Rights and Duties are like two sides of a coin, absolutely inseparable. Whenever and wherever we have any rights, we must have corresponding duties. Whether it be the home, the society or the country, in every sphere of life we have rights and duties that go hand in hand. We have rights in the same measure as we have duties.
The Fundamental Duties are a novel feature of the Indian Constitution in recent times. Fundamental Duties of citizens serve a useful purpose. In particular, no democratic polity can ever succeed where the citizens are not willing to be active participants in the process of governance by assuming responsibilities and discharging citizenship duties and coming forward to give their best to the country. Some of the fundamental duties enshrined in article 51A have been incorporated in separate laws. There has been some rather disproportionate emphasis on the rights of citizens as against their duties even though the traditions and temper of Indian thought through the ages laid greater emphasis on duties. For every right, there is a corresponding duty. Rights flow only from duties well performed. Duty is an inalienable part of right : What is duty for one is another person’s right and respect human life and not to injure another person. If everyone performs his/her duty, everybody’s rights would be automatically protected.
Fundamental duties are given in part IV of the Indian constitution under art. 51 A.
Concept of Duty:
There has been some rather disproportionate emphasis on the rights of citizens as against their duties even though the traditions and temper of Indian thought through the ages laid greater emphasis on duties. Actually, rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin. For every right, there is a corresponding duty. Rights flow only from duties well performed. Duty is an inalienable part of right: What is duty for one is another person’s right and respect human life and not to injure another person. If everyone performs his/her duty, everybody’s rights would be automatically protected. Gandhi while emphasizing the economic and social responsibilities of all citizens said: "The true source of right is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. If leaving duties unperformed we run after rights, they will escape us like will-o-the-wits, the more we pursue them, the farther they will fly".
"I learned from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved come from my duty well done. Thus the very right to live accrues to us when we do the duty of citizenship of the world. From this one fundamental statement, perhaps it is easy enough to define duties of man and women and correlate every right to some corresponding duty to be first performed. Every other right can be shown to be a usurpation hardly worth fighting for".
Harold Laski has also said that rights are related to functions and are given only in return for some duties to be performed. Rights are conferred on individual citizens not only for their own development but also for social good. As the universal declaration of Human Rights put it : "Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of the personality is possible [Article 29 (1)].
When the leaders and the rulers talk of citizenship values, they tend to talk in the language of "you, the people should". They forget that they are not outside the people, they are also first and foremost the citizens of India and it is as much for them as for others to respect the citizenship values. In fact, in the discharge of their functional responsibilities and duties, they have an additional responsibility to protect and promote citizenship duties and fulfil the oaths they take. Ideally, a proper balance and harmony can be achieved if the State – high functionaries of the Government and the leadership generally – cease to lecture the citizens on their duties and devote their energies and attention to protecting their rights, and the citizens themselves lay greater emphasis on discharging their responsibilities and duties instead of all the time demanding fulfilment of their rights.