Fundamental Duties are sections of the Constitution of India that prescribe the fundamental obligations of the State to its citizens and the duties of the citizens to the State. 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.
A citizen among other things, to abide by the Constitution, to cherish and follow noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.
The Forty Second Constitution Amendment Act, 1976 has incorporated ten Fundamental Duties in Article 51(A) of the constitution of India. The Eighty-Six Constitution Amendment Act, 2002 has added one more Fundamental Duty in Article 51(A) of the constitution of India.
The Fundamental Duties noted in the constitution are as follows
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India —
- 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;
- 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;
- 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
The Supreme Court has used the Fundamental Duties to uphold the Constitutional validity of statutes which seeks to promote the objects laid out in the Fundamental Duties. These Duties have also been held to be obligatory for all citizens, subject to the State enforcing the same by means of a valid law. The Supreme Court has also issued directions to the State in this regard, with a view towards making the provisions effective and enabling a citizens to properly perform their duties.