This article is a compilation of Article 51A as it is. You can understand it well, that’s why its explanation is also given below, you must read it. Its explanation is also available in Hindi, for this you can use the link given below;

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article 51A
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Article 51A

📜 Article 51A

51A. Fundamental duties. — It shall be the duty of every citizen 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 constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement;]
2[(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.]
1. Ins. by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, s. 11 (w.e.f. 3-1-1977)
2. Ins. by the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002, s. 4 (w.e.f. 1-4-2010)

🔍 Explanation

A fundamental duty is a legal obligation imposed on the citizens of a country, as set forth in the constitution or other laws of the country.

The purpose of fundamental duties is to encourage citizens to actively participate in the development of the country and to foster a sense of responsibility towards the nation.

In India, the Fundamental Duties were added to the Constitution through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. The fundamental duties of the citizens of India are mentioned in Part IV-A, Article 51A of the Constitution of India.

These duties are not enforceable by law but are considered moral obligations of every citizen to the country and society.

As we understood above , an article called Article 51A was inserted under Part 4A of the Constitution. And this article was named as fundamental duty .

Under this, a list of 11 fundamental duties has been given, out of which 10 fundamental duties were inserted by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976 and the 11th fundamental duty by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002.

How did the Fundamental Duties come into existence?

When  the Constitution  was framed, the Fundamental Duties were not made a part of the Constitution. Although  the duties of the states were fixed as the Directive Principles  of State Policy, but the duties for the public in particular were not fixed.

Indira Gandhi’s government understood its need. He constituted a committee in 1976 for this. This committee   was formed under the chairmanship of Sardar Swaran Singh .

The work of this committee was to recommend the need and provision of basic duties etc. At that time there was emergency in the country . All the big leaders of the opposition were jailed, many types of restrictions were imposed on the press.

This committee recommended that there should be a separate text of fundamental duties in the constitution. And he also underlined that apart from exercising rights, citizens should also know how to perform their duties.

Since the government itself wanted the same, the recommendations of this committee were accepted. And in 1976 itself, a new part – Part ‘4A’ was added to the constitution by the 42nd constitutional amendment.

An article was made under this part which was called Article 51A. And under this Article 51A the fundamental duties were described.

Sardar Swaran Singh’s committee had recommended the addition of a total of 8 fundamental duties but the government added 2 more duties and in this way a total of 10 fundamental duties were made a constitutional provision.

Later in 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee Then one more fundamental duty was added to it and thus there are constitutionally 11 fundamental duties which are in existence today.

⚫ Article-34 – Indian Constitution
⚫ Article-35 – Indian Constitution


| Article 51A – Fundamental Duties

▶ The legal utility of the fundamental duties is the same as that of the Directive Principles of State Policy. The Directive Principles of State Policy are addressed to the state but have no legal obligation to obey them and are not enforceable by the courts.

Similarly fundamental duty is addressed to the citizens but there is no penalty or punishment for its violation.

This is just a constitutional expectation that is made from every citizen, on the basis that if the citizens of India enjoy the fundamental rights, then they should also keep in mind that they have some responsibilities towards this country or nation. What else is the liability, it is written in Article 51A.

▶ If a citizen ignores these duties then he is not eligible to get the rights. For example, if a person burns the Constitution in violation of the duty under Article 51A(a), he cannot say that he has done so under the freedom of expression given under Article 19(1).

However, in such a situation no punishment can be given for the breach of fundamental duties as it is not enforceable by the court. And for this reason, there is a lot of criticism of the fundamental duties.

But if the state by making a law prohibits any act or conduct done in violation of these duties, then the court will consider it as a reasonable restriction.

▶ In 1976, while implementing the Fundamental Duties, recommendations were also made to make it more effective and binding, such as (1) If someone does not comply with the Fundamental Duties, he should be punished financially or corporal punishment. (2) Tax payment should be made the basic duty of the citizen.

It was not included in the constitution. But in case of failure of the fundamental duty, the Parliament can make provision for suitable penalty or punishment in them.

However, many rules-acts etc. have been made to support many basic duties when needed. For example, if we take the Indian Flag Code itself, it was issued in 2002, in which the rules of respect, respect and hoisting of the Indian flag, etc. have been described. You   can read it by clicking here.

▶ Apart from this, if we look at the Wildlife Conservation Act 1972, Forest Conservation Act 1980, Civil Rights Protection Act 1955, National Honor Insult Act 1971 etc., it makes the basic duties even more important.

Features of Fundamental Duties

▶ Some of these duties are of moral type, in which nothing has to be done externally, just molding the norms of your morality accordingly. For example, look at duty number two.

▶ Similarly, there are some duties in which there is a sense of doing something when needed. For example you can see duty number 4, 6, 7, 9 etc.

▶ The fundamental duty is non-justiciable, that is, the court cannot enforce it on its violation.

▶ The fundamental duty is applicable only to the citizens of the country.

▶ The fundamental duties have been made according to Indian tradition, mythology, religion etc. so that it easily becomes a part of people’s life.

importance of fundamental duties

▶ It works as an alert. That is, whenever we use the fundamental rights, it reminds us that we have some duty towards the country and we should also discharge it.

▶ The fundamental duty serves to prevent us from doing anti-national acts. Such as burning the national flag, destroying public property etc.

▶ The basic duty strengthens the spirit of inspiration in us and it makes us realize that this country is ours and our contribution also matters in building the country.

However, the list of duties is considered incomplete as many other duties are not included in it such as – voting, tax payment, family planning etc.

In 1976, the Swaran Singh Committee had placed before the government the point of making tax payment a fundamental duty, but Mrs. Gandhi did not include it.

Overall fundamental duty is in existence today and it is usually written in the beginning pages of all government text books so that everyone can read it and understand that we have some duties towards this country.

So overall this is Article 51A, I hope you have understood. To understand other article, you can use the link given below.

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Disclaimer - The articles and their interpretations presented here are based on the original Constitution (latest edition), DD Basu's commentary on the Constitution (mainly) and various scholars of the Constitution (whose writings are available in newspapers, magazines and audio-visuals on the Internet). We have just tried to make it interesting and easy to understand.