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Fundamental Duties - Fundamental Right

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties - Fundamental Right

The Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties are sections of the Constitution of India that prescribe the fundamental obligations of the states to its citizens and the duties and the rights of the citizens to the State. These sections comprise a constitutional bill of rights for government policy-making and the behaviour and conduct of citizens. These sections are considered vital elements of the constitution, which was developed between 1947 and 1949 by the Constituent Assembly of India.
The section "Fundamental Duties' was not a part of the original constitution. These were added to the Constitution much later by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. The fundamental duties were added to the constitution on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. There were ten fundamental duties at the time of incorporation but the eleventh was inserted by the 86th Amendment in 2002. The idea behind incorporation of fundamental duties was to remind the citizens of the country that they have certain obligations towards the country and society. As the state offers them fundamental rights, it is the fundamental duty of each citizen of India to further national integration and contribute towards a better society.

There is a major difference between the fundamental rights and the fundamental duties. The fundamental duties are non-justifiable, that is no one can be punished in case of their violation or non-compliance. The fundamental duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.

It shall be the duty of every citizens of India:

  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 and wild life, 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. To provide opportunities for education by the parent the guardian, to his child, or a ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be.


History

The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles had their origins in the Indian independence movement, which strove to achieve the values of liberty and social welfare as the goals of an independent Indian state. The development of constitutional rights in India was inspired by historical documents such as England's Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France's Declaration of the Rights of Man

The demand for civil liberties formed an important part of the Indian independence movement, with one of the objectives of the Indian National Congress (INC) being to end discrimination between the British rulers and their Indian subjects. This demand was explicitly mentioned in resolutions adopted by the INC between 1917 and 1919.

The demands articulated in these resolutions included granting to Indians the rights to equality before the law, free speech, trial by juries composed at least half of Indian members, political power, and equal terms for bearing arms as British citizens.

The experiences of the Second World War, the unsatisfactory Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms of 1919, and the rise to prominence of M. K. Gandhi in the Indian independence movement marked a change in the attitude of its leaders towards articulating demands for civil rights. The focus shifted from demanding equality of status between Indians and the British to assuring liberty for all Indians.

The Commonwealth of India Bill, drafted by Annie Beasant in 1925, specifically included demands for seven fundamental rights – individual liberty, freedom of conscience, free expression of opinion, freedom of assembly, non-discrimination on the ground of sex, free elementary education and free use of public spaces.

In 1927, the INC resolved to set up a committee to draft a "Swaraj Constitution" for India based on a declaration of rights that would provide safeguards against oppression. The 11-member committee, led by Motilal Nehru, was constituted in 1928. Its report made a number of recommendations, including proposing guaranteed fundamental rights to all Indians. These rights resembled those of the American Constitution and those adopted by post-war European countries, and several of them were adopted from the 1925 Bill. Several of these provisions were later replicated in various parts of the Indian Constitution, including the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.

In 1931, the Indian National Congress, at its Karachi session, adopted a resolution committing itself to the defence of civil rights and economic freedom, with the stated objectives of putting an end to exploitation, providing social security and implementing land reforms. Other new rights proposed by the resolution were the prohibition of State titles, universal adult franchise, the abolition of capital punishment and freedom of movement.

Drafted by Jawaharlal Nehru, the resolution, which later formed the basis for some of the Directive Principles, placed the primary responsibility of carrying out social reform on the State, and marked the increasing influence of socialism and Gandhian philosophy on the independence movement.

The final phase of the Independence movement saw a reiteration of the socialist principles of the 1930s, along with an increased focus on minority rights – which had become an issue of major political concern by then – which were published in the Sapru Report in 1945. The report, apart from stressing on protecting the rights of minorities, also sought to prescribe a "standard of conduct for the legislatures, government and the courts".

During the final stages of the British Raj, the 1946 Cabinet Mission to India proposed a Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution for India as part of the process of transfer of power. The Constituent Assembly of India, composed of indirectly elected representatives from the British provinces and Princely states, commenced its proceedings in December 1946, and completed drafting the Constitution of India by November 1949.

According to the Cabinet Mission plan, the Assembly was to have an Advisory Committee to advise it on the nature and extent of fundamental rights, protection of minorities and administration of tribal areas. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee was constituted in January 1947 with 64 members, and from among these a twelve-member sub-committee on Fundamental Rights was appointed under the chairmanship of J. B. Kripalani in February 1947.

The sub-committee drafted the Fundamental Rights and submitted its report to the Committee by April 1947, and later that month the Committee placed it before the Assembly, which debated and discussed the rights over the course of the following year, adopting the drafts of most of them by, December 1948.

The drafting of the Fundamental Rights was influenced by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly and the activities of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, as well as decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the Bill of Rights in the American Constitution.

The Directive Principles, which were also drafted by the sub-committee on Fundamental Rights, expounded the socialist precepts of the Indian independence movement, and were inspired by similar principles contained in the Irish Constitution. The Fundamental Duties were later added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.


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