The original constitution does not contain Fundamental Duties. These were added later because at the time of making of the constitution, its makers did not feel it necessary to incorporate the fundamental duties of the citizens in the constitution.
Fundamental Duties serve as a reminder to the citizens that while enjoying their rights, they should also be conscious of duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow citizens. They promote a sense of discipline and commitment among the citizens.
The concept of Fundamental duties has been taken from the Russian Constitution (Former USSR). It was added in our Constitution by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 (By Indira Gandhi Government). Fundamental Duties were added in the Constitution on the basis of recommendations of Sardar Swarna Singh Committee report. When it was added, under part IV-A, 51A of the Constitution, it was 10 in number i.e. (a to j). Presently, it is 11 in number (k) was added by 86th Amendment Act, 2002.
Fundamental Duties are addressed to citizen, who are expected to follow it. Fundamental Duties are ‘non-justiciable’ that is, can’t be enforced in the court of law, even it cannot be enforced through ‘Mandamus’. If these are not followed by the citizen, no punishment is given.
However, if it is disrespected or violated, under different laws punishment can be given.
In fact, rights and duties are two sides of the same coin. It is not possible to enjoy Fundamental Rights and forget Fundamental Duties.
Fundamental Duties reflect Indian way of life and it is very significant to protect and promote Indian culture, nationalism, spirit of brotherhood, respect for women, protection of sovereignty and integrity of the country, to respect national flag and national anthem, to develop scientific temper and to protect the unity and integrity of India etc.
11 Fundamental Duties
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India-
- to abide by the constitution and respects its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
- to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired the 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 the country’s composite culture.
- to protect and improve the national environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
- to develop the scientific tempo, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
- to safe guard public property and to abjured violence.
- to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
- to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case may be forward, between the age of 6 -14 years. (added by 86th Amendment Act, 2002).
Fundamental duties are confined to citizens only and do not extend to foreigners.