500+ Words Essay on Fundamental Duties
“O, citizens of Bharat! As our ancient saints and seers, leaders and preceptors have performed their duties righteously, similarly, you shall not falter to execute your duties.” ~ Rig Veda
Our Constitution has given us many Constitutional or Fundamental Rights, but we need to remember that it contains some Constitutional or Fundamental Duties too! In the current world, there is a great amount of emphasis on rights, but one should also be sincere about his or her duties towards the society, and the country at large.
Rights and Duties are inseparable. The existence of one without other is meaningless. You can’t ask of a right, without a corresponding duty or vice versa. They are the two sides of the same coin. Even, Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The very performance of a duty secures us our right. Rights cannot be divorced from duties.”
Surprisingly, the Fundamental Duties weren’t part of the original Indian Constitution, when it was written at the time of Indian Independence. They were later added in the Constitution in the year 1976, through a Constitutional Amendment.
It was the 42nd Amendment when the Constitutional Duties were added in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution under the Article 51-A. Originally, 10 duties were added under the Constitution; While the 11th duty was later on added by the 86th Amendment in the year 2002. Finally, giving us eleven Fundamental Duties.
11 Fundamental Duties
- to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
- to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
- to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
- to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
- 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;
- to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
- to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures;
- to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
- to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
- 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;
- for a parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Essentially, by observing the above duties, it can be concluded that these duties were taken from the Indian traditions, mythologies, religions and practices. These duties were, essentially, the reflection of the Indian way of life.
The concept of Fundamental duties was taken from the Constitution of the erstwhile U.S.S.R, as the socialist countries considered the rights and duties to be of equal importance. Till then, Japan was the only democratic nation to have Duties for its citizens. Still, not having ‘duties’ in the constitution, doesn’t mean that the citizens of that country behave in an irresponsible manner.
Features of the Fundamental Duties
- The fundamental duties consist of the moral ideals of the freedom struggle, and by respecting the Indian
- Constitution, Indian flag and national anthem, it boasts of civic ideals too.
- Fundamental Duties are confined to just Indian citizens and not foreigners.
- The Fundamental duties are non-enforceable, i.e. the government cannot enforce them on the citizens.
Importance of the Fundamental Duties
- The Fundamental duties are a constant reminder of the fact that along with rights, there is also some moral obligation of the citizens towards the nation.
- Various nations around the world, have embodied the principle of ‘responsible citizens’, and moved towards the path of developed nations.
- In the current times, the fundamental duties are of utmost importance. For example, the duty under Article 51-A(g) asks for protection of Environment, which is extremely needed today in the times of climate change crisis.
The importance of these Fundamental duties is immense. Even the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana also ask people to perform their duties. Lord Krishna in Gita says, “One should do one’s duties without expectation of any fruits.”
Democracy can’t be there unless the citizens become responsible for the progress of their country. For democracy to survive, a high sense of duty is a must. Also, Rights and duties have to exist together. Rights without duties can lead to anarchy. Since time immemorial, Indian culture has always stressed upon an individual’s “Kartavya” – the performance of one’s duties towards society, family and his/her country.
“It is the duty of every person to contribute to the development and progress of India.” ~ Swami Vivekanand