We all know our fundamental rights, but what about fundamental duties?

The moment the word Indian Constitution is uttered the first thing that comes to our mind is fundamental rights. The right to free speech, the right to life, the right to equality, etc. The list is endless. We are so aware, so alert about our rights. Even the courts are very vigilant in protective these fundamental rights. But what about our fundamental duties?

What are fundamental duties?

Rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin. But most of us are not even aware that there is something called as fundamental duties. Article 51 A of the Constitution of India enumerates fundamental duties. Everything cannot be left to the Government and the citizens too should take up some of the responsibilities. This is the object behind fundamental duties. We get a pay check at our office, but that comes with some responsibilities. Even in our homes, we voluntarily shoulder some responsibilities be it cleaning, cooking, raising the kids, maintaining the garden etc. Similarly there are certain responsibilities, certain duties which our Constitution expects us to discharge towards our nation.

We do discharge some of our fundamental duties even without knowing about them. For example, whenever the national anthem is sung all of us stand up or we safeguard our national flag and prevent any disrespect towards it.

  • To abide by the Constitution, respect its institutions, the national flag and the national anthem is our fundamental duty.
  • We gained freedom after years of harsh struggle. So respecting the ideals which inspired our freedom struggle is a fundamental duty.
  • We protect our family when anyone attacks us. We should protect our motherland by defending it and rendering national service. This too is a fundamental duty.
  • It is our fundamental duty to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood. Similarly renouncing practices derogatory to women is a fundamental duty too.
  • Everyone around the world are charmed by our rich and varied culture and protecting and preserving it is our fundamental duty.
  • We build buildings in the middle of the riverbeds, create noise pollution, etch our names on the ancient monuments and pollute the environment. This is against our fundamental duties.
  • You would be surprised to know that even developing compassion towards living creatures is our fundamental duty. This reflects the great dreams which the founding fathers of our Constitution cherished for their country men, for us.
  • Safeguarding public property is our fundamental duty. Unfortunately whenever there is any bandh or agitation, public property becomes a soft target. Buses are torched, police stations are vandalized. Even otherwise whenever we are littering on the roads, piercing the railway coaches we are acting in contravention of our fundamental duty.
  • Attaining individual and collective excellence is also a fundamental duty.

Thus individual and collective goals are not in contrast with each other. Indeed ours is the only Constitution which respects the individual achievements of its citizens as well.

If you want to do something for your country, then the easiest way is to discharge your fundamental duties.

In the words of Late Indira Gandhi fundamental duties are not to smother your rights, but establish a democratic balance. Fortunately many young people are inspired to do something good for their motherland and bring about change for the society. The best way to start is by consciously performing your fundamental duties. Hence it is essential that we spread awareness about these fundamental duties. Even if ten per cent of our population scrupulously follows these fundamental duties, our nation will take a big leap towards progress. Why not start it now. By sharing this article with your friends and relatives.