Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Need to remember our fundamental duties

Every citizen plays a key role in building a New India. Everyone performing their duties, even mechanically, would pave the way for a better neighborhood, better society, and ultimately, a better country.
By IASToppers
November 27, 2019


  • Introduction
  • Citizen’s responsibilities in ancient India
  • Quotes on Importance of citizen’s responsibilities
  • Duties of Indian Citizens
  • Examples of Citizen’s responsibility in world
  • Conclusion

Need to remember our fundamental duties

For IASToppers’ Editorial Simplified Archive, click here 


The idea of citizenship has acquired a new meaning, content and purpose in the democratic world. While emphasizing on rights, it very important that one is also sincere about his or her duties towards the society at large and the country.


Citizen’s responsibilities in ancient India

  • Since ancient times, people in India have had a tradition of performing their duties. Since time immemorial, an individual’s kartavya — the performance of one’s duties towards society, his/her country and his/her parents — was emphasised.
  • However, Modern civilisations do not offer many inducements for the performance of duties.

Quotes on Importance of citizen’s responsibilities

  • Chanakya: “It is a king’s utmost duty to look after the progress and welfare of the people of his country”.
  • Rig Veda: “O, citizens of Bharat! As our ancient saints and seers, leaders and preceptors have performed their duties righteously, similarly, you shall not falter to execute your duties”.
  • Lord Krishna (In Gita): “One should do one’s duties without expectation of any fruits”.
  • Mahatma Gandhi: “The very performance of a duty secures us our right. Rights cannot be divorced from duties. This is how satyagraha was born, for I was always striving to decide what my duty was. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek”.
  • Swami Vivekananda: “It is the duty of every person to contribute in the development and progress of India”.

The Bhagwad Gita and Ramayana also ask people to perform their duties.

Duties of Indian Citizens


  • Most of the fundamental duties, as enshrined in Article 51A, refer to values, which have been part of Indian tradition, mythology, religion and practices.
  • A very significant feature of Indian Constitution is that it balances citizens’ rights and duties.
  • For example, freedom of speech is a right of citizen but Article 19 permits reasonable restrictions on the exercise of such rights in the interest of integrity of India, and the security of the state. This implies that while exercising one’s rights must remember one’s duties towards these constitutional concepts.

Examples of Citizen’s responsibility in world


  • When a person becomes citizen of USA, he/she is given a document called ‘The Citizens’ Almanac’, which details the responsibilities of its citizens.
  • Every year, during September 17-23, Americans celebrate the “Constitution Week”, to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.


  • Due to its emphasis on the pursuit of duties by its citizens, Singapore has transformed from a less developed nation to a highly developed one in a short span of time.


Fundamental Duties must serve as a constant reminder of national goals as well as inculcate a profound sense of social responsibility. It is only through the fulfillment of duties, that we can live life to our truest potential and help lead nation towards prosperity. In fact, democracy cannot establish deep roots in society until the citizens don’t complement fundamental rights with their fundamental duties.


Mains 2020 Editorial Notes

IT on Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget


Calendar Archive

October 2020
« Sep