Fundamental Duties

“Indira Gandhi the then prime minister, Justified the inclusion of Fundamental duties in the constitution and argued that their inclusion would help to strengthen democracy.”

Though the rights and duties are interlinked with each other, the constitution framers did not feel to incorporate fundamental duties in our constitution. Later it was realised that fundamental duties are necessary to strengthen the democracy in the emergency situation. In 1976, the Fundamental duties of Citizen added by 42nd constitutionamendment act. This amendment added a new part called as IVA which contains only one article that is, Article 51A.

Fundamental Duties of Indian constitution inspired from erstwhile USSR. We have to note that no other major democracy countries like America, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia don’t have Fundamental Duties in their constitution. But Japan is the only democratic nations which have a list of duties to their citizens.

List of Fundamental Duties

Right now in our constitution, we have 11 Fundamental Rights.

  1. to abide by the constitution and respect its ideal and institutions; the national flag and national anthem.
  2. to cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom;
  3. to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
  4. to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
  5. to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. to value and preserve the rich heritage of our country’s composite culture;
  7. to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
  10. to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  11. to provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between age 6 to 14 years(This duty is added in 2002, 86th constitutional Amendment Act)

Swaran Singh Committee recommendations

The congress party setup the Swaran Singh committee to make recommendations about the fundamental duties. The committee recommends adding fundamental duties as a separate chapter in the constitution. It also stressed that in addition to the enjoyment of the fundamental rights, every citizen should conscious about the fundamental Duties too.

Swaran Singh Committee suggested eight Fundamental Duties but the 42nd constitutional Amendment Act included ten Fundamental Duties. Even some recommendations made by this committee were not accepted by the government.

Fundamental Duties – Significance

In this chapter, we look some of the significance of Fundamental Duties (FD) in the Constitution.

Reminder

Fundamental Duties (FD) act as a reminder to every citizen of India while enjoying their rights.

Against anti-national

FD also serves a warning signal against the anti – national and anti – Social activities like burning the national flag and destroying public activities.

Improve Discipline

Fundamental Duties (FB) promotes a sense of discipline among the citizens.

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Notable Criticism

  1. Fundamental Duties (FD) is not covered with paying tax, casting votes, family planning and so on.
  2. Some duties are too vague and difficult to understand.
  3. FD should have been added with Fundamental Rights So that it will increase its significance and value.

Verma Committee Report

The Verma Committee is notable one because of it is the committee which identified the existence of legal provisions for the implementations of the Fundamental Duties.

  1. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971 prevents disrespect to the constitution of India, the National flag and the National Anthem.
  2. There are various laws in force provide punishments for encouraging enmity between different sections of people on grounds of race, place of birth, religion and so on.
  3. The wildlife protection Act of 1972 prohibits trade in rare endangered species.
  4. The forest conservation Act of 1972 prohibits deforestation and transferring forest land into the non-forest land.

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