Article 51-A defines the Fundamental duties in our country. They are based on and are found in Socialist Constitution but are also found in the non-socialist constitution. Fundamental Duties pertains to the duty of every citizen of India such as;
(a) People should abide by the constitution and should respect the ideals of the National Flag and the National Anthem.
(b) People should cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired the struggle to get back the lost freedom from Great Britain.
(c) People should uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.
(d) People should defend the country by rendering their services when required upon.
(e) People should promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India despite so many differences in language, religion, etc.
(f) People should value and preserve the rich heritage of our culture.
(g) People should protect and improve the natural environment in the surrounding.
(h) People should develop scientific temper, humanism, and a spirit of enquiry and reform.
(i) People should protect the public property and should renounce any kind of violence subjecting there.
(j) People should strive towards excellence in all spheres of individually and collectively so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
(k) People who are a parent or guardian should provide opportunities for education to his/ her child as the case may be, for ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
The Fundamental Duties were introduced in the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment 1976, upon the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee during the Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s government. The Committee suggested to take steps which would ensure that individuals are well aware of their duties and do not overlook them while focusing mostly on the Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution. Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government. The concept of Fundamental duties was borrowed from the USSR now known as Russia. The Fundamental duties are essentially taken from the Indian tradition, mythology, religions, and practices. The duties are the replica of the principles on which Indians live their life.
The duties are statutory in nature, not enforceable by law, but a court can make use of them while adjudicating on a matter for supporting the judgment delivered. The idea of introducing the duties into the Indian Constitution was to emphasize the obligation of citizens so that the fundamental rights do not overpower them, it was created to make them realize that they had a certain obligation towards the country too.
IN THE WORDS OF LATE PRIME MINISTER INDIRA GANDHI, “THE MORAL VALUE OF FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES WOULD NOT BE TO SMOOTHER RIGHTS BUT TO ESTABLISH A DEMOCRATIC BALANCE BY MAKING PEOPLE CONSCIOUS OF THEIR DUTIES EQUALLY AS THEY ARE CONSCIOUS OF THEIR RIGHTS”.
The Supreme Court in Minerva Mills Ltd. vs Union of India recognized the proposition that although the fundamental duties are non-justiciable, they still have significance –
“There may be a rule which imposes an obligation on an individual or authority and yet it may not be enforceable in a court of law and therefore not give rise to a corresponding right in another person. But it would still be a legal rule because it prescribes a norm of conduct to be followed by such individual or authority. The law may provide a mechanism of enforcement. A rule imposing an obligation or duty would not therefore cease to be a rule of law because there is no regular judicial or quasi-judicial machinery to enforce its command. Such a rule would exist despite any problem relating to its enforcement. Otherwise, the conventions of the Constitution and even rules of International law would no longer be liable to be regarded as rules of law.”
The Fundamental Duties are the moral obligations of all citizens to safeguard and protect the Unity and Patriotism among the people of India. The Fundamental Duties are not legally enforceable by law, i.e. there is no legal sanction or punishment in case of their violation. These fundamental duties are an inseparable organ of the Constitution as it might not be enforceable but the Court can use it while adjudicating on a matter. It is really important to inculcate the civic obligations among Indian citizens, which is the sole reason why Fundamental Duties have been established. Excessive emphasis on the exercise of fundamental rights and their increasing scope as interpreted by the judiciary has made it necessary for the codification of civic obligations. Thus, fundamental duties serve as a core of the welfare of the State. As there is a lot of criticism on mostly one thing “Few of the duties are vague and does not carry much importance” taking that into consideration new duties should be framed checking the circumstances in and about from time to time for proper functionality and the duties should be in Pari passu with Fundamental Rights.