Effectuation of Fundamental Duties is the ladder with elucidation and elaboration as the first step, awareness as the second; inculcation as the third; aspiration as the fourth; implementation (performance) as the fifth; besides enforcement. If colloquia and consultations on Fundamental Duties in the context of given events or situations are organized by citizens’ groups in this mode, it will be easier for them to comprehend the full import of the provisions of Article 51A, add citizenship values to their inner being, and to realize their full potential.
* It is axiomatic that ignorantia legis non-execusat. However, one in a thousand is aware of Article 51A; the Fundamental Duties. Even highly educated citizens may not be aware of this part of the Constitution. For instance, it is the command of clause (b) that every citizen shall cherish and follow the "NOBLE IDEALS" which inspired our national struggle for freedom. What were those "Noble Ideals"? During the period of our national struggle for freedom, the population of our country was 33 crores which means that 67 crores were born post-independence, after 15th August 1947. They have to be informed what the "noble ideals" were. Article 51A does not identify them. The Constitution does not define them.
Even the common man of those days would say that the object of national struggle for freedom was to redeem the country from the bondage of the British Rule and to acquire self-rule instead. And the ideals were enshrined in "Vande Matram" and "Jhanda Ooncha Rahe Hamara" or "Inquilab Zindabad."
* Practically nothing has been done to inform and awake general public to the Fundamental Duties which are mandatory or to cause awareness for their publicity and propagation.
* The current conjucture of socio-economic forces and the disgust aroused by falling ethical standards provide a timely opportunity to launch a nation-wide movement to enable all citizens to become aware of their rights and responsibilities, understand their obligations to observe Constitutional Values and carry out Fundamental Duties in day to day activity.
* The rights and responsibilities of the citizens in a democracy are immense. And yet no systematic effort was made over the years to educate the citizens in democratic governance. The State and the society have failed to provide adequate means and mechanisms for citizens to identify, imbibe and practise the "Culture of the Constitution". This failure is mainly responsible for the low level of effectuation of Fundamental Duties.
* The beginning has been made by the Department of Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the Teaching of Values in primary and secondary schools. Similar steps have yet to be taken in the Universities and Institutes of Higher Learning. At the level of social action, several efforts have been made to generate awareness of the importance of discharging Fundamental Duties and enable citizens to imbibe and practise citizenship values.
* For convenience of operation, the citizenry may be divided into eight groups. Every effort should be made to identify the values relevant to each Group, discuss their application in live situations, and develop strategies for their effective internalization.
Enforcement of Fundamental Duties
* The Fundamental Rights in Part III, the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV and the Fundamental Duties in Part IVA form a compendium and have to be read together.
* It is true that there is no legal sanction provided for violation or non-performance of Fundamental Duties. There is neither specific provision for enforceability nor any specific prohibition. However, Fundamental Duties have an inherent element of compulsion regarding compliance.
* Out of the ten clauses in Article 51A, five are positive duties and the other five are negative duties. Clauses (b), (d), (f), (h) and (j) require the citizens to perform these Fundamental Duties actively.
* It is said that by their nature, it is not practicable to enforce the Fundamental Duties and they must be left to the will and aspiration of the citizens. However, in the case of citizens holding public office, each and all Fundamental Duties can be enforced by suitable legislation and departmental rules of conduct. Appropriate sanctions can be provided for lapse in respect of each Fundamental Duty and it is quite practicable to enforce the sanction against every citizen holding a public office; for instance, departmental promotions can be deferred, increments can be withheld, etc. If an officer takes part in a strike or stalls the proceedings of his institution, he can be made to forgo the salary for that day.
* Likewise, sanctions can be provided for professional bodies such as the Bar Council of India, the Medical Council of India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Engineers, etc.
* It is no longer correct to say that Fundamental Duties enshrined in Article 51A are not enforceable to ensure their implementation and are a mere reminder. Fundamental Duties have the element of compulsion regarding compliance. What is needed is to enact suitable legislation wherever necessary to require obedience of the duties by the citizens, with legal sanctions. There is need for comprehensive legislation in this area to ensure a faithful and effective implementation of the Fundamental Duties.
* A number of judicial decisions are available towards the enforcement of certain clauses under Article 51A. Comprehensive legislation is needed for clauses (a), (c), (e), (g) and (i). The remaining 5 clauses, which are exhortation of basic human values, have to be developed amongst citizens through the education system by creating proper and graded curricular input from primary level of education to the higher and professional levels.