The differences between Rights and Duties

Published On: October 13, 2022
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The Indian constitution is the supreme law of the land. It contains the fundamental rights, duties and directive principles. The constituent assembly headed by Dr B.R Amedkar had drafted it in 1947.

What are Fundamental rights?

The constitution of India enshrines the rights of citizens. They include the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to equality before the law. Citizens are also entitled to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth and freedom of movement and residence within the territory of India. Other important rights include the right to education, the right to work, and the right to social security. The country’s constitution mentions certain rights and duties to be followed by all citizens. The fundamental rights were mentioned in the constitution from the start, but the fundamental duties were included only in 1976. It came into being on Jan 26th 1950.

Fundamental rights are rights guaranteed by the constitution to its citizens. They are written down in part iii, Articles 12 to 35 of the constitution and are enforceable by law.

The eight fundamental rights are:

  • Right to Equality
  • Right to Freedom
  • Right against Exploitation
  • Right to Freedom of Religion
  • Right to Life
  • Cultural and Education Rights
  • Right to Constitutional Remedies
  • Right to Privacy

What are Fundamental Duties?

Fundamental Duties are moral obligations which every citizen is expected to value and follow towards the country. These duties are educational and expect the citizens to behave in an honourable way and maintain the nation’s integrity. Article 51A, Part IVA of the Indian Constitution contain fundamental duties, which were added by the 42nd and 86th amendment acts on Swaran Singh Committee’s recommendation. The citizens must follow it to protect the country’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.

Citizen’s Fundamental rights are the basic rights that every citizen is entitled to, while Fundamental duties are the responsibilities that every citizen is expected to uphold.

The 11 Fundamental Duties are as follows:

  1. To abide by the constitution and respect the Indian flag and the National Anthem.
  2. To follow the ideas that inspired the freedom struggle.
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.
  4. To defend the country and serve the nation when called upon.
  5. To promote harmony and brotherhood among the people of India; to renounce derogatory practices that demean women.
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our culture.
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment and have compassion for living creatures.
  8. To develop scientific temper, humanism, and spirit of inquiry.
  9. To protect public property.
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities.
  11. To provide educational opportunities to children between 6-14 years of age and the duty of parents to ensure the same.

Differences between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

  • Fundamental Rights are contained in Part 3 of the Constitution. And articles 12-35 of the Constitution of India regulate them.
  • Fundamental Duties are written in Article 51-A in Part IV A of the Constitution.
  • Fundamental Rights are a concept borrowed from The United States of America’s Constitution.
  • Fundamental Duties are a concept borrowed from The Soviet Union.
  • Fundamental Rights are termed as the human rights to be made available to every citizen of the country. These are given irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, or gender.
  • Fundamental Duties are the allegiance of the citizens to be served as duties by the citizens.
  • Fundamental Rights are an essential part of the constitution; hence they cannot be removed.
  • Fundamental Duties can be removed.
  • Fundamental rights can be put on hold during a national emergency, but the rights guaranteed under Articles 20 and 21 cannot be put on hold due to any circumstances.
  • There is no need for suspension of Fundamental duties during an emergency
  • Fundamental Rights are enforceable through courts
  • Fundamental Duties are not required by law.
  • Some Fundamental Rights are provided only to the Citizens of the country, while some are available to non-citizens also.
  • Fundamental Duties are available only to the citizens of the country. Therefore, they are not binding on Foreigners.
  • Fundamental rights are pertinent to both individuals and the state.
  • Obligations of Fundamental Duties are expected less towards an individual and a whole towards a nation or society.
  • The Fundamental Rights are not absolute
  • Fundamental Duties are absolute.

The above is the definition and differences between rights and duties.

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