Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties:

Rights and Duties are two sides of a coin.

There are no rights without duties, no duties without rights.

The original Constitution enforced in 1950, did not mention Fundamental Duties of the citizens.

It was hoped that citizens would perform their duties willingly.

But, 42nd Amendment to the Constitution added a new list of 10 duties in chapter IV under Article 51A of the Constitution.

In 1976, the Congress Party set up the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to make recommendations about fundamental duties.

The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution.

The Congress Government at the Centre accepted these recommendations and enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976.

This amendment added a new part, namely, Part IVA to the Constitution.


List of Fundamental Duties

To abide by the Constitution and respect our National Flag and National Anthem.

To follow the noble ideals that inspired our national freedom movement.

To protect the unity and integrity of India.

To defend the country when the need arises.

To promote harmony and brotherhood among all sections of the people and to respect the dignity of women.

To preserve our rich heritage and composite culture.

To protect and improve our natural environment including forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife.

To develop scientific outlook and humanism.

To protect public property and not to use violence.

To strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.

New Addition

51A Amendment Act 86th 2002:

“A parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education of his child or as the case may be ward between the age of six and fourteen years”.


Nature of Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties for citizens are in nature of a code of conduct.

A few of these duties are even vague and unrealistic.

These are  non-justiciable in nature.

Moreover, their ambiguous language is another hindrance in their being obeyed e.g. a citizen does not know how to maintain sovereignty, integrity and glorious heritage of the country.


Verma Committee

The Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens (1999) identified the existence of legal provisions for the implementation of some of the Fundamental Duties.