Fundamental Duties in Indian Constitution

Part IVA, Article 51 A of the constitution contains the Fundamental Duties. It was included in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976. There is a total of 11 fundamental duties mentioned in the constitution. Let us discuss the history, importance, criticism, and benefits of the Fundamental Duties in detail.

History of Fundamental Duties:

Fundamental duties are one of the most important parts of the Indian constitution as it gives guidance and also puts some moral obligations on the citizens of India.

Initially, our constitutional framers did not include any fundamental duty in the constitution. However, with time it was felt by the government that certain duties must be included in the constitution because the people had awareness about their fundamental rights but they were not aware of their fundamental duties so it was included in the constitution for balance between right and duty. In other words, the fundamental rights and fundamental duties should be collaborative in nature for every individual.

Once Gandhiji said that “A duty well performed creates a corresponding right” and he said that the true source of right is the duty, if we all discharge our duty right will not be for to seek.

The concept of fundamental duty was taken from the USSR.

During the time of emergency in India, the then government constituted a committee named as “Swaran Singh committee” for the inclusion of fundamental duties. Based on the committee report and after some scrutiny the government included the fundamental duties in our constitution by bringing the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976. A separate part (i.e. PArt IVA) and Article 51A (a to k) were included in the constitution and named as the fundamental duties.

Initially, 10 fundamental duties were added to the constitution. However, one more fundamental duty i.e. 11th duty was added in the year 2002 by the 86th Constitution Amendment Act.

List of Fundamental Duties:

Art 51A. Fundamental duties: It shall be the duty of every citizen of India;

(a) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the 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 to do so;

(e) 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;

(f) To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wild life, 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 to higher levels of endeavor and achievement;

(k) 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.


Sardar Patel once said that every Indian should now forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh, or a jatt, he must remember that he is an Indian and has every right in his country but with certain duties.

The above phrase means that duty and rights are equal for everyone without any discrimination based on caste race sex religion gender.

Here I should mention that all the recommendations proposed by the Swarn Singh committee were not included in the fundamental duties. Some of them are like;

Paying tax should be a fundamental duty but not included

He recommended that penalty should be imposed if fundamental duties not followed by the citizens and also he recommended that no law can question the penalty in any court.

But the government knew that people were unable to pay taxes and one law for all sections will itself create discrimination because of the huge variation in the socio Economy status.

Some criticism of fundamental duties are;

1. It is only a moral obligation and not enforceable.

2. It should have been included in part 3 of the constitution rather than part 4 of the Constitution which also not enforceable.

3. The Constitutional framers not included fundamental duties so it’s not that important.

4. Some terms are vague like the Noble idea which can be different for different people.

So one thing which comes to our mind that what is the importance of fundamental duty if it is not enforceable?

So here are some of the importance or the positive points of fundamental duty:

1. It stresses citizens to become conscious about their duty and enjoy their rights and duty in a balanced manner.

2. It provides a moral obligation to citizens that their actions should not violate fundamental duties.

3. It acts as a reminder to citizens for their actions.

4. It is a source of inspiration for the citizens as well as it acts as a warning that individual actions should not be unconstitutional.

5. It also helps to court to examine the validity of the provisions of the constitution which are not mentioned directly.

6. It shows that our traditional values which focus on conservation of the environment and improvement of harmony and maintain diversity.

One thing we need to understand that our constitution is flexible and called a living constitution because it accommodates all the required guidelines and can be amended as per the demand of the time. We should understand that inclusion of fundamental duty is necessary to maintain equilibrium between the right and duty of citizens.

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This article is written by;

Mr. Pankaj Kumar Gupta

(Email ID: [email protected])