Essay on Fundamental Rights and Duties duty

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Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 19th July, 2017

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In New York City today, another suffocating era of good feeling is settling in. Democratic Mayor Ed Koch, who began his career by wresting power from Tammany chief Carmine De Sapio, is about to be handed the Republican nomination as well.

Keywords: citizen rights and duties, rights and responsibilities

Rights and duties play an important part in the development of a nation or the growth of an organization. Rights on the one hand give an individual an opportunity to be a part of development process while duties on the other hand make an individual obliged to play a part in the development.

However, ''big tent'' proponents hold that a party is a root to power and should accommodate many views: that is why the parties overlap, although the center of gravity of the Republican Party is to the right of the Democratic Party. The genius of this two-party system, as it exists today, is that change can be substantial without being wrenching.

As a citizen of a democratic country we all are privileged to have some fundamental rights. But, apart from these rights we also have fundamental duties which we rarely talk about. Moreover responsible citizenship is not just about enjoying the fundamental rights and performing the fundamental duties mentioned in our constitution but it is about going beyond those duties.
Like wise, we children too have certain duties and responsibilities! When in school, our duty is to maintain strict discipline, respect the teachers and the elders, love the other children, help the others when necessary and study well.

We always harp on our rights where ever we can and neglect the duties we generally have. As a citizen of our country we enjoy the rights of a privileged citizen and often we complain of the government's inability to provide services.

It is our duty to love our fellow human beings as we loved ourselves. This is because we are all God’s children, and therefore, brothers and sisters the one another. We have specific duties to different people. To our parents and teachers, we owe love, respect and obedience. Parents have the duty to love and bring up their children properly. Teachers have to guide and impart knowledge to their pupils. All of us have the duty to help the poor and the needy. We have also duties as citizens of a country.

Similarly in an organization, as an employee or a student in an institute we complain about the inadequacies of the system. But when it comes to our duty for the nation or institute, most of the times we are not aware at all.
On humiliation: No prize fighter likes to lurch into the ring certain he will have his head handed to him. But if he has chosen that profession, the fighter is obliged to do the best he can with what he has. Dishonor comes not from defeat but from taking a dive, which is what the Republican leadership of New York proposes to do.

For instance as a responsible citizen, we have the duty of protecting the public properties, which we do not hesitate to destroy while protesting or demanding our rights. Destroying street lamps, burning tyres and vehicles, disrupting traffic are the common phenomena seen at the protest sites.
City government is not street-cleaning. Every government at every level cries out for opposition to protect it from the arrogance of power and the power of arrogance.

Do we really need to do this? Have we ever realized the losses we cause to our country or organization in this manner? Do we ponder for a moment, how much effort it takes to build those structures?

As countrymen we also have a duty to be patriotic towards the country and be humanitarian towards our country men.

We also have a social responsibility as a good citizen.
There is a loftier consideration. The world has to march forward. The performance of duty by each one of us is the power that drives the world in its forward march. If by doing our duties at home we bring to it peace and happiness, by discharging our duties to our country or community, we ensure the same blessings to a larger world.

But do we perform all these duties? The answer is either a clear No, or partial Yes. We do not pay taxes in time and some of us also try to avoid taxes by questioning its worthiness while being more selfish.
This was the question that kept puzzling me for quite a long time. But as the days went by, I gradually came to know that not only we children, every living being, whether man or animal or bird or any living being for that matter, has one’s own duty!

We expect government to do everything, without us contributing anything. Most of the unpaid electricity and telephone bills even by people who can well afford to pay those few bucks are a bit astonishing.
I like that ''big tent'' theory. It is an American invention that has worked remarkably well, helping to make us the most stable democracy on earth. But a threat to that unique system comes from those who insist that parties should represent ideologies, like Labor versus Conservative in Britain, or the parties of the left versus the parties of the right in France.

When we feel our values to be endangered we draw in the attention by retaliating in a particular way. Take for instance, the case of attack on the girls in a pub in Bangalore by some self proclaimed flag bearers of Indian culture who thought that their (girls) presence in the pub was against the Indian culture.
Some again seek praise or reward for the performance of a duty. This, however, is not to be thought of. "In doing what we ought", said Saint Augustine, "we deserve no praise, because it is our duty that we do." The story of the poor railway man, who saved a passenger train from disaster but refused any reward, should be written in letters of gold -'Doing one's allotted duty brings its own reward'. If any reward comes unexpectedly and unsought, the joy of it is all the sweeter. Gandhji also said so about public servants.

But they forgot that women have always been regarded and have a special place in Indian society and using force against them is not encouraged in Indian traditional culture. Respecting elders, honesty, veracity, non violence are some of the values of Indian Culture and these as such becomes a duty on the part of us to follow them if we really are conscious of our right to protect the Indian culture.

Duty in various culturesEdit

"Asian and Latin American adolescents possessed stronger values and greater expectations regarding their duty to assist, respect, and support their families than their peers with European backgrounds".

The incident mentioned above just shows how careful we are about our rights and not our duties.

The topic is basically about being a responsible citizen; it's about deserving first and demanding later.

The selection of this topic is slightly influenced by the speech made by our former president Mr. Abdul Kalam Azad -

"YOU say that our government is inefficient. YOU say that our laws are too old.

Hence, one should do one's duty first to himself, his moral being, one's family; then to the community, then to the rest of the world in ever-widening circles.

YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage. YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke, the airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination. YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits. YOU say, say and say.

What do YOU do about it? Take a person on his way to Singapore.

Give him a name - YOURS. Give him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best.
This routine continues during the college days too. Then applying for a job, preparing for the competitive examination, attend personal interviews, taking advice from elders as to how to speak and answers queries and start working. Thus at every stage, there is a duty to perform.

In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are. You pay $5 (approx Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between5 PM and 8 PM.

YOU comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity.

In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai.
It requires great moral courage to do what you think your duty when opposed to public opinion. Mr. Forster is one of the rare men who have the courage of their convictions. He refused to be under the despotism of the caucus. He told the Government to do its duty towards the nation who had been our friend during the Zulu War--to act up to the Convention, or withdraw it.

.. YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 kph) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost." YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand. Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston? We are still talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own.
Well, that is the duty of the mother everywhere. As far as the young ones are concerned, it is their bounden duty to listen to their parents and follow the guidelines given to them or otherwise the young ones will meet a U agric end.

You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country why cannot you be the same here in India"

So let's put a full stop in complaining about the system.

This system is created by us what and we are the system.
Nietzsche claims that the task of all higher education is "to turn men into machines". The way to turn men into machines is to teach them to tolerate boredom. This is accomplished, Nietzsche says, by means of the concept of duty. (Twilight of the Idols, “Skirmishes of an untimely man” § 9.29)

Let's look at what that can be done by us and what not.

Everyone has a duty to be a responsible citizen. But unfortunately, not everyone takes this responsibility seriously. There are plenty of people the world over who do not know what being a responsible citizen means and they are the people who destroy our communities.

After reaching home, doing the home work, going to tuition if there is tuition classes or play for some time, and then resume studies once again, keep the books and note books ready for the next day’s time table, help parents or brothers and sisters as and when possible and finally go to bed.

For being a responsible citizen results in a happy and harmonious community - if everyone else does the same.

2. Responsible Citizen

Being a responsible citizen covers many areas - some of them legal obligations, some social and some moral.

Duty (from "due" meaning "that which is owing"; Old French: deu, did, past participle of devoir; Latin: debere, debitum, whence "debt") is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment or obligation to someone or something. The moral commitment should result in action;[citation needed] it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition. When someone recognizes a duty, that person theoretically commits himself to its fulfillment without considering their own self-interest. This is not to suggest that living a life of duty entirely precludes a life of leisure; however, its fulfillment generally involves some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Typically, "the demands of justice, honor, and reputation are deeply bound up" with duty.

So of course, because not all of them are legal obligations, being a responsible citizen is not as easy as staying within the law. In fact, to be a truly responsible citizen, we sometimes must go out of our way to do things which help our society - give a little of our time and effort for the greater good.
Many shirk duty because the path of the duty is often a thorny path. In responding to that call of duty we become heroes ourselves.

2.1 Legal Obligations

No one can be a responsible citizen without staying within the law. It is as simple as that. Criminals, by their very nature, are not behaving as responsible citizens. Laws exist to protect citizens, the communities they live in and their property.

It is the duty of the animal to feed its off springs, protect them from enemies and teach them to hunt their prey. Similarly, birds too. They build nests, lay eggs and protect them, until the young ones come out. Even then they protect them and teach them to fly till dicey grow up and could manage on dyer own!

So to be a responsible citizen, we must respect these laws and abide by them. Harming others or others' property does not equate to being a good citizen.

2.2 Social Obligations

Social obligations really form the bulk of being a responsible citizen and what this means. To be a responsible citizen, we should help our communities and those who live in them.

An arranged marriage is an example of an expected duty in Asia and the Middle East. In an arranged marriage relating to duty, it is expected that the wife will move in with the husband’s family and household to raise their children. Patrilocal residence is usual; R arely does the man move in with the woman, or is the married couple allowed to start their own household and life somewhere else. They need to provide for the entire family in labor and care for the farms and family. Older generations rely heavily on the help from their children's and grandchildren's families. This form of duty is in response to keeping the lineage of a family intact and obliging to the needs of elders.

So, being a responsible citizen can encompass things such as volunteering.

Volunteering, the third sector is worth billions to our economy and even more to those who are helped by volunteering. But in the interests of being a responsible citizen, this could include smaller things too.

There is more to it. Getting up early, brushing the teeth, studying, bathing, eating breakfast and going to school; all these can be found in the ‘Good Habits’ books.

So, volunteering for the Samaritans is a noble job to do and one which is certainly needed. But the elderly lady who lives alone may need someone to do her shopping and this demonstrates responsible citizenship just as much as volunteering in an organisation.
Our basic duty to ourselves is to live good and virtuous lives, because that is what God want us to do, and what is necessary to attain everlasting happiness in the next world. It is our duty, too, to strive hard to succeed in our profession or occupation and to take reasonable care of our bodies.

Other social obligations of being a good citizen can include things such as helping local businesses. This may means buying the meat for Sunday dinner from a local butcher rather than a supermarket, or using a small local bookstore rather than the internet.

But it is the ''ideological compatibility'' reason that is the most pernicious and which transforms a local cave-in to a national political concern. It goes to the question of why political parties exist.

Being a responsible citizen also means being involved in our communities. This may be demonstrated by being on the school parent teacher association or the village hall committee. It may be as simple as attending events organised by these people.
Some ideologues insist that a political party exists to propound a particular point of view - liberal, conservative, or some single issue. To these neat-minded souls, liberal Repubicans should leave to find their home in the Democratic Party and conservative Democrats should leap over to the Republican.

2.3 Moral Obligations

Moral obligations of being a responsible citizen are harder to pin down because different people have different moral codes. But one place we can all start is in helping the environment.

The environmental problems society is facing are of our own making and we all have a moral obligation to do what we can to change this. So by living as environmentally friendly life as possible, we can help fulfill our moral obligations of being a responsible citizen.

So let us do our duty with all our heart, not in the expectation of a reward but because it is the fulfillment of our destiny. We will surely have the supreme satisfaction in the approval of our conscience, which is the sweetest of all rewards for performing our duties.

Taking recyclables to be recycled and using a compost bin are two easy ways and there are many more.

And they can be linked in with other obligations. For example, if you have a compose bin but no plants to use the compost on, you could give it to people who have plants but live alone, making them less likely to generate a huge amount of compost themselves.

Another thing to remember is that in doing our duty we may not always give pleasure to others. There are unpleasant duties like thankless jobs when, for example, we have to stand up against a social wrong, or express our disapproval of a wrong-doer. In other words, duty has to be done without either seeking rewards from or the goodwill of others, "To thy own self be true".

Being a responsible citizen should not be a hard thing but it should be something which occasionally requires a little extra effort. This is because being a responsible citizen is, at its core, about being a less selfish person, and putting the needs of society before your own needs. It does not means you have to sacrifice all your free time to volunteer or help others, but it does means taking a little time to think about the impact of your actions on others.

Friedrich Nietzsche is among the fiercest critics of the concept of duty. "What destroys a man more quickly", he asks, "than to work, think, and feel without inner necessity, without any deep personal desire, without pleasure—as a mere automaton of “duty”?" (The Antichrist, § 11)



3. Beyond Fundamentals:


1 Voting:

India as we know is one of the youngest country of the world. More than 50% of its total population is between 20 - 30 age group, so it has immense probabilities of becoming a global powerhouse. As a country of energy, a country of youthfulness as a country of vibrant young engineers, dynamic technocrats, promising scientists, enthusiastic sportspersons, India has become the cynosure of world.

But this country of youths has another face as well. Imagine a case where we are sitting in our drawing room and watching the morning news ..the media persons showing some of our well known leaders taking money for supporting other party or for any other malicious reason. The first thing we do is we start blaming our political system, we never think even for a while that have we played any role in strengthening this system? Have we not contributed in establishing this system of power politics? Have we not chosen these cunning politicians? Weren't we influenced by the inflammatory speeches that were deliberately made to create some fire?

The modern political system is all about power and money.

The first two reasons invite contempt. On patronage: In any area where one party dominates, the temptation for the opposition party leadership is to get cut in on the goodies in return for lying down on the job. Losers wax fat by staying losers - Mayor Koch will even help Republicans to raise money - but the real loser is adversarial politics.

If we see the profile of a recently elected MPs we will find that almost 300 members are billionaires. Do they really represent the India who's 22% of population is still below poverty line? Aren't they the product of this power politics? Isn't the modern Indian politics driven by selfishness instead of the interest of social service? Don't we prefer going according our interest in spite of national interest?? According to a recent survey majority of the Indian youth especially those living in cities don't go for voting.
The Mayor's pitch is seductive: he says he would be able to get more for New York from the Reagan Administration by claiming to be a Republican-Democrat. If such a political pushmi-pullyu is created, then what is left of the liberal wing of the Republican Party - based in cities, where more minority votes are - will shrivel and die. Goodbye, Republican big tent, hello, ideological purity - and hello ultimate Democratic triumph.

They prefer going to cinema or watching television. instead of going to polling booths. This is certainly not going to change the scenario. If we really want to change the country, If we really want the tradition to change we have to participate in the elections or at least we have to make sure the person we are going to chose as our representative should be a person of will and a person having an intension to work for the society, for the country.
Mayor Koch, on the contrary, wants ''fusion,'' recollecting the fusion candidacy of Fiorello LaGuardia. But Mayor LaGuardia's fusion was that of a Republican with other minor parties to oppose the Democrats' Tammany machine and to produce a fight. Koch's fusion would be to unite Republicans and Democrats and deny a fight - or leave it to New York's ideological parties to produce one.

So the youth of the country and the rich class need to show interest in voting and deciding the future of the country.

3.2 Respecting National Emblems

Bertrand Russell once said, "Love for your country should be of an extreme nature."

Modern era is the era of cut throat competition, an era of hectic schedule, a lifestyle of burgers and pizzas, an age of pubs and discos.

Fair enough; in politics as in law, justice thrives when adversaries compete. The most stagnant political period in American history was called the Era of Good Feeling, when one-party rule led to bickering over petty issues.

The young India is lost somewhere in this euphoric illusion. We hardly remember the martyrs, the independence or republic day is like a holiday for us, we don't even bother to stand up in respect of our national anthem.
Fortunately, an Assemblyman from Queens, John Esposito, has risen to enter the primary and perhaps spoil Mr. Clark's sellout. I hope Republicans - even those who would vote for Mayor Koch in a general election -vote for Mr. Esposito, whoever he is, to repel the boarding party and avert the disgrace of a surrender.

Our national tricolour doesn't make us feel proud any more. We boastfully talk about patriotism but when it comes to show it we deliver a little. Our attitude comes in between !!!

The time is to respect the national heritage, the pluralistic culture of our country and more importantly respecting the people of India.

3.3 Cleanliness/Showing Right Attitude

We always cry about the prevailing sanitation problems in our cities. The piles of garbage around our houses and for this we doom the municipality, again comes the famous word "system" that has been saving our faces to be unveiled and have saved us from disgrace. Do we ever think about the way we behave in our daily life? Do we ever evaluate our attitude? Most of us have the habit of spitting on road while walking, putting garbage on roads in stead of dustbins, we spit on the platforms, in the corners of our offices, classrooms, we don't look for a dustbin after having a coffee or after having a chocolate, we scribble on our benches in our classrooms, we make ourselves immortal by writing on our monuments and finally making them dirty and ugly.

Our duties towards Gods are: to adore him as our Supreme Lord and Master; to love Him as our most loving Father; to obey all His commandments: to thank Him for creating us and looking after us with loving care; to trust in His love and mercy; to beg His pardon for our sins; and to pray for His grace and blessings. The duties that are derived from these primary duties are towards our fellow men and women, and towards us.

We go to our pilgrimages with an immense sense of respect and make them dirty with sheer ignorance !!

The solution is that we should always try to change our habit in a positive way. Instead of waiting for the municipality to work we should take the responsibility to make our neighborhoods clean.

The English Book of Common Prayer asks every man "to do his duty in that state of life to which God has called him." This is an ideal that should always remain uppermost in the human mind. A day is not properly ended until the duties it brought are discharged.

It's all about changing our attitude. As William James has rightly said

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of minds"

So what if the municipality is not working properly, it's our neighborhood and finally it's our responsibility. if we become sincere about our duty everything will be fine. A famous quote goes like this.

You improve, the world will get improved.

So if we want this world around us to improve, if we want the system to be perfect and smooth we have to take the responsibility.

3.4 Following Traffic Rules

One of the common instances in our daily life we see or we do as well is that not following the traffic rules. We don't stop for the red lights and when we are caught we try to settle it down by bribing the policeman. If we have been in Germany we would have stopped for the red light even at the mid night. If we follow the rules in Germany cant we do it in our country? We need to respect the signals. If one starts before the green signal, others will automatically follow him, saying "no one is following the rules". Why can't we be the one to follow it?

We complain that the traffic police always ask for bribe, why do we allow ourselves to be caught in such a scenario (Exceptions apart)? Few easy things that one can follow

3.5 Pirated CDs and Books

We always cry for the prevalent adulteration in the food stuffs and other daily use stuffs, we often complain about the duplicity of the products available in the market. But we hardly bother when it comes to buy a CD cassette or a book and what is the reason? "it is cheap" in the veil of this statement we hide our crime. Don't we support crime when we go for this kind of shopping? So make sure when you go to buy a CD cassette or a book doesn't buy a pirated one. By this you are contributing in nation building and at the same time you are paralyzing the system of duplicity and cheating and finally you motivate creativity buying a pirated edition of a book is a kind of insult to the author, so make sure we don't insult the creativity when we buy any book next time.

3.6 Respecting Values

The one thing every Indian is proud of is Indian culture, Indian values. We boastfully talk about the culture of sacrifice and forgiveness, respecting elders, honesty and truth, non violence etc.

Sure-losing may be hard but forfeiture is an abomination. The message is the same to Republicans in big cities as it is to liberal Democrats in conservative bastions: if you can't lick 'em, keep fighting 'em. It keep 'em honest.

we proudly talk about our ethics but sadly gone are the days .we no more respect our so called Indian heritage of honesty and truth and these are being derided in this culture of i-pods and 3g technology the cut throat competition and our willingness to succeed provokes us to use short cuts and we call it "smartness" so what exactly we need to do? We need to stand firm for a cause; we need to compromise with the compromise this time we need to kill the devil inside that motivates us to use shortcuts for success.

As Henry Fielding has rightly said

"Let no man be sorry he has done well; because others have done evil! If a man has acted right, he has done well, though alone; if wrong the sanction of all mankind will not justify him.

3.7 Corruption and its birth:

Now take a glance on our view on Corruption. We might have at some part of time or other complained of corruption all around and talked in great detail in a board room.

No one can escape from one’s duty. If a boy/ girl don’t study well, he/she fail in the examination. If a man doesn’t discharge his duty in the office, he loses his job. This is what die great ‘Bhadvadgka’ also preaches. Duty is otherwise called Karma.

But in reality do we really fight against this evil in society. Mostly the politicians are blamed for corruption and using unfair advantage of their position. But it is not just the politicians the evil is rooted deeper in the society. A tree cannot nurture without the roots and the roots of this corruption are we the common man. Firstly, we are allowing it to grow. As Edmund Burke says- "For evil to flourish, good people have to do nothing and evil shall flourish." Secondly we are ourselves involved in corruption to get an unfair advantage or as a shortcut to our path. For instance, when we are caught for first time in a traffic violation we offer the police person on duty a lesser amount in lieu of a greater official fine according to traffic rules.
The great Roman statesman Cicero once said "No phase of life, whether public or private, can be free from duty." To do our duty brings us the greatest happiness, not to do it leaves us with a sense of discomfort.

As responsible citizens, do we not have the right to fight against and root out corruption? If these politicians are blamed are we not responsible for their election? The question then arises why we elect such people. May be we are not interested in nation building or we might be looking for our narrow minded goals or short term advantages. The leaders if not responsible will lead to failure of the team as whole. So why not be good leaders and enter politics and make a difference in the society? Why not show the way to others.

Thomas Carlyle says-"Make yourself an honest man and then you may be sure there is one"

4. Conclusion:

Rights and duties go hand in hand.

So do not shy away from doing your duties. It is also said that, “Duty only frowns, when you flee from it; follow it, and it smiles upon you!” So from this day, let us all do our duty well in time.

Before we complain of the inadequacies of the system and claim our rights we must also consider our responsibility and fulfill the duties.

As the famous saying goes- "Great power brings great responsibilities."

Change has to happen but might take some time and we have to wait for it. Change in an organization's or nation's culture is a continuous process, it will happen over a period of time and it will take a consistent effort on the part of individuals.

Beginning is always tough, we can elaborate it by this example; imagine a case when you are following two way traffic, one fine day this road becomes one way. It will be very difficult to get accustomed to this new change. Later it becomes part of our life; we are not going to think about this option and we become habitual of it. This applies to all these soft duties as well.

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