An Ideal Citizen
Duties of an Ideal Citizen
Citizenship—Rights and Duties
Rights and Duties go Together
A citizen is a person who lives in a state and is governed by its laws in all matters. An ideal citizen is an asset to a nation. Countries are not good or bad but their citizens make them so. Smugglers, law breakers and people of bad character are also citizens of a country but they cannot be called ideal citizens.
An ideal citizen is every inch a patriot. Citizenship secures for the people a sense of security for their life and property. In a democratic country like India, a citizen enjoys the right of voting in elections to public bodies. He can himself stand as a candidate for election to the municipal committee of his town and legislative bodies of his country. HE can even stand for the office of the president of the country.
A citizen enjoys several other advantages. It is the duty of the state of provide him with employment as far as possible.
A citizen enjoys several facilities. The state provides him with essential services such as transport, right of voting, electricity, hospitals and schools for the education of his children.
Modern states are welfare states. They are supposed to look after the welfare of the citizens. A citizen can stand up and fight for certain rights.
On the other hand, a citizen has to carry out certain duties and responsibilities. He is expected to obey the laws of his country. He must be loyal to the state. He or she must gladly offer his or her services to the state. In time of war or a national emergency, a citizen should serve the country in any capacity he is called upon to serve.
Every citizen must support the police and the administration in general in the maintenance of peace. It is also the duty of all citizens to desist from creating disorder by communal riots.
An ideal citizen tries to protect national property. He makes a right use of the facilities provided to him. He tries to maintain communal harmony in the country. He has a secular outlook. He is tolerant towards all faiths. He believes in the principle of peaceful co-existence. ‘Live and let live’ is the guiding principle of his life. He is honest and fair in his dealings. He has a helpful attitude towards his fellow human beings. He refuses to be tempted into corruption or dishonesty. His life is an open book in honesty, diligence and amiability.
It is the duty of every citizen to be ready to offer his services for public duties. It is the fundamental duty of a citizen to record his vote. A citizen is also expected to take an active part in public affairs. Another duty of a citizen is to pay taxes honestly. If he evades these, the government has the right to realize the taxes by force. An ideal citizen is ideal in his speech, conduct and writing. He is always ready to lay down his life for the sake of his country. His country is a motherland to him and he loves her from the core of his heart.
The greatness of a country depends not on her material resources, but on her men and women. A nation is great if her citizens are great. A poet has rightly said:
“Not gold, but only men,
Can make a nation strong and great;
Men who for truth and honour’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.”
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I. Right to Equality (Article 14 – Article 18)
II Right to Freedom (Articles 19 – Article 22)
III Right against Exploitation (Articles 23 – Article 24)
IV Right to Religion (Articles 25 – Article 28)
V Right to Culture and Education (Articles 29 – Article 30)
VI Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
LET US KNOW
Right to Property, which was a fundamental right has been eliminated from the list of Fundamental Rights by the Forty-Fourth Constitution Amendment Act, 1978, and abolished it as the country intends to promote the socialistic objectives. So, now it is an ordinary legal right.
The six categories of Fundamental Rights are discussed below:
I. RIGHT TO EQUALITY ((Article 14 – Article 18): It implies equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. No man is above the law of the land. Every person is subject to the ordinary law and amendable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals. Any discrimination is prohibited and equality of opportunity in matters of public employment under the state is ensured. There is no distinction between officials and private citizen and no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion, sex etc . But right to equality does not mean absolute equality or universal application . Some exceptions are allowed by the Indian Constitution and these limitations are as follows :
· the President or the Governor of a state shall not be answerable to any court for the power exercised or act done by him .
· no criminal proceeding shall be instituted against the President or the Governor during term of office
· exemption from taxes to certain classes of property
· imposition of taxes upon different trades and professions
· making special provisions for women and child
· making special provisions for advancement of any socially, economically and educationally backward classes like SCs and STs including special employment opportunities, which is called protective discrimination.
II. RIGHT TO FREEDOM (Article 19 – Article 22): This right is the most significant and important for the citizens. This right confers some positive rights to promote the ideal of liberty .Article-19 is the most important which guaranteed six freedom to all citizens .
These are – 19 (1) All citizens shall have the right-
(a) to freedom of speech and expression ;
(b) to assemble peacefully and without arms ;
(c) to form associations or unions ;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India ;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India ; and
(g) to practice any profession , or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
Article 20 and 21 guarantee the right to life, dignity and status. Under Article 20, no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Similarly, under Article 21, no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. Article 22 provides some safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention.
Like the Right to Equality, Right to Freedom is not absolute. The state can impose reasonable restrictions upon these rights incorporated in Article-19 to maintain a balance between individual liberty and social control. When a proclamation of emergency is made under Article 352, provisions of Article-19 itself remain suspended (Art. 358)
III. RIGHT AGAINST EXPLOITATION (Article 23 – Article 24): Indian Constitution recognizes dignity of the individual against any form of exploitation either by the state or by the privileged section of the society. Therefore, Right against exploitation prohibited traffic in human beings and forced labour and employment of child in factories, mines or in any other ‘hazardous employment’. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or minds or engaged in any other hazardous employment (Artcle 24)
The provisions of Article 23 and Article 24 absolute and the state is firm on restoration of dignity and status of the individual against any immoral purposes.
IV. RIGHT TO RELIGION (Article 25- Article 28): Indian Constitution has adopted secular ideology and declared India as a secular state, which observes and attitude of neutrality and impartiality towards all religion . There is no state religion in India. The state will neither establish a religion of its own nor confer any special patronage upon any particular religion . Every person is guaranteed the freedom of conscience and freedom to profess, practice and propagate his own religion subject to public order, morality and health . Every religious group has been given the freedom to manage religious affairs, own and acquire movable and immovable property and administer such property in accordance with law. Right to religion is also subject to certain limitations. The state has the right and duty to intervene if any religious activity creates public disorder, immorality and so on.
V. RIGHT TO CULTURE AND EDUCATION (Article 29 – Article 30):
The Constitution of India guarantees cultural and educational rights for all section of people irrespective of their religious, racial and cultural diversities. These rights are non-political in real sense. To reserve religious and cultural interest of each community, the Constitution of India incorporated these cultural and educational rights under Article 29 and Article 30. Article 29 guarantees to every minority or section of the people to preserve its language, script and culture notwithstanding the provisions of Article-343 under which the official language of the union shall Hindi in Devanagari script. The state shall not impose upon any minority group any culture other than the community’s own culture Article 29(1). Clause (2) of Article 29 provides that no citizen may be denied admission to State and State aided educational institutions on the grounds only of religion, race, caste or language. Article 30 provides that all communities shall have the right to establish and administer educational Institutions of its choice and the state shall not discriminate against them in making grants on grounds of religion, race or language. There is implicit in the right conferred by Article 30 (1), the right to impart instruction in their own institutions to the children of their own community in their own language.
This right has also some limitations. The State can regulate its affairs in the interest of efficiency of instruction, discipline, morality and public order.
VI. RIGHT TO CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDIES (Article 32): A right without remedy is a meaningless formality. Indian Constitution enumerates various rights to its citizen and in order to make these rights effective, it includes some means or remedies in the form of the Right to Constitutional Remedies under Article 32. Article 32 guarantees to every citizen the right to move the Supreme Court or High Courts for enforcement of Fundamental Rights by Constitutional means. Both the Supreme Court under Article 32 and the High Courts under Article 226 can issue necessary writs for the purpose. When a citizen feels that his Fundamental Rights have been violated, he can move the court for redressal. The Supreme Court under Article 32, Section 2) and High court under Article 226 may issue to safeguard the Fundamental Rights in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and certiorari. These are some instruments and means to make Fundamental Rights more effective. The courts have the power to enforce Fundamental Rights by issuing these writs against any authority of the State. The Indian Constitution lays down that any act of the executive or of the legislature which violates Fundamental Rights shall be void and the courts are empowered to declare it as void (Art. 13). Thus, the Constitution of India has made the judiciary as “the protector and guarantor of Fundamental Rights”. On the other hand, this Constitutional right is the “heart and soul” of the Constitution as it can only make Fundamental Rights effective.
However the right to move the court for protection of Fundamental Rights may be suspended during an emergency except those rights provided by Article 20 and Article 21.
LET US KNOW
Though the Right to Property was a Fundamental Right, by the Forty Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in 1978 it was deleted from the list of Fundamental Right. By the said amendment, Art-19 (1)-(f) has been repealed and Art-31(1)has been taken out of part –III and made a separate Article, viz . 300 A Chapter IV in part –XII which mentions “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”. So Right to property is only a legal and ordinary right and now if an individual’s right to property is violated, he can not move to the Supreme Court under Art-32. Such rights are protected by the ordinary law of the land. If an individual’s property is taken away by a public official without legal notice or in excess of the power conferred by law in this behalf, he can approach the concerned High Court under Art-226 or by an ordinary legal process.