Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution
Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution are inspired by the Constitution of erstwhile USSR.
In 1976 the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee recommended about fundamental duties, the need and necessity of which was felt during the operation of the internal emergency (1975–1977).
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976 enacted the Fundamental Duties and added a new part, namely, Part IVA which consists of only one Article, that is, Article 51A
Though the Swaran Singh Committee suggested the incorporation of eight Fundamental Duties in the Constitution, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act (1976) included ten Fundamental Duties.
In 2002, one more Fundamental Duty was added.
Under Part IV ‘A’, Article 51A of the Indian Constitution describes the following “Fundamental Duties” (i.e. the duty of every citizen of India).
- 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 wild life, 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 achievement; and
- Who is 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.
- Fundamental Duties are confined to citizens only and do not extend to foreigners.
- The Constitution does not provide for their direct enforcement by the courts.
- Like the Directive Principles, the fundamental duties are also non-justiciable.
- There is not legal sanction against their violation.
- Parliament is free to enforce them by suitable legislation.
Criticism of Fundamental Duties
- List of duties is not exhaustive
- Some of the duties are vague, ambiguous and difficult to be understood by the common man
- Non-justiciable character
- Their inclusion in the Constitution was described by the critics as superfluous.
- Inclusion of fundamental duties as an appendage to Part IV of the Constitution has reduced their value and significance.
Significance of Fundamental Duties
- reminder to the citizens that while enjoying their rights
- warning against the antinational and antisocial activities
- source of inspiration for the citizens and promote a sense of discipline and commitment
- help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law
- enforceable by law