The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 added a Chapter IV-A which consist of only one
Article 51-A which dealt with a Code of Ten Fundamental Duties for citizens.
Fundamental duties are intended to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen
that while the constitution specifically conferred on them certain Fundamental
Rights, it also requires citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic
conduct and democratic behaviour because rights and duties are co-relative.
Article 51-A Says that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India-
1. to abide by the constitution and respect its ideal and institutions;
2. to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle
3. to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
4. to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
5. to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the
people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional diversities, to
renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
6. to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
7. to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes,
rivers, and wild-life and to have compassion for living creatures;
8. to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and
9. to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
10. to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective
activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and
achievement. Further, one more Fundamental duty has been added to the Indian
Constitution by 86th Amendment of the constitution in 2002.
11. 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.
Need For Fundamental Duties
India is a country where people belonging to different castes, creed, religion,
sects etc. live together and in order to maintain harmony and peace and to
encourage the feeling of brotherhood and oneness among them following the
Fundamental Duties on their part plays a vital role in upholding and protecting
the sovereignty, unity and integrity of our country which is of inevitable
importance. It reminds the citizens that rights and duties go hand in hand.
Sources of Fundamental Duties
It is significant to note that none of the Constitutions of Western Countries
specifically provide for the duties and obligations of citizens . Among the
Democratic Constitutions of the world we find mention of certain duties of the
citizens in the Japanese Constitution. In Britain, Canada & Australia the rights
and duties of citizens are governed largely by Common Law and Judicial
Decisions. The French Constitution Makes only a passing reference to duties of
citizens. The American Constitution provides only for fundamental rights and not
duties of citizen.
But the Constitution of Socialist Countries, however, lay great emphasis on the
citizen's duties like Article 32 of the Yugoslavian Constitution and Chapter
VII of the Soviet Constitution lays down Fundamental Rights & Duties and also
Chapter II of the Constitution of Republic Of China. All the aforesaid
Constitutions specifically lay down duties of the people, they also guarantee
the "Right to Work" to every citizen which the Indian Constitution does not
provide still today. The "right to work" should, therefore, be guaranteed to
every citizen who are expected to do certain to the nation.
Enforcement of duties
The fundamental duties are statutory duties and shall be enforceable by Law.
Parliament , y law , will provide penalties to be imposed for failure to fulfil
those duties and obligations. The success of this provision would , however,
depend much upon the manner in which and the person against whom these duties
would be enforced and for its proper enforcement it is necessary that it should
be known to all. In AIIMS Students Union v. AIIMS AIR (1983) 1 SCC 471 it has
been held that Fundamental Duties though not enforceable by writ of the court,
yet provide a valuable guide and aid to interpretation of constitutional and
Some of the duties are vague and terms used therein are complex which even a
highly educated man would find difficult to grasp like it is difficult to
identify the noble ideas that inspired our national struggle for freedom.
Some of the duties clash with religious principles of some religious sects in
the country. In a Judgement the Supreme Court held that no person can be forced
to join the singing of the National Anthem, if he has genuine religious
obligations which place religious belief above the patriotism.
There is no specific provision nor any sanction as to implementation and
enforcement of Fundamental Duties.
The Fundamental Duties inherit some of the ideals, thoughts, beliefs of great
saints philosophers, social reformers and political leaders thus in spite of
its vagueness the fundamental Duties fulfils a long standing need. It acts as a
constant reminder that rights and duties go hand in hand. The Fundamental Duties
are laid down to draw the attention of the citizens towards the duties they owe
towards their Motherland. It clearly elaborates the thoughts of John .F. Kennedy
", Do not ask what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for the