A false conflation between duties and rights

News Today 16.12.2021

Should our rights coalesce with our duties? In recent times, it has been something of a constant refrain of the governing class to advocate an integration of duty with right. By duty here they do not mean the concomitant obligations that spring out of constitutional promises, but a set of ideals that were written into the Constitution during the acme of the Indira Gandhi-imposed Emergency. In their belief, these otherwise non-binding obligations — the “fundamental duties” as Article 51A describes them — ought to be treated on a par with, if not superior to, the various fundamental rights that the Constitution guarantees. In an inversion of the well-known dictum, they see duties, and not rights, as trumps. (Read More)

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