It is said there are no less than 50 countries all over the world which have specifically embodied fundamental duties in their constitutions. The fundamental duties are mainly of the nature viz. to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem, to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired national struggle for freedom, to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the nation, to defend the country and render national service if and when called upon to do so, etc. Countries like the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Peoples’ Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Germany have most specifically mentioned all the duties. There are many other countries in whose constitutions duties are included in fundamental rights and/or in different obligations, great men and leaders of the nation like Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Phooley, Swami Vivekananda, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar have always reminded the people of this country of their obligations towards mankind and the nation.
Since fundamental duties are part of our ancient customs, it was not necessary to embody them specifically in any part of our Constitution. But an unwarranted of our Constitution. It is known to the people that fundamental rights are the consequence of fundamental duties. The Directive Principles enumerated in our Constitution are said to be more fundamental in nature and the Directive Principles are considered as fundamental rights of the people at large against the fundamental rights of a few individuals as contemplated in Chapter III of our Constitution. The makers or the founding fathers of our Constitution had never contemplated any controversy between the fundamental rights and the fundamental duties. As stated earlier, fundamental duties are part of ancient Indian culture towards the nation. Against these duties what they expected was to have certain welfare schemes as contemplated in Part IV of our Constitution which refers to the Directive Principles of State policy. Therefore by the 42nd Amendment to our Constitution all doubts have been removed, and the fundamental rights of an individual are now made subservient to the Directive Principles under the Constitution.
In this country or, for that matter, in any democratic country where peoples will controls the governance of the country, we do not control people only by the fear of law. We instill into them a sense of democratic responsibility. These Fundamental Duties only indicate to the people that in the present situation when we are establishing a democratic governance what they are expected to do. Democracy is a plant of slow growth. You cannot order it as you like. Therefore, these Duties have been placed before the people so that they will consider them and act accordingly. It does not require the baton of a policeman to teach people what their duties are.
They are like the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments do not carry any penal clause with them, nor are they justifiable in a court of law. Yet people follow them. Why?Because people have faith in their inherent goodness and inherent utility. So, these are in the nature of the Ten Commandments — not privileges — for national consolidation, for strengthening our nationalism in order that people might follow them without any fear or without any fear of police or any authority outside their own heart and outside their own decision.
Now, what are these? “To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.” Ours is a very large country with about 600 million people. It is only 27 years ago that we started our onward march. Both the National Flag and the National Anthem form part of ones life, form part of our national culture. That is the purpose. The people should know that it forms part of our life, both individual as well as collective life.
Then : “To
cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle
for freedom.” Certainly, we are where we are today because there was the
struggle for freedom and we won our independence.
Then : “To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.” What is wrong in asking the people to uphold the sovereignty of India. In fact, during the last 27 years we have fought three wars and protected our sovereignty.
The, “unity and integrity” are the very basis of our strength. What is wrong in asking the people to uphold them? Have we to threaten the people to accept it? Then people will accept it willingly. All that is enshrined in the Constitution is their political Bible.
Then, It is stated : “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”. Have I to go with a policemen's baton and tell them that if you don’t do this you will be beaten or you will be sent for imprisonment or fined Rs. 500?
The Constitution has to provide leadership to the country — leadership for strengthening and consolidating nationalism. So, these are the items which strengthen our nation. Therefore, we have placed them before the people and I am sure the people will accept them without the policemen's baton being wielded about.
It is also said : “To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture”. What is wrong in that? In this country, we have produced marvels of civilisation, literature, arts and architecture. What is wrong when we ask the people to preserve our ancient heritage and composite culture. In terms of money, our art specimens have become very expensive, very valuable, and there is a lot of smuggling going in.
Therefore, if you ask the people that they should be preserved for and within the country, what is wrong in that? You cannot stop smuggling only by penal measures. You must also create in the people respect and pride in out art and culture.
Then, “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures”. What is wrong in that? America did it in 1905 when Roosevelt was the President of the United States. One of his greatest achievements was that it was he who first started what is known as the conservation policy. It later became a very widespread policy of the United States of America and other countries of the world also.
What is wrong
in having “compassion for the living creatures?”
“To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”. We can only ask the people to do it. Can you compel them to do it by threat of punishment or by threat of imprisonment or by threat of fine? You cannot do it. These are meant to raise our people above themselves, to think in terms of not ones personal benefit but of the glory and greatness of the country.
That is why these Fundamental Duties have been incorporated in the Constitution. And I am sure, that the people of India will certainly respond massively to this and we do not need any threat of punishment for the people to accept these duties. I have enough faith left in the people of India.
(Extracted from the speech delivered by the Congress President Shri D.K.Borooah in Rajya Sabha on November 5, 1976)
of Indian Constitution which says that no person shall be deprived of his
life and personal liberty except under procedure established under the
law and similar provisions under Article 9 of UN Declaration which states
that no person shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 32 of constitution which refers to right to move Supreme Court by appropriate procedures for enforcement of right and provision in Article 8 of Declaration which states that everything has right to effective remedy by the competent National Tribunal for rights violating fundamental rights guaranteed by constitution or fundamental rights.
After the 42nd amendment Act 1946, Article 51 A of our Constitution will be similar to Article 21 (1) of Universal Declaration which states that everyone has duties towards the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.