In this article we will discuss Fundamental duties in a simple and easy way, and try to understand its various important aspects; So read this article till the end and understand the fundamental duty well, as well as read other related articles.

We are born on this earth (India). This earth has given us many rights to live a good life, so it is reasonable to have some expectations from us. Let’s explore………

Fundamental duties 
Fundamental duty; Image credit freepik
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What is Fundamental Duty?

Where Fundamental Rights give us rights, while Fundamental Duties expect certain duties from us. Although the Fundamental Duty was not a part of the original Constitution, it was made a part of the Constitution in 1976. Why it was made is a bit controversial issue, but still it cannot be said that it has had any bad effect on the society or the constitution.

| Generally, the fundamental right is often discussed. Maybe because it is a right and we are not going to give up our right by doing anything. Even if one has to go to the Supreme Court for that. But what about the fundamental duty?

There is usually little discussion about it. Because maybe we know how to take, and how to not give. Fundamental duties are broadly about giving something to the nation. Before discussing what to give, let us know a little how it came into existence?

Origin of Fundamental Duties

Fundamental duties were not made a part of the constitution when the constitution was made. Although the duties of the states were fixed as the Directive Principle of State Policy, but the duties were not fixed specifically for the people. Indira Gandhi’s government understood its need.

However, he understood its need when there was an emergency in the country and it was she who imposed this emergency. That is why some people do not see it well, they believe that their intention behind bringing it was not right. Well, whatever he thought, but the good thing about it was that she formed a committee for this in 1976. This committee was formed under the chairmanship of Sardar Swaran Singh .

The work of this committee was to recommend the need and provision of Fundamental Duties etc. At that time there was emergency in the country. All the big leaders of the opposition were jailed, the press was banned in many ways. The Emergency lasted from 1975 to 1977.

This committee recommended that there should be a separate text of Fundamental Duties in the Constitution. And he also underlined that apart from exercising the 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, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, a new part – Part ‘4A’ was added to the Constitution. Under this part, an article was made which was called Article 51 ‘A’. And under this Article 51 ‘A’ the Fundamental Duties were described.

Sardar Swaran Singh’s committee had recommended the addition of a total of 8 Fundamental Duties, but Indira Gandhi found something missing in it, so she added 2 more and in this way a total of 10 Fundamental Duties were made a constitutional provision. Later in 2002, when Atal Bihari Bajpayee ‘s government was there, one more Fundamental Duty was added to it and in this way there are 11 Fundamental Duties which are in existence today constitutionally.

fundamental duties

“The moral value of Fundamental Duties should not be to soften the rights but while maintaining a democratic balance, people should be aware of the duties equal to their rights.”

– Indira Gandhi

List of Fundamental duties (Art. 51A)

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to:-
1. Follow the constitution and respect its ideals, institutions, national flag and national anthem.
2. To cherish and follow the high ideals that inspired our national movement for independence.
3. Protect and keep the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India intact.
4. Defend the nation and serve the nation when called upon.
5. To inculcate the spirit of harmony and equal fraternity among all the people of India who are beyond all discrimination based on religion, language and region or class. Give up such practices which are against the respect of women.
6. Understand and preserve the glorious tradition of our composite culture .
7. Protect and promote the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and have compassion for living beings.
8. Develop scientific outlook, humanism and the spirit of knowledge acquisition and improvement.
9. Protect public property and abstain from violence.
10. Make a continuous effort to move towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities, so that the nation touches new heights of ever-increasing effort and achievement.
11. Provide opportunities for education to your children between the ages of 6 and 14. (Added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment in 2002)

Features of Fundamental Duties

▶ Some of these duties are of a moral nature in which nothing is to be done externally but to mold one’s moral standards accordingly. For example, look at the second number duty.

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

▶ Where on the violation of the fundamental right you can directly go to the court and the court gets the fundamental rights enforced, while the fundamental duty is non-justiciable, that is, the court cannot get it implemented on its violation.

▶ There are some Fundamental Rights which are applicable to foreigners also but Fundamental Duties are applicable only to the citizens of the country. Fundamental duties have been made according to Indian tradition, mythology, religion etc. so that it becomes a part of people’s life easily.

Importance of Fundamental Duties

▶ It acts as a whip. That is, whenever we use the fundamental rights, it reminds us that we have some duty towards the country and we should also discharge them.

▶ Fundamental duty works to prevent us from doing anti-national work. Such as burning the national flag, destruction of public property etc.

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

Some facts related to Fundamental Duties

▶ When the Fundamental Duty was introduced in the Parliament, it was strongly opposed by the opposition parties. They were not in favor of its inclusion in the constitution. But the interesting thing is that when Indira Gandhi’s government fell in 1977 and Morarji Desai’s government came to power, it did not make any changes in it. While you would know that in 1978 by the 44th Constitutional Amendment, Morarji Desai’s government had abolished many rules and regulations made by Indira Gandhi. But did not abolish the Fundamental Duties, this shows that the Fundamental Duty was really necessary for the country.

▶ While implementing the Fundamental Duty in 1976, recommendations were also made to make it more effective and binding, such as (1) If someone does not comply with the Fundamental Duties, then he should be given fine or corporal punishment. (2) Tax payment should be made a fundamental duty of the citizen. It was not included in the constitution. But in case of failure of the fundamental duty, Parliament can make provision for appropriate fine or punishment in them.

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

▶ Apart from this, if we look at the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Forest Conservation Act 1980, Civil Rights Protection Act 1955, National Pride Insult Act 1971 etc., then these fundamental duties become even more important.

All such duties, on which laws have been made in some form or the other, were first identified by the Verma Committee in 1999.

Criticism of fundamental duties

▶ The list of duties is incomplete as it does not cover many other duties such as voting, tax payment, family planning etc. Although in 1976 Swaran Singh Committee had put forward the matter of making tax payment also a fundamental duty before the government but Mrs. Gandhi did not include it.

▶ The language of some duties is so vague and unclear that it is beyond the comprehension of the common people. Such as – composite culture, high ideals etc.

▶ Since it is unjustified, it does not matter whether people accept it or not. Although Swaran Singh was in favor of adding punishment to the Fundamental Duty, Mrs Gandhi refused to include it in the Constitution.

Overall this is the Fundamental Duties, hope you have understood. Scroll down to read other important articles.


Fundamental Duty Practice Quiz – upsc

संवैधानिक उपचारों का अधिकार
मूल अधिकारों एवं निदेशक तत्वों में टकराव
विधि की सम्यक प्रक्रिया क्या है?
संविधान की मूल संरचना
संविधान संशोधन की पूरी प्रक्रिया
राज्य के नीति निदेशक तत्व (DPSP)
संसदीय व्यवस्था
केंद्र-राज्य विधायी संबंध
केंद्र-राज्य प्रशासनिक संबंध
केंद्र-राज्य वित्तीय संबंध
मूल कर्तव्यों को समझिए
Types of writ and its scope
Conflict b/w Fundamental Rights and DPSP
Procedure established by law
Kesavananda Bharati Case 
process of constitutional amendment
AK Gopalan case 1950
Directive Principles of State Polic
Federal System of India
Centre-State Legislative Relations
Centre-State Administrative Relations
Centre-State Financial Relations