Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. Every person who was at the commencement of the Constitution (26 January 1950) domiciled in the territory of India and : 
(a) who was born in India; or
(b) either of whose parents was born in India; or
(c) who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than five years became a citizen of India.
The Citizenship Act, 1955, deals with matters relating to acquisition, determination and termination of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution.
Fundamental Rights
  1. Right to Equality – The right to equality includes equality before law, prohibition of discrimination
    on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and equality of opportunity in matters of employment and abolition of untouchability. 
  2. Right to Freedom – The right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression; right to assemble peacefully and without arms, formation, association or union; free movement throughout the territory of India; residence and the right to practise any profession or occupation; control and disposal of property.
  3. Right Against Exploitation – The right against exploitation prohibits all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings.
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion – The right to freedom of religion contains religious freedom to all. All persons are entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practise and propagate religion freely.
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights – It includes right of any section of the citizens to conserve their culture, language or script and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies – This right guarantees the right to constitutional remedies to the citizens for enforcement of their Fundamental Rights.
    • Right to Compulsory and free Education – The right to compulsory and free education for all the children of 6 to 14 years age. It is the fundamental duty of parents and guardians to provide opportunities for education to their children in the 6 to 14 age group.
Note : The right to property was also one of the fundamental rights, according to the original constitution. This right was omitted by the 44th Amendment Act in December, 1978. It is now only a legal right.

Fundamental Duties
Duties of a citizen of India were not included in the original constitution. These have been added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. There are ten Fundamental Duties :
  • 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 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 wildlife, 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; and
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher level of endeavour and achievement.
  • To provide opportunities for education to their children in the 6 to 14 age group.
Directive Principles of State Policy
  • To secure the right of all men and women to an adequate means of livelihood;
  • To ensure equal pay for equal work;
  • To make effective provision for securing the right to work, education and to public assistance in the event of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement;
  • To secure to workers a living wage, humane conditions of work, a decent standard of life,
  • To ensure that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth;
  • To provide opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner;
  • To provide free and compulsory education for all children up to 14 years of age;
  • To promote educational and economic interests of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections;
  • To organize village panchayats;
  • To separate judiciary from the executive;
  • To promulgate a uniform civil code for the whole country;
  • To protect national monuments;
  • To promote justice on a basis of equal opportunity;
  • To provide free legal aid;
  • To protect and improve environment and forests and wildlife;
  • To promote international peace and security;
  • To promulgate a uniform civil code for the whole country;
  • To settle international disputes by arbitration.

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