“Citizenship isn’t only about rights but it is equally about duties towards society.”
– Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde.
As an Indian citizen, it is noteworthy to contemplate, even just for a minute as to why fundamental duties were inserted much later into the Constitution? Amongst several reasons, one of the reason is quite obvious but natural that, it would have been harsh on the part of our founding fathers to also impose fundamental duties upon their citizens along with the conferment of fundamental rights when “we the people” of this motherland had achieved the independence after a long-fought continuous battle, even though those fundamental duties if would be originally incorporated under the drafted text of the Indian constitution would have been positive in its object. However, sooner or later fundamental duties would definitely have been made part of this ever-evolving sacred living document and without much delay, it was made part of the Constitution through Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 basing upon the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee and simultaneously borrowing its principal from the Irish constitution.
While sticking to the given theme, the question that needs to be honestly addressed is to whether as an Indian citizen we all have contributed that much in building the edifice of this New India through our duties which this country expects from all of us? If an individual as being a citizen seriously contemplates upon it with respect to his own role in performing the duties for this country then most of them will find one thing in common i.e. each of us will languish at the below-par score with the expected desired demand of this motherland. For curing this very existing problem the solution lies amongst the people themselves meaning thereby between ‘citizens’ only. And it is not only unfair but also harsh from citizens to always blame the government and its functionaries when the primary duties also vest upon the citizens also for building this nation. But, a dichotomy still exists with respect to the fundamental duties and it would be naïve on the part of State to expect every citizen for complying with all the fundamental duties in his daily routine and so does for a citizen from another citizen because for the simple reason being that all these duties are almost in contrast to each other. And it is almost next to impossible for a citizen to mark its presence in all fundamental duties on a given day while following his daily ordinary pursuits which is the priority for him and his family such as earning bread and butter for existing on this planet beyond mere sustenance.
Furthermore, these fundamental duties although gives a positive command to the citizens but non-compliance of it per se doesn’t impose any sanction upon them, unlike fundamental rights which has a direct implication on the State whenever they are desecrated. Instead of delving deep into the discourse as to the essentiality of following or not following the fundamental duties the least we as a citizen can do is to develop a conscience for this nation by lending a helping hand for building a new India via compliance with most of the fundamental duties which we as citizens consider substantial in our day to day life and the other fundamental duties we as citizen considers to be ancillary in nature will automatically be taken care of in due course of our daily affairs.
How the aspect of the role of a citizen duty towards building new India is significant has been vividly discussed in the below-mentioned lines with the help of usage of borrowing certain provisions from the fundamental duties part and it has been substantiated with the explanation along with the aid of examples. Instances abound are such as adopting cleanliness in our house and nearby as a part of our daily routine and it will purport to fulfil two-fold conditions i.e. firstly it will promote Gandhiji’s vision of cleanliness without which our attainment of Swaraj is of no value and it will also lead towards the achievement of the government-initiated programme of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ realisation. Secondly, this initiative when seen in larger context will discourage the citizens from littering the lakes, rivers etc. which will ultimately lead towards a disease-free India with respect to dengue, cholera etc. as it is well-known fact that the source of these diseases is in direct linkage with the water itself. Another aspect is about the strict adoption of renouncing the derogatory practices against the women and for that no one else apart from the patriarchs living in the family will change it by taking the charge and changing the existing behaviour towards the women in their household and it will create a domino effect amongst their male offsprings who would take an implied cue by seeing this practice instead of being forcefully instructed to do so. In a larger perspective, a sense of responsibility will be instilled amongst male citizens and they will at least make an endeavour by stopping the happening of evil practices if done before them. Similarly, by promoting the harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst each other then we as a citizen can even win any individual’s heart which is filled with full of hatred and will bring them on the right path by embracing them which the fundamental duties teach us.
The inference that is to be drawn from the aforementioned instances is that if all these small things are well taken care of by us then India would hardly be in dire need of police for controlling the crimes which result from the non-compliance of above mentioned practices and also the role of Nation Green Tribunal will almost become defunct in relation to environment-related issues. In furtherance of it, the only duty that will be left behind is how we as a nation can rise constantly and time and again to higher levels of endeavour and achievement and as it has been vividly mentioned in the puisne paragraph that if the substantial part of the fundamental duties are being well taken care of then only the auxiliary part needs to be complied with and the latter can be fully taken care of by following the former in letter and spirit and also when a citizen cedes to look after their private interest and starts to look after the nation’s interest then it is for sure that the nation would constantly rise to its zenith and the edifice for the building of this country will rightfully fall in its place via citizens performing their duties honestly. Thus, we all as Indian citizens with utmost honesty and sincerity must not only try to follow most of the fundamental duties which are given under the Constitution in letter and spirit but also try to tread ahead in building this beautiful, diversified and new India which our founding fathers would have envisaged of about how this country would be after almost a century later while sacrificing most of their life for seeing this free India.
Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amardeep Kumar has recently graduated from KIIT School of Law, KIIT, Bhubaneswar. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.