rights are.
  • It implies that citizens are not held accountable for failing to perform their essential obligations.
  • Although these obligations are not legally required, a court may consider them when making a decision.

The rationale for citizens’ duties can be summarized in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Every citizen plays a key role in building a New India — a clean, healthy, and prosperous nation. Everyone performing their duties, even mechanically, would pave the way for a better neighbourhood, better society, and ultimately, a better country.

Also, Read - Northeast’s Integration

Source: The Hindu


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