ARTICLE 51A – All you need to know
Is freedom for free or shall we take it for granted?
Our forefathers had a great vision for our land and its citizens when they fought for our freedom. They believed that every individual has a respective role to play in the well being of our nation.
This freedom from the British despotic rule paved way for a unique SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC.
The Constitution of India is a collective model. Therefore it is unique in this sense. It enshrines the best practices followed in great democracies.
British opted for PARLIAMENTARY SUPREMACY and United States opted for JUDICIAL SUPREMACY. India chose to leverage a balance between these two supremacies.
British citizens don’t have a code of fundamental rights with respect to their law since their constitution is unwritten. In contrast, their citizens have the freedom and right to do anything unless as long as that individual does not violate any rule of the law of the land.
Consequently, the Constitution of India was adopted on 26-11-1949. Fundamental rights (Thanks to Nehru report, 1930) was embodied has a part of the law. So that every individual is subject to basic fundamental rights to safeguard JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY.
Rights and duties go hand in hand. If democracy is a way of life, the constitution is the clock that runs it. Also, we have a duty towards the nation in order to ensure that basic rights don’t get suppressed. There come the FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES of the citizens.
In 1976, during the times of democracy, the need for fundamental duties arose. It was 28 years past our Independence. We had faced four major wars with our hostile neighbours.
Most importantly, As anticipated there wasn't much progress. Certainly, this was because of the reality that stood in front of our eyes.
Sardar Swaran Singh Committee was set up to look about the need for fundamental duties. Socialism was close to our hearts during the period.
This demand and the reality that individuals should be duly involved in the progress of the nation by performing their duties was highly prioritized.
The 42nd Amendment, 1976 of the constitution brought in 10 FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES. These are mentioned in the ARTICLE 51A. But with a special case that these are not enforceable in the courts nor their violation is punishable. Lately, 11th (k) point was added under the 86th amendment, 2002.
In a vibrant democracy we can't push individuals that's why it was neither enforceable nor punishable.
As a moral subject, we citizens can be dutiful to the nation so that true progress on every aspect can be made. These duties personally rest on our shoulders.
INDIA OF MY DREAMS
As Mahatma Gandhi described in his book "THE INDIA OF MY DREAMS", namely –
"… an India, in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; .. an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men."
To ensure this, every individual has a responsibility; every individual has fundamental duties to perform so that every individual's fundamental right is safeguarded. The only judiciary can't enable these rights because it’s primarily the collective will (duties) of the society.
By performing our fundamental duties in personal captivity will lead to multi-dimensional, co-operative, secular and a harmonious society resulting in our welfare.
Therefore, as a citizen of our country, we are duty bound in every sense and in every sphere, it doesn't mean our freedom is questioned but it deciphers that “freedom is not for free”.
As Russell Kirk, the American Historian says “Every right is married to a duty; every freedom owes a corresponding responsibility.
FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES OF THE CITIZENS
(a) To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) 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;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) 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.
(k) 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?
With responsibility comes to character, with rights come duties.