I wonder why, when people discuss fundamental rights — as laid down in the Constitution – they forget fundamental duties ?
I think I know the answer.
They don’t forget. They just don’t know! I do not know what Harini’s tweet was about, but I suspect it was about the recent comment made by Arundhati Roy. I think, it’s a problem of education, that most of us know our fundamental rights by heart, but often aren’t even aware of the fundamental duties. Civics education needs to be standing on its head, if this is what education is doing.
In society, in the workplace, in the local community, at home, it is all about exercising our rights, with little or no regard for the duties.
Here is the extract from our constitution, Article 51A, which defines what fundamental duties are. There are ten fundamental duties, and an additional, eleventh, was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002, which added a duty on every parent or guardian to ensure that their child or ward was provided opportunities for education between the ages of six and fourteen years. The first ten are:
Article 51A. Fundamental Duties
It shall be the duty of every citizens of India:
(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 wild life, 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 cons levels of endeavour and achievement.
I don’t know why I write this post. But, I am going to post it.