On rights and duties, it is important to understand the relationship between citizen and the state. Fundamental rights are not granted by the state, but rather, affirmed by the Constitution; the state is *unconditionally* obligated to respect & protect fundamental rights.

In fact, fundamental rights are enforceable against the state. They define the core liberty that the state cannot take away from the citizen. This the lynchpin of liberal democracy.

Of course a citizen has duties with respect to the duties, because dharmo rakshati rakshitaah; we must protect the state so that it might protect our liberty. However, this is neither an obligation, nor enforceable without violating fundamental rights.

How can you enforce a duty (to cherish the values of the freedom struggle) without violating a citizen’s freedom of thought and expression? You can enforce duties by violating rights; but violating rights breaks the compact between citizen and state.


Ambedkar & the founders of the Constitution didn’t include fundamental duties because they cared about liberty.
The Emergency government of Indira Gandhi included fundamental duties after having suspended fundamental rights.

Just like adding the word “secular”, it was superfluous to include Fundamental Duties in the Constitution. They are implied.

The word “socialist” was not superfluous…it was perverse because the Constituent Assembly deliberately decided to exclude the word.

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