An Ideal Citizen
Duties of an Ideal Citizen
Citizenship—Rights and Duties
Rights and Duties go Together
A citizen is a person who lives in a state and is governed by its laws in all matters. An ideal citizen is an asset to a nation. Countries are not good or bad but their citizens make them so. Smugglers, law breakers and people of bad character are also citizens of a country but they cannot be called ideal citizens.
An ideal citizen is every inch a patriot. Citizenship secures for the people a sense of security for their life and property. In a democratic country like India, a citizen enjoys the right of voting in elections to public bodies. He can himself stand as a candidate for election to the municipal committee of his town and legislative bodies of his country. HE can even stand for the office of the president of the country.
A citizen enjoys several other advantages. It is the duty of the state of provide him with employment as far as possible.
A citizen enjoys several facilities. The state provides him with essential services such as transport, right of voting, electricity, hospitals and schools for the education of his children.
Modern states are welfare states. They are supposed to look after the welfare of the citizens. A citizen can stand up and fight for certain rights.
On the other hand, a citizen has to carry out certain duties and responsibilities. He is expected to obey the laws of his country. He must be loyal to the state. He or she must gladly offer his or her services to the state. In time of war or a national emergency, a citizen should serve the country in any capacity he is called upon to serve.
Every citizen must support the police and the administration in general in the maintenance of peace. It is also the duty of all citizens to desist from creating disorder by communal riots.
An ideal citizen tries to protect national property. He makes a right use of the facilities provided to him. He tries to maintain communal harmony in the country. He has a secular outlook. He is tolerant towards all faiths. He believes in the principle of peaceful co-existence. ‘Live and let live’ is the guiding principle of his life. He is honest and fair in his dealings. He has a helpful attitude towards his fellow human beings. He refuses to be tempted into corruption or dishonesty. His life is an open book in honesty, diligence and amiability.
It is the duty of every citizen to be ready to offer his services for public duties. It is the fundamental duty of a citizen to record his vote. A citizen is also expected to take an active part in public affairs. Another duty of a citizen is to pay taxes honestly. If he evades these, the government has the right to realize the taxes by force. An ideal citizen is ideal in his speech, conduct and writing. He is always ready to lay down his life for the sake of his country. His country is a motherland to him and he loves her from the core of his heart.
The greatness of a country depends not on her material resources, but on her men and women. A nation is great if her citizens are great. A poet has rightly said:
“Not gold, but only men,
Can make a nation strong and great;
Men who for truth and honour’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.”
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Here is your essay on Fundamental Duties in India:
Rights and duties are correlative. According to Salmond, “there can be no right, without a corresponding duty.”
And it is true that right cannot exist without duties, the existence of one without other is just as meaningless. We cannot have a right without a corresponding duty or a duty without corresponding right and when one speaks of a right, we in reality refer to a ‘right and duty’ relationship between two persons:
Every right or duty involves a bond of obligation.
Every legal system is made up of both rights and duties and for the smooth working of every country both rights and duty are essential, in the same light in our India also there are, fundamental rights and fundamental duties enumerated in the constitution.
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Our constitution guarantees to its citizen’s variety of rights in part III of the constitution and in Part IV-A according to section 5specifies a code of ten fundamental duties for citizens. The preamble of our constitution secures to all the citizens “Liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship.” There are fundamental rights of the citizens. The rest of the preamble emphasises only the duties, “justice, and social economic and political”.
The fundamental duties are therefore intended to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen that while constitution specifically conferred on them certain fundamental rights. It is also required from citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct and democratic behaviour.
Part IV-A fundamental duties containing only one Article 51-A, has been inserted by the Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 with effect from 1977. The inspiration for the Part IV A is the constitution of USSR, this constitution directs that law, maintenance or labour discipline and honesty in the performance of public duties and to respect the rules of the socialist community. U.S.S.R. constitution in this way contains a comprehensive chapter on the citizens duties and imposes upon the people definite duties towards society and towards the state.
Such fundamental duties are not seen in the constitution of the U.S.A., Australia, Canada among the democratic constitution of world we find mention of certain duties of the citizens in the Japanese constitution otherwise it is rare in any other constitution, it does not mean that the people of these countries (where fundamental duties are not enumerated) behave in an irresponsible manner.
In all these countries the citizens are imbibed with a high sense of patriotism as a result of education, and training in the elementary duties and obligations of citizenship in contrast to this, it is generally argued that in India people lay emphasis, only on rights and it is often criticized that the Indians know only rights but not duties.
Generally, they are lazy and selfish. They do not work hard and they do not have national spirit which other citizens have and so fundamental duties are incorporated in the constitution in 1976. Article 51-A lays down ten duties, which shall be followed by every citizen of India.
They are as follows:
(a) To abide by constitution and respect its ideal and institution, the National flag and National Anthem.
(b) To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
(c) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
(d) To defend the country and render national service when called upon do so.
(e) To promote harmony and 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.
(f) To value and preserve the bright heritage of our composite culture.
(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
(h) To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
(i) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence,
(j) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises of higher Endeavour and achievement.
Out of above ten duties only, clauses (a), (g) and (i) have been put in force in several statutes, and to make the people to abide them compulsory. The remaining clauses/duties cannot be implemented.
The fundamental duties are fine sentiments. They cannot be enforced legally except (a), (g) and (i), remaining duties enumciated in clauses (b), (f), (h) and (g) are merely ‘directory’ in nature and mandamus cannot be issued against the people for implementing these duties and they can not signify the definite ideas or ideas. They are not capable of being legally enforceable.
Only (a), (g) and (i) shall be enforceable by law and Parliament by law, will provide penalties to be imposed for failure to fulfil those duties and obligations. But this is not also true in full sensen because the controversy of implementation of duty arises in famous case of Bijoe Emmanual v. State of Kerala 1986 (3) SCC 615 (Popularly known as National Anthem case) In this case a question arose that whether a citizen can refuse to stand and sing National Anthem (which is duty to respect National Anthem) on grounds of personal faith and religion?
In this case, the Director of Public Instructions, Kerala issued a circular, according to which the students of all the schools should sing National Anthem at their school (because it is your fundamental duty to respect our National Flag and Anthem). Three children belonging to jehovan’s stood in the line, while the national anthem was sung at their school, but they did not sing.
The Head Mistress of the school asked them to give in writing that they will respect the National Anthem, and instructed them until such assurance was not received; she shall not allow them to the classes. The children refused to do so.
As a result, the school management expelled those three children contending that they did not sing National Anthem and so they had acted against their fundamental duties. A writ was filed by Bijoe Emmanual, on behalf of the three children, before the Kerala High Court.
The Kerala High Court dismissed the writ petition and upheld the expulsion. It held that it is every citizen’s fundamental duty to respect the national integrity and to sing the national anthem, against the High Court order. The appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of Kerala High Court. It gave judgment in favour of the appellant. It held that they did not commit any offence under National Honour Act, 1971.
Because they stood up respectfully when the National Anthem was being sung. The decision of Supreme Court caused annoyance in India. The decision was severely criticised by the press and public, it is criticised that because of such decisions, the binding force behind fundamental duties are only ornamental and there is need to implement duties properly.
It is also true that, it is wrong to say that Indian people lay emphasis only on rights and privileges has been traditional in this country. Since time immemorial the emphasis in Indian society in accordance with the dictates of the ancient scriptures has been on the individual’s “Kartavya”, this is, performance of one’s duties towards society, in India there are great epics, viz., Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Geeta which are preaches Indians.
Out there duties towards society, towards our old parents, towards family and of course duties towards our motherland (country) but in the present era, the social condition in India as compared to other countries are almost different.
Because of vast expansion of population, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment Indian people face variety of problems and there are the complications in life of common people and poor and unemployed cannot be expected to perform his duties towards the society, necessity knows no law. Indian society itself fails in this age, to discharge its obligation towards individuals.
The constitution of other developing countries, guarantee the “right to work” to every citizen. This is not found in our constitution even today and it is also duty of our country to offer all basic amenities to its citizens. For expectations, from citizen of obey this fundamental duties and for proper enforcement of duties, it is also necessary that it should be known to all and awareness about fundamental duties be spread through systematic and intensive education of the people.
That it is necessary to take help of media to make aware the people or there is also another way to increase awareness in people that is to make such duties part of syllabus in schools and collages, and also publicity is to be held in universities, offices, and places of work, most of the people in our country are illiterates and not politically conscious of what they owe to society and country To aware such people help can be taken from social workers who will aware such people by performing dramas, road shows especially in villages.
In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (1983) 1 SCC 47 Held that under Article 51-A (g) it is the duty of the Central Government to introduce compulsory teaching of lesson at least for one hour in week on protection and improvement of natural environment in all the educational institutions of the country and also aware the people about consciousness of cleanliness of environment, finally it is concluded that Right without duties is nothing but a thing.
Rights and duties are reciprocal and interdependent; they are the two aspects of the same thing or two sides of the same coin. And now it is clear that for the enjoyment of valuable fundamental rights, firstly we obey our fundamental duties seriously, as a law-abiding citizen, and every citizen realise that he has certain duties towards the Nation to achieve the object of the Part IV-A that is National integrity and respect.