Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen

The fundamental duties of citizens were added to the constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, upon the recommendations of the Swaran SinghCommittee that was constituted by the government earlier that year.[18][103] Originally ten in number, the fundamental duties were increased to eleven by the 86th Amendment in 2002, which added a duty on every parent or guardian to ensure that their child or ward was provided opportunities for education between the ages of six and fourteen years.[58] The other fundamental duties obligate all citizens to respect the national symbols of India, including the constitution, to cherish its heritage, preserve its composite culture and assist in its defence. They also obligate all Indians to promote the spirit of common brotherhood, protect the environment and public property, develop scientific temper, abjure violence, and strive towards excellence in all spheres of life.[104] In case of violation of fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution by a citizen including President, Vice President, Speaker, parliament members, state legislativemembers, etc., it amounts to contempt of the constitution which is punishable under Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. Supreme court has ruled that these fundamental duties can also help the court to decide the constitutionality of a law passed by the legislature. There is reference to such duties in international instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rightsand International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 51A brings the Indian constitution into conformity with these treaties

1.To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

2.To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our 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 or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, 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. Who is a parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child, or as the case may be, ward between the age of six to fourteen years.

Criticism of Fundamental Duties:

• Some of them are difficult to be understood by common people

• Criticized for being moral precepts, pious platitudes, vague and repetitive

• No need to be implemented as they all are performed by the people even if not included

• Their inclusion in Part IV-A after fundamental rights has reduced their value and significance.

• Some of the important points which were recommended by Swaran Singh committee were not included, such as

1. Parliament should impose penalty or punishment in case of non compliance of duties.

2. If punishment is imposed according to above clause, it cannot be called in question in any court on any ground.

3. Duty to pay taxes to be incorporated as fundamental duty

• Other important duties like family planning, voting etc should be included

Thus, finally it can be said that the government efforts cannot be successful unless citizens of the country generally participate in the decision making process of the government. Even the unstated duties like voting should be effectively discharged by the citizens. Public spirited people and politicians should come forward to take interest in local community problems. These duties are a constant reminder to us of the national goals as well as the basic norms of political order. They may inspire us to inculcate in ourselves a sense of social responsibility.


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