The fundamental duty is the moral responsibility of all citizens. Their purpose is to awaken patriotism among the people of the country and maintain the country’s unity. These fundamental duties described in Part IV of the Constitution, apply to every individual in the country. Like the Directive Principle, they are not subject to judicial review.
The constitution of India does not talk about the fundamental duties of its citizens. The resolution adopted by the Karachi Congress (in 1931) impersonates fundamental rights as well as the fundamental duties of citizens. The 42nd Amendment to the Indian Constitution was ratified in 1976, and it incorporated the fundamental duties of citizens into the Indian Constitution. The Swaran Singh Committee helps to add to the fundamental duties. For this purpose, a new part called Part IV-A and a new article 51-A were created.
Articles 51-A mentions 10 fundamental duties of citizens. But another fundamental duty was added in 2002 through the 86th amendment to the constitution. As a result, the number of fundamental duties is now eleven.
|Amendment||42nd Amendment in 1976|
|Recommended||By Swaran Singh Committee.|
The fundamental duties of Indian citizens are:
- The constitution must be obeyed and the ideals of the constitution, institutions, national flag and national anthem must be respected.
- The great ideals that inspired the national movements for the independence of the country must be traversed and followed.
- India’s sovereignty, unity and solidarity must be supported and preserved. ‘
- If you are called to engage in national defense and national service, you have to respond.
- Unity and brotherhood among all Indians should be extended beyond religious, linguistic, regional, or caste systems and all practices that undermine the dignity of women should be avoided.
- The glorious heritage of our country’s mixed culture must be valued and preserved.
- Conservation and improvement of the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and love for animals should be expressed.
- We have to spread a scientific outlook, humanitarianism, curiosity and reformist attitude.
- National property must be maintained or preserved and the path of violence must be avoided.
- In order to maintain the excellence and speed of national development, should strive for ultimate excellence in all individual and collective activities.
- Under the 86th Amendment Act of 2002, the newly added duty is to provide for the education of every child between the ages of six and fourteen.
The Verma Committee (1999)
The Verma Committee in 1999 regarding the Fundamental Duties of Citizens identifies some of the existing laws that are conducive to the implementation of fundamental duties. Such as –
- The Representation of People Act, 1951)
- Untouchability Offenses Act, 1955
- Prevention of Illegal Acts Act, 1967.
- The Prevention of Insult to National Honor Act of 1971
- Prohibition of trade in rare and endangered wild animals Act 1972.
- Prohibition of reckless deforestation and use of forest land for other purposes Act 1980.
Importance of Fundamental Duties
- Fundamental Duties provide a moral and ethical framework for citizens. They remind individuals of their responsibilities toward the nation and society.
- They help strike a balance between individual rights and societal obligations.
- They encourage citizens to actively participate in the democratic process and contribute to the nation’s well-being.
- Encouraging citizens to be environmentally conscious is crucial for sustainable development.
- Encouraging citizens to develop a scientific temper and a spirit of inquiry and reform is essential for the country’s progress.
- Fundamental Duties include a duty to value and preserve the rich heritage of India’s composite culture.
- The duties to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all citizens are crucial for maintaining social cohesion and national unity
- Fundamental Duties set aspirational goals for citizens to strive towards excellence in various spheres of life, and contribute to the overall progress of the nation.
Criticism of Fundamental Duties:
While Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution serve as a set of moral and ethical principles that citizens are encouraged to follow, they have also faced criticism and debate since their inception. Some of the criticisms and concerns regarding Fundamental Duties include:
Non-Enforceability: One of the primary criticisms is that Fundamental Duties are not legally enforceable. Unlike Fundamental Rights, which can be enforced by the courts, Fundamental Duties are not justiciable. This means that there is no mechanism for ensuring that citizens fulfill these duties, which raises questions about their practical significance.
Ambiguity and Vagueness: The language used in some of the Fundamental Duties is considered vague and ambiguous, which makes it challenging to determine what specific actions or behaviors are expected of citizens. For example, terms like “cherish,” “promote harmony,” and “develop scientific temper” can be interpreted differently by different individuals.
Lack of Clarity on Punishments: The Constitution does not specify any penalties or punishments for failing to fulfill Fundamental Duties. This lack of clarity on consequences for non-compliance weakens their efficacy as guidelines for citizen behavior.
Potential for Misuse: There is a concern that Fundamental Duties could be misused by the government to suppress dissent or infringe upon individual liberties. For instance, the duty to “abjure violence” might be invoked to stifle peaceful protests or criticism of government policies.
Imbalance with Fundamental Rights: Some critics argue that the inclusion of Fundamental Duties should have been balanced with corresponding enforceable duties of the state. While citizens are expected to fulfill these duties, there is no equivalent set of duties prescribed for the government or public authorities.
Cultural and Regional Variations: India is a diverse country with various cultures, languages, and traditions. The imposition of a uniform set of Fundamental Duties may not adequately address the unique needs and values of different regions and communities.
Potential for Political Manipulation: There is concern that governments or political parties may use Fundamental Duties for political purposes, selectively emphasizing certain duties over others to advance their agendas.
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Fundamental Duties UPSC questions
Here are some potential UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) questions related to Fundamental Duties, along with their answers:
What are Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution, and what is their significance?
Discuss the criticisms associated with Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution.
How can Fundamental Duties contribute to environmental conservation and sustainable development in India?
Explain the significance of the duty to “value and preserve the rich heritage of India’s composite culture” among Fundamental Duties.
How many Fundamental Duties are enshrined in the Indian Constitution?
Which amendment to the Indian Constitution introduced the Fundamental Duties?
[B] 42nd Amendment
Fundamental Duties were added to the Indian Constitution based on the recommendations of which committee?
[B] Swaran Singh Committee
Which article of the Indian Constitution contains the Fundamental Duties?
[B] Article 51A
Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution – The Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizens are essential to understand for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exam as they may be covered in questions about Indian polity and government. It is a conspicuous general knowledge note (including PDF) for all kinds of competitive govt job examinations such as IAS, UPSC, SSC, CGL, WBCS, Banking, Railway, etc.