Fundamental rights and duties in Indian Constitution

Fundamental rights:

Fundamental rights are those rights which are essential for the well being of a person. Part III of the Indian Constitution contains the list of Fundamental Rights; that guarantees civil liberties to all the citizens of India to live in peace and harmony without the fear of being suppressed by others. The Indian Judiciary has the discretion to punish those violating these fundamental rights under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. No person can be deprived these rights pertaining to basic liberty in the form of human freedoms. It is the judiciary that safeguards these rights of the citizens. In some exceptional cases, i.e. during emergencies the State can impose restrictions on the enjoyment of these fundamental rights.

The Constitution provides for the enjoyment of 6 Fundamental rights. They are:

  1. Right to Equality (under Article 14 – Article 18 )
  2. Right to Freedom (under Article 19 – Article 22 )
  3. Right against exploitation ( under Article 23 – Article 24 )
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion (under Article 25 – Article 28 )
  5. Cultural and Educational rights (under Article 29 – Article 30 )
  6. Right to Constitutional remedies (Article 32 )

Fundamental duties:

Fundamental Duties are the ones that are recognized as moral obligations the citizens are expected to perform. Article 51A under Part IV A of the Constitution of India speaks of the Fundamental duties. One cannot enforce these fundamental duties legally. It was through the 42nd Amendment that these duties were introduced in the Constitution.

There are 10 Fundamental duties that the citizens are expected to discharge. They are:

  1. The citizens of India are expected to be abide by the Constitution and respect all its ideals. Likewise, the citizens are expected to respect the National Flag and the National Anthem.
  2. The noble ideals that inspired our freedom struggle have to be cherished and followed.
  3. The sovereignty, unity and integrity of India needs to be upheld and protected.
  4. Citizens should be ready to defend and render national service towards India.
  5. The spirits of common brotherhood and harmony have to be promoted by all the citizens wherein they need to transcend all forms of diversities pertaining to religion, language and region. All the practices that are derogatory to the dignity of women have to be renounced.
  6. India has a rich, varied and composite culture and one needs to preserve it.
  7. Natural environment including the forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife are expected to be preserved by the citizens.
  8. People of India are expected to develop within themselves humanism, scientific temperament, and spirits of inquiry and reform.
  9. Public property is expected to be safeguarded and violence needs to be avoided.
  10. People are expected to strive for the excellence of all the individuals and collective activities to help in the development of the country.
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