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Article 51A of the Constitution of India lays down the following duties for every citizen of the country:-
  • 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 or sectional 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 wild life , 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
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement

The scope of duties mentioned above is very wide and practically covers almost everything one does. Most of us as a  common citizen hardly know that we have any fundamental duties!!!! What we only know is Fundamental Rights!!! But we must know that the enjoyment of rights would indirectly depend on whether we are doing our duties because lapses by any one of us in the duties would result in the violation of rights of others and sometimes even ourselves.

     Following the law and helping the law enforcement agencies is also a basic duty. Failure to follow a law or breaking provisions of it either by omission or commission can lead to curtailment of rights and other unpleasant situations. Even more care is needed because  'Ignorance of law is no excuse' is a basic premise of the criminal jurisprudence followed in our country. It means that no person can claim that he did not know the law when being tried or punished for an offence . The task of enumerating the do's and dont's  under various laws is very difficult because the laws are so many!!!!! This  shows the importance of being aware of at least the common traps one falls into which could lead to serious trouble. Some are :-

  • Do not use violent means for any thing you do except when there is grave threat to the life and property or chastity of a female
  • Do not obstruct the working of any officer on government duty - if you have grievances put them to proper authority
  • Do not infringe on anybody else's rights to enjoy your rights - forcible road/train blockade , forcible closure of shops to press for a bandh , are not lawful even for a political cause or emotional reason or any accident
  • Damaging public property or private property of someone else during agitation or otherwise can have grave repercussions
  •  Keep proper records of your possessions especially if you need a license or permit for their lawful use - arms , explosives , vehicles, etc
  • Have knowledge of traffic rules - sometimes you end up paying fines for basic lapses
  • Pay all monies due to the government on time - delay can sometimes have harsh penal consequences besides fine
  • Ensure proper permissions before taking out processions and organizing sit ins
  • Do not jump to conclusions based on rumors / do not spread them - verify and inform concerned authority for needful action 
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