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Chapter: 11th Political Science : Chapter 4 : Basic Concepts of Political Science Part II

Rights and Duties

The language of rights has formed part of our moral, legal and political vocabulary for many centuries.




The language of rights has formed part of our moral, legal and political vocabulary for many centuries. Rights are so common in our world that we might suppose that they are woven into a fabric of human rights. The significance of rights in the modern era is not limited to their entrenchment in the constitutions and their announcement in international declarations. If all human beings possess rights merely in virtue of being human, then all humans possess rights merely in virtue of being human, then all humans possess a certain equality of moral standing which cuts across differences of class, caste or race or religion.

Learning Objectives

·              The meaning of rights and its features.

·              Differences between rights and responsibilities.

·              Different types of rights.

·              Directive Principles of State Policy.

·              Political Obligations of the citizens.

·              Citizenship

·              Theoretical aspects of Property.


Respecting Choices

In a democracy, all of the adult citizens can vote in elections. By voting, the people make choices about how their government works.

In an election, the majority wins and the minority loses. However the majority cannot forget the minority. The two groups must still live together. Being in the minority means you accept the choice of the majority. Being in the majority means you respect the minority. People who are in the minority must cooperate with the majority. They can try again to get what they want in the next election. For now, they must go along with what more than 50% of the voters want. 

Respecting each other will help us to live together better. People are free to tell everyone what they think, but they should also respect the opinions of others. Each election gives all sides the chance to say and vote for what they want.

Do you know about rights?

Rights are important conditions of social life without which no person can generally realise his best self. It is only when people get and enjoy rights that they can develop their personalities and contributes their best service to the society.

They are the common claims of the people which every cultures society recognizes as essential claims for their development and which are therefore enforced by the state.

Isaiah Berlin defines rights in terms of positive liberties and negative freedoms. A positive right is an entitlement to: A right to free expression, for instance, entitles one to voice opinions publicly. A negative right is a freedom from; Freedom of person is a right to be free of bodily interference.



v   Rights are the important rational and moral claims of the people for the societal devel-opment.

v   They are available to all the people irrespective of caste, creed, race or gender bias.

v   Rights are duties are interrelated to each other. “No duties, no rights.” “If I have rights it is my duty to respect the rights of others in the society”.

v   Rights are justiciable.

v   Rights are protected and enforced by the laws of the state. It is the duty of the state to protect the rights of the people.


Let us differentiate Rights and Responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities are inseparable. When someone is borne with a lot of responsibilities, they are automatically bestowed upon with enough rights. Rights actually enable an individual to perform their responsibilities in the different roles we play on a day to day basis.


What are your responsibilities?

v   To safeguard the unity and integrity of India.

v   To protect the public property.

v   To conserve and protect the natural re-sources of the country like wildlife, lakes, forests and rivers.

v   To maintain the spirit of brotherhood and create harmony among all irrespective of caste, creed, colour and economic status.

v   To preserve the rich Indian culture and heritage.

v   To maintain the spirit of brotherhood and create harmony.

v   To respect the National Anthem and Na-tional Flag.


Are you aware of the different types of Rights?


i. Natural Rights

a. These rights are parts of human nature and reason. Political theory explains that an individual has certain basic rights and the government cannot deny these rights. In classical political philosophy, “natural right” denotes to the objective rightness of the right things, whether the virtue of a soul the correctness of an action, or the excellence of a regime.


ii. Moral Rights

a.  Moral  rights  include  rules  of  good conduct, courtesy and moral behaviour. Moral Rights include rules of good conduct, courtesy and of moral behaviour and stand for moral perfection of the people.


iii. Legal Rights

Legal rights are equally available to all the citizens and they follow without any discrimination. Legal rights are those which are accepted and enforced by the state. Legal rights are of three types:

v   Civil Rights: These are the rights which provide opportunity to each person to lead a civilized social life and that which are protected by the state. Right to life, liberty and equality are civil rights.

v   Political Rights: These are the rights by virtue of which the people get a share in the political process. These rights include the right to vote, right to get elected, right to hold public office, etc.

v   Economic Rights: These are the rights which provide the economic security to the people. The people are empowered tomake proper use of their civil and political rights. Right to work, right to adequate security, right to social security.

Legal rights are what the law says there are, insofar as the law is enforced. They gain importance through legislation or decree by a legally authorized authority.


iv. Contractual Rights

These rights originate from the practice of promise – keeping. They apply to particular individuals to whom contractual promises have been made. The numerous examples of contractual rights include rights to purchase a product or service, right to sell a product or service.


v. Human Rights

Human Rights are the rights of highest order. They are morally important and are possessed in virtue of the universal moral status of human beings. They are protected and supported by international and national laws and treaties.


Have you heard of Bill of Rights and Fundamental Rights?


The Bill of Rights, in the United States, was adopted as a single unit on December 15, 1791, and they constitute a collection of mutually reinforcing guarantees of individual rights and limitations on federal and state governments.


The Bill of Rights, in the United States, was adopted as a single unit on December 15, 1791, and they constitute a collection of mutually reinforcing guarantees of individual rights and limitations on federal and state governments.

The Bill of Rights derives from the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the colonial struggle against king and Parliament. The United States Bill of Rights plays a central role in American law and government, and remains a fundamental symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation.

Fundamental Rights

India won independence from the British Imperial-colonial rule in 1947.India emerged as democratic, secular country that had high emphasis on Rights.

On August 29, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a drafting committee under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The total number of amendments that were made were approximately 7635, out of which nearly 2473 were actually moved.

The 12th session of the Assembly held on January 24, 1950 elected Rajendra Prasad as the first President of the Indian Union. The legal and political luminaries of the Assembly affixed their signatures on the official copies of the Indian Constitution.

Part-III of the Indian Constitution contains Fundamental Rights that is the critical foundation of the Democratic ethos of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Constitution in its text and scope is the most detailed and the most elaborate in the world. Every minute aspect of the fundamental rights are enumerated in the Constitution which is also one of the important aspects for it to be voluminous. The various facets of the Fundamental Rights are elaborated below:

Right to Equality

It took the Constituent Assembly 2 years 11 months and 20 days to frame the Constitution.

Right to Equality guarantees equality before law to all the people irrespective of their caste, creed, gender and race, etc. It also emphasis on the prevention of discrimination to visit any public places. This permits anyone to visit temples, restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment. It also guarantees equality of opportunity to employment to citizens in Union or states. Right to equality forbids any form of untouchability and considers this as a serious offence.

Right to Freedom

Equality and freedom or liberties are the two kinds of rights necessary for democracy. This article assures freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms, freedom to form associations and to move freely throughout India. Do you know that this Article also provides you the freedom to practise any profession of your choice? Yes, you can. You can set up a clinic, a pharmacy or even a supermarket.

“Duties and rights are inseparable, for the previlege of the later one has to perform the former”.-Mahatma Gandhi

Right to Life and Personal Liberty

No citizen can be denied of his personal liberty. This means no person can be detained without informing the grounds of his arrest. An arrested person has also the liberty to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his choice. Besides this, he is not to be kept under custody beyond 24 hours and must be produced before the Magistrate.

Preventive Detention

Preventive Detention is considered as a check on the actions of the miscreants which is actually the dire need of the hour. If the State feels that a person can be a threat to law and order as well as to peace and security of the nation, it can arrest or detain that person.

Here is a story to tell you the importance of freedom. Read and enjoy!!!

Once there lived a beautiful princess. She was very fond of birds, every morning a little bird used to come to her palace and sing for her. The princess was very happy to see the lovely bird and listen to its music. The bird visited the palace daily and the princess waited eagerly for its visit every day. She was almost in love with the bird and would keep company with her all the day. One day he princess put the bird in a golden cage and served it the best type of food and the bird felt sad. It neither sang or ate anything. In spite of the best food, the bird began to grow weaker day by day and did not sing. One day the princess asked the bird the reason and the bird said, “I want to be set free”. The kind princess set the bird free and the bird flew happily to its freedom. The next day morning the bird was back again with its usual song.

This story tells us that even birds do not want to live in captivity, however well they are fed. Even your pet dog or cat does not like to remain in the clutches of the chain. Man is born free. He loves to lead a free and independent life.

This is the reason why our freedom fighters fought bravely and suffered for the sake of freedom. They preferred death rather than being a slave. This is the importance they gave to freedom and liberty.


Right against Exploitation

There are millions and millions in our country who are exploited and used. They are the underprivileged and the deprived, in the society. In the today’s scenario, human trafficking has become a serious exploitation of human beings. Human trafficking is buying and selling of human beings and treating them as slaves. Apart from human trafficking, child labour is another problem being faced where children are put into forced labour without payment.

This is the reason why the Constitution has provided with the Right against exploitation, wherein trafficking in human beings and beggary are forms of forced labour. It also prohibits the children below the age of 14 years from employment in any factory or mine or any kind of hazardous labour.


Right to Freedom of Religion

In India, all the people have the right to choose their own religion and faith. None can stop them from practising their religion as well as propagating it. These rights include the social as well as the personal aspects of the religion which are enjoyed by every citizen in the country.


Right to freedom of religion guarantees to all persons freedom of conscience and authorises them to profess, practice and propagate any religion subject to the prescribed limitations of public order, morality and health. Article 26 allows establishing and maintaining institutions related to religious affairs and charitable purposes also. You can own a movable or an immovable property and administer the property in accordance with law.


Cultural and Educational Rights

There are certain non-political rights of religious, cultural and linguistic minorities, groups or sections of people. Constitution guarantees these rights for them.

No citizen is denied the admission to the State or the State aided educational institutions owing to caste, creed, gender, etc. The citizens have their right to get educated in any schools or colleges of their choice. If in case the institutions are found to practise discrimination, the government will not extend aid to such institutions. Moreover, the State should not dictate the pattern of education to these institutions too and must allow them to decide in order to preserve our culture.

Right to Constitutional Remedies

Constitutional Remedies provides the rights to the citizens to move the Supreme Court or the High Court to protect their rights. Article 32 provides the remedies to the citizens at the Supreme Court while Article 226 by the High Court. The courts can issue writs or orders in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto and Prohibition or Injunction.



Therefore, fundamental rights are critical and instrumental in protecting the rights and liberties of the individuals in the country.By doing so, they establish the democratic way of living through these cardinal principles of equality and justice.


Fundamental Rights therefore constitute the cornerstone of our national liberty, which are cherished and attained after trials and tribulations.


Be aware of the new rights !!!


Right to Information


Do you have any queries to the Government? You can very well ask them about how they work and who are the members who aid in their working. Wondering how? Yes, Right to Information Act of 2005 provides you this with this mandate of posing queries to the working of the Government. This is to empower the citizens and initiate transparency and accountability. An informed citizen is kept more vigil on the instruments governing the functions of the government thereby making them accountable.


Right to Privacy


People of India will surely not surrender the most precious aspects of human persona, like, life, liberty and freedom. The citizen will surely not surrender all these rights to th emercy of the state. Right to privacy is moreover an integral part of human dignity. “The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”


Rights of Transgenders


Who are transgenders? Have you seen them? Yes, transgender people are individuals of any age or sex and their appearance and characteristics are different from how men and women are supposed to be. They exist in every culture, race and class, ages back. Today they are addressed as the third gender. The Supreme Court has infact directed the Union and the State Governments to grant legal recognition of their gender identity. Moreover, the fundamental rights must be available. They are also entitled with the provision of public health and sanitation and socio-economic rights.


Directive Principles of State Policy


Part-IV of the Indian Constitution is Directive Principles of State Policy. It constitutes the most comprehensive political, economic and social programme for the welfare state. They have set up the blueprint for a humanitarian socialistic perspective. The Directive Principles are a set of rules enforced upon the State to direct policies towards securing adequate means of livelihood for men and women equally. It also enforces equal pay for equal work for both men and women. These principles ensures a decent standard of living and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities.


The incorporation of Gandhian Principles under the Directive Principles of State Policy directs in promoting cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in the rural areas. These principles also endeavour in controlling the consumption of intoxicants


Liberal Democratic Principles of the Directive Principles helps in securing a uniform civil code throughout the country. It also seeks to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the age group of 6 and 14 years. It also ensures that no child is subjected to any physical punishment or mental harassment.

Fundamental Rights

Articles 14–18 : Right to Equality

Articles 19-22 : Right to Freedom

Articles 23–24 : Right against Exploitation

Articles 25–28 : Right to Freedom of Religion

Articles 29–30 : Cultural and Educational Rights

Article 32 : Right to Constitutional Remedies

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11th Political Science : Chapter 4 : Basic Concepts of Political Science Part II : Rights and Duties |

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