Petition To Enforce The Fundamental Duties:
The Supreme Court asked the Union and the State governments to respond to a petition to enforce the fundamental duties of citizens, including patriotism and unity of the nation, through “comprehensive, well-defined laws”.
- The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, during Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s government.
- The amendment came at a time when elections stood suspended and civil liberties curbed.
- Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.
- These are statutory duties, not enforceable by law, but a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter.
- The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasise the obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys.
- The concept of Fundamental Duties is taken from the Constitution of Russia.
The 11 Fundamental Duties are:
- To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem
- To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom
- To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India — it is one of the preeminent national obligations of all the citizens of India.
- To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
- 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
- To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture — our cultural heritage is one of the noblest and richest, it is also part of the heritage of the Earth
- To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures
- To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform
- To safeguard public property and to abjure violence
- 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
- 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.