[Answered] Fundamental duties can help balance out rights of citizens and further make them more responsible towards the country’s development. What additional fundamental duties in your opinion can help achieve this goal?

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India. The idea for Fundamental Duties has been taken from erstwhile USSR.

India’s original constitution contained only fundamental rights and not fundamental duties. 11 Fundamental duties were added in Indian constitution Article 51A by the 42nd Constitutional amendment act, 1976 on the recommendations of Swaran Singh committee.

Fundamental duties establish democratic balance by making the people conscious of their duties equally as they are conscious of their rights.

Balancing out rights:-

When rights and responsibilities are balanced, freedom is enhanced.

They serve as a reminder to the citizens that while enjoying their rights, they should also be conscious of duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow citizens.

They serve as a source of inspiration for the citizens and promote a sense of discipline and commitment among them.

There is growing perception that excessive emphasis on exercise of fundamental rights by citizens diminishes the importance of performance of correlative duties, has grown the importance of guiding principles. This function is being performed by fundamental duties in the constitution.

Fundamental duties make citizens responsible:- 

  • Fundamental Duties constitute the conscience of our Constitution. They should be treated as constitutional values that must be propagated by all citizens.
  • Fundamental duties define the moral obligations of all citizens.
  • Fundamental duties serve as a warning against the anti-national and antisocial activities.
  • Fundamental duties make citizen conscious of his social and citizenship responsibilities and so shape the society in which all become solicitous and considerate of the inalienable rights of our fellow citizens

Additional fundamental duties:-

Duty to vote

The state can take several steps to ensure that this duty to vote is made operational and effective. One method through which this may be achieved is by developing a system of incentives for voters and conversely disadvantages for those who abstain.

Duty to pay taxes

Citizens must believe that their taxes are bound to be used for public good. The incorporation of the right to pay taxes as part of Fundamental Duties in the Constitution will shift the onus onto the taxpayer to pay taxes rather than the tax department to collect them.

Duty to help accident victims:

According to the Law Commission of India, at least 50 per cent of fatalities can be prevented if road accident victims receive medical attention within the critical first hour after the accident. With the increase in the number of accidents, it has become pertinent for India to recognise this duty as one owed by its citizens towards each other.

Duty to keep the premises clean:

The most effective mechanism to tackle uncleanliness is to sensitise people about this duty. Therefore, it is imperative that a Fundamental Duty to this effect be added to the Constitution.

Duty to protect whistle-blowers

While the state has a great deal of responsibility in providing for their protection through appropriate legislative instruments, the responsibility to protect torchbearers of transparency vests on each one of us.

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