The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution was enacted in 1976 under which Fundamental duties were added after the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee, which had been formed by the government earlier that year. The 86th Amendment, which put the responsibility on every parent or guardian to ensure that their child or ward has chances for education between the ages of six and fourteen years, raised the fundamental responsibilities from 10 to eleven in 2002.
Other basic responsibilities include respecting India's national symbols, such as the constitution, cherishing its past, maintaining its composite culture, and helping in its defence. They also require all Indians to foster the spirit of common brotherhood, safeguard the environment and public property, cultivate a scientific temperament, refrain from violence, and strive for excellence in all areas of life.
What are Fundamental Duties?
Fundamental Duties are said to be one of the fundamental obligations mentioned in the Constitution of India ( Others are Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of State ). These are the moral as well as civic obligations or duties that citizens should fulfill. In the Indian Constitution, these were not added originally by the founding fathers but later it was added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
List of Fundamental Duties
The following are the fundamental duties of India defined in the constitution:
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, 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.
To provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years (added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002).
Important Facts Related to Fundamental Duties
Features of Fundamental Duties
The essential features of the Fundamental Duties are mentioned below:
The Fundamental Duties are said to be non - justiciable in nature which means they are not said to be enforced by the courts similar to fundamental rights.
Some Fundamental Rights are given to both citizens as well as foreigners but fundamental duties are only for Indian citizens.
Even they are not directly enforceable under the Part IVA but still these duties can be enforced indirectly with the presence of different laws that govern such acts. For example, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 deals with prohibition of desecration or any kind of insult to the National symbols.
Importance of Fundamental Duties
Fundamental duties are inextricably linked to fundamental rights. The importance of both is listed below:
It serves as a constant reminder to citizens that while exercising their constitutional rights, they must be aware of their duties to their nation and to other citizens.
These serve as a warning to the public against anti-social acts that defame the nation, including flag burning, destroying public property, and disturbing public order.
These contribute to the development of a feeling of discipline and patriotism. They contribute to the achievement of national goals through active citizen engagement rather than passive viewership.
It helps the Court in determining the law's constitutionality. For example, any law passed by legislatures would be considered reasonable when brought before a court for constitutional legitimacy if it is enforcing any Fundamental Duty.
They can be enforced by law; parliament has the authority to impose any form of penalty or punishment for any violation of the Fundamental Duties.
Criticism of Fundamental Duties
Part IVA of the Constitution's Fundamental Duties has been criticised for the following reasons:
Because of their non-justiciable nature, opponents have referred to them as a set of moral principles. Their presence in the Constitution was deemed unnecessary by some. This is because the people would execute the obligations listed in the Constitution as basic even if they were not included in the Constitution.
Some of the responsibilities are unclear, confusing, and difficult to comprehend for the average person.
The list of duties is not complete, as it leaves out key responsibilities such as voting, paying taxes, and family planning. In reality, the Swaran Singh Committee suggested that people be required to pay taxes.
The inclusion of fundamental duties as an appendix to Part IV of the Constitution, according to some, has diminished their meaning and relevance. To maintain them on a level with Fundamental Rights, they should have been included after Part III.
The Swaran Singh Committee proposed more than ten Fundamental Duties, however, not all of them were adopted in the Constitution. The following were among the committee's conclusions that were not accepted:
Any non-compliance with or unwillingness to follow any of the responsibilities would be penalized/punished by the parliament.
The punishments/penalties imposed by Parliament must not be challenged in any court on the basis of a violation of one or more Fundamental Rights or a violation of any other provision of the Constitution.
Taxes must be paid.
Therefore, Article 51A of Part IV A of the Indian Constitution deals with the fundamental duties of Indian citizens which is said to be one of the important sections of the constitution. The most important point needs to remember is they are sourced from the Russian Constitution and these were added by an amendment. These are not directly enforceable as per the constitution.