AIR spotlight summary on “Fundamental Rights and Duties”
AIR spotlight summary on “Fundamental Rights and Duties”.
The Constitution day or Samvidhan Divas is celebrated on 26th November in India and to honour B.R. Ambedkar who is known as architect of Indian constitution. On this day in 1949 Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India and it came into effect on 26th January 1950. November 26th was chosen as Constitution day to spread the importance of Constitution and spread the thoughts and ideas of B.R. Ambedkar. This day was earlier known as the Law day, which is now changed as Constitution day.
Significance of the Constitution Day
- Constitution is the fundamental law of the land. Having a day designated for the celebration of the adoption of the constitution was something which was overdue. This will raise the awareness of the people about the fundamental law of our land because the constitution defines the basic rights and basic duties both of citizens and government.
- On this day the Preamble of the constitution is read in all schools, there are seminars, quiz competitions and essay competitions and lectures are organised in schools and colleges. The government wants the younger generation to understand the constitution and know about their Rights and Duties.
- The Preamble crystallises the very ideal for which the freedom struggle was fought. It has been adopted in the name of “We the people of India”. So the sovereignty in India lies with the people. The Ideals in the Preamble like Equality, Justice, integrity, Democratic, Secular and Republic are fundamental in nature. In 1973 the Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharati Case interpreted that there are certain basic features of the constitution which cannot be amended. Teaching Preamble in schools and colleges is part of liberal education where every educated person must know what the basic philosophy behind the governance is. So it’s part of the good governance also.
- When there was a debate going on in JNU about who is patriotic and who is not we can say that the person who has faith in Indian Constitution and the government created under the constitution is patriotic and a person who wants to disintegrate the constitution or the constitutional institution is unpatriotic. Constitution today defines as who the true patriot is or who is not. In America the people when they become citizens they take a faith of allegiance to the constitution. Similar kind of an exercise could be started in India also.
- Democracy is preserved because when a person is in majority the minority rights (religious, linguistic and thoughts) are protected. The constitution protects these rights.
Significance of the Fundamental Rights and DPSP
- The fundamental rights are the basic rights which can be enforced in court of law like Freedom of Speech and Expression, Right to live with human dignity, Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of Religion etc are enshrined in Part three of the constitution.
- Part four consists of Directive Principles which are not enforced in court of law but are fundamental guidelines for the governance of the country. Gradually through interpretation the Supreme Court has included the Directive Principles as Fundamental Rights. For example the Right to Education. It was under DPSP, but now it has become a Fundamental Right also upto the age of 14. Similarly Right to Healthy Environment has also become Fundamental Right through interpretation.
- These are the ideas the young generation has to follow. Previous generation fought for the struggle for Independence. They were imbued with the spirit of freedom, spirit of fighting for rights. The new generation born after 1991 reforms, many are not aware of the previous generation and their freedom struggle. Imbuing the same spirit in them and inspiring them to the young generation, celebrating 26th November as Constitution day would be a service to our coming generations. In hierarchy the constitution is the basic fundamental norm.
- In the Indian constitution the Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties become the important prospect. The six Fundamental Rights are called as the six lamps of light; they are the beacon which constitution provides against any abuse of power by the government or government agency.
- Within the bounds of the law the Fundamental Rights have reasonable restrictions. These are the pillars on which the constitution and democracy is surviving. In other countries particularly our neighbours do not have the strong foundation which is why the military and other forces take over. In India this cannot happen because the Fundamental Rights are preserved.
Significance of Fundamental Duties
- In India people are quite aware of their Fundamental Rights. Along with Fundamental Rights it is important that the people also perform their Fundamental Duties. The Fundamental Duties of citizens were added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. Gandhiji use to say that the Rights and Duties are interlinked and both are equally important. It is something we do for the nation and something the nation does for us.
- Duties are the fundamental aspects in any civilised society. Constitution makes it clear that what is expected from the civilised citizens in the name of duties. Integrity of the nation, sovereignty of the nation should not be put to any threat in the name of freedom of expression.
- The Swachh Bharat could be included in the Fundamental Duty. In a sense Promoting Swadeshi, Make in India is also a Fundamental duty subject to various considerations.
- When we say scientific temper, various kinds of superstitious beliefs which can be harmful, child marriages, honour killing etc should be discouraged. Anyone who creates a hostile atmosphere for different communities should be discouraged. There should be more emphasis that the duty of respect towards other religion and other’s views should be also considered as Fundamental duty of every citizen.
India because of its power of integration, power of respect for different views, no other country in the world is having as much respect and tolerance for different views as India did. This is India’s greatness and not its weakness. The credit goes to the constitution makers who could make both a rigid and flexible constitution.