Fundamental Duties


“Nationalism is a sentiment to share the glories of the past, to have done great deeds together, to have a common will in the present and a desire to do more in the future.”- A. E. Zimmer. 


Nationalism is a big concept and citizens should respect their country, culture, nationality, religion, traditions, unity etc. Nationalism is a respect for one’s country.

The Indian constitution in 1976 has added “Fundamental Duties” by way of 42 Amendment. It is the duty of every Indian citizen to abide by these 11 fundamental duties laid down in part IV Article 51A. These Fundamental Duties are obligatory in nature but unlike Fundamental Rights they are not enforceable thus individual cannot move to court for enforcing them they are only important for governance of the country.  India is a democratic country where constitution is the supreme authority and we the people of India have given ourselves this constitution therefore it is our duty to abide by it. Fundamental Duties means all citizens must respect their culture, national flag and protect it. It is also our duty to protect our environment from being polluted and not only environment but also its flora, fauna and natural water sources. Violation of fundamental duties amounts to contempt of the constitution which is punishable under Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

Omission and commission are bought to the notice of the court by the citizen thus Article 51A gives a right to the citizen to move to the court for enforcement of duty cast on state, agency, and municipality. Rights and duties co-exists there cannot be any right without any duty and vice versa. Court in LK koolwal v. state of Rajasthan directed municipality to remove dirt from city to maintain sanitation. Maintenance of health, preservation of the sanitation and environment falls within the purview of Article 21 and article 51A as it adversely affects the life of citizen.

Article 51A states that every citizen of India is duty bound—

  • To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

For example Movie theatres must play the national anthem while displaying the flag before screening a film and to ensure that no one walks in and out during the anthem, the doors of theatre should be closed during the song, for this Supreme court in one the judgment held that “Be it stated, a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to national anthem which is the symbol of the constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality. It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights that have individually thought of have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible.”

  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  • India is a vast and diverse nation with different caste, religion, sex and linguistic people, hence in a way sovereignty lies with the people. So it is important to protect sovereignty and integrity of country.
  • It is the duty of every citizen to defend their country against enemies.
  • Promotes brotherhood and harmony among themselves.
  • To protect our culture. Our cultural is one of the noblest and richest. It is also part of the heritage of the earth.
  • To protect environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures. Rising pollution, large scale degradation of forests is causing harm to all the human and animals on earth. Protection of Environment is also enshrined under article 48A i.e. Directive Principles of State Policy.
  • To safeguard public property.
  • Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child between the age of 6-14. Part III Article 21A also states that it the duty of the state to provide basic primary free education to children of six to fourteen years of age.


In Rural Litigation v. Entitlement Kendra, Court said that a complete ban and closing of mining operation in Mussoorie hills was held to be reasonable and important to preserve nature and environment. Preservation of the environment and keeping the ecological balance unaffected is not only the task of the government but also every citizen must undertake it. It is a social obligation of the state as well as of the individuals to protect the environment. This is the first case in the country involving issues of environment and ecological balance.

In Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India, Court held that Right to life, liberty and pollution free air and water is guaranteed by constitution and it is the duty of the state to take effective steps to protect the guaranteed constitutional rights.


  • These Fundamental Duties are not enforceable thus individual cannot move to court for enforcing them.
  • Other important topic such as Family planning and voting are not included in Fundamental Duties.
  • There is no punishment or imposition of fine on non-compliance of these fundamental duties. Whereas if any Fundamental Right is violated then High court and Supreme court can take action against such individual violating them.


Fundamental Duties are the moral obligation of the citizens towards the country to promote the spirit of nationalism and uphold the unity of India. As a responsible citizen of this nation, every person must strive daily to fulfill these duties towards nation. This is what nationalism means – to love, live, unite, spread peace and harmony, to reform and last but not the least to become a better human being. Doing any anti-national acts cannot be justified under any circumstances. It is our duty of each and every citizen of India to resist from all such anti-national acts. Only then are we true citizens of India. Nationalism comes from heart; our freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Rani Laxmi Bai sacrificed their lives to protect the country now it is our duty to do the same.


Author: Pooja Rathore,
Delhi Metropolitian Education, 3 year bba llb

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