Importance of Fundamental Rights

The topic of fundamental rights is one of the important topics of Indian Polity. It is significant to the aspirants because this subject has significant weightage both in prelims and mains, and there are chances that aspirants might be questioned about their country’s fundamental rights in the interview round also. Indian Polity and Constitution subjects are more factual in nature because the aspirants have to remember a lot of minute details, and also be clear with the interpretation. 

Even though the aspirants read the polity notes multiple times, they get tricked in the UPSC paper, as the questions asked from the static part of Indian Polity are analytical in nature, and need appropriate interpretation. Therefore, it is significant to have a better understanding and clarity of topics in the Indian Polity subject. The Fundamental Rights are enshrined in Part III of the Indian Constitution, and it is known as the Magna Carta of India. The framers of the Indian Constitution derived inspiration from the Constitution of the USA (i.e., Bill of Rights). It is one of the important parts of the Indian Constitution and everyone should be aware of the importance of fundamental rights.

What is the Importance of Fundamental Rights?

People in democratic countries enjoy certain rights, which are protected by the judicial system of the country. Their violation, even by the state, is not allowed by the courts. India respects the rights of the people, which are listed in our Constitution, under the heading “Fundamental Rights”. Fundamental rights are enumerated in Part III, from Articles 14 to 32.

Originally, there were seven fundamental rights in the constitution. However, the right to property was deleted from the list of fundamental rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978 and made a legal right under Article 300-A in Part XII of the constitution. At present, there are only six fundamental rights.

Let's discuss the significance of fundamental rights. This article will be useful for both beginners and candidates who are already familiar with this topic.

  Fundamental rights are considered the basic principles of the Indian democratic system. Without these rights, it is difficult to have a democratic system in place.

●  These rights play a pivotal role in providing the necessary conditions for the material and moral protection of the citizens. These rights ensure the fullest physical, mental and moral development of every citizen. They protect the interests of the minorities, and also empower them.

     These rights uphold the equality and dignity of all individuals, the larger public interest and the unity of the nation.

    Fundamental rights provide a sense of security, and freedom for the minorities and marginalised groups of the Indian society. They derive many rights to protect from the majorities and tyranny of the government.

 The fundamental rights are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land. They are fundamental, also in the sense that they are most essential for the all-round development (material, intellectual, moral and spiritual) of the individuals.

     These rights strike a balance between the rights of the individual and those of the society as a whole, between individual liberty and social control.

     Fundamental rights were included in the Constitution of India to promote the ideal of political democracy. They prevent the establishment of an authoritarian and despotic rule in the country, and protect the liberties and freedoms of the people against the invasion by the state.

     Our Constitution does not permit the legislature and the executive to curb these rights, either by law or by executive order.

  These rights operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature. In short, these rights aim at establishing ‘a government of laws and not of men’.

     Fundamental rights provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice and fair play. They serve as a check on the government. Various social, religious, economic and political problems in our country make fundamental rights important.

     They facilitate the establishment of rule of law in the country. However, they are not sacrosanct or permanent. The Parliament can curtail or repeal them, but only by a constitutional amendment act and not by an ordinary act.

   Some fundamental rights are also enjoyed by foreigners, for example, the Right to Equality before Law and the Right to Freedom of Religion are enjoyed by both, i.e., citizens as well as foreigners.

   Fundamental rights strengthen the secular fabric of the state. India is a multicultural, multi-linguistic and multi-religious country. These rights interpret that people are equally entitled to freedom of conscience, and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.

  These rights are justiciable in nature, thus allowing persons to move to the courts for their enforcement, if and when they are violated. They are defended and guaranteed by the Supreme Court. Hence, the aggrieved person can directly go to the Supreme Court, not necessarily by way of appeal against the judgement of the High Courts.

  The fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution are more elaborate than those found in the Constitution of any other country in the world, including the United States of America.

This is one of the important topics to master in Indian Polity, which would be useful for both prelims and mains answer writing. Any doubt related to dates, eligibility, notification, vacancy, age limit, number of attempts, and stages of the UPSC exams, check the linked article.