Competitive Exams: Composite Culture

Clause (f) of article 51A requires us to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture. It follows that we may not break each other's places of worship, set fire to religious texts, or beat up one another's priests or obstruct those who exercise their Fundamental Right under article 25 to profess, practice and propagate religion. Composite culture means culture drawn from many strands. Here again education in its broadest and best sense can provide the corrective to the aberrations that have occurred. Education is not confined only to the time spent in schools and colleges. Education begins at birth in the subconscious and continues till death. Anyone who says that he has nothing more to learn is already brain-dead.

It follows that the influences that play on a child at home are of great importance. Parents should understand that education begins at home, the examples they set, the environment of enlightenment and tolerance that is necessary to produce good citizens cannot be sub-contracted to formal schooling important though this is. Schemes should, therefore, be framed that include parents in social activities that have as their objective the country's age-old traditions, its welcome to the persecuted of every faith, its virtues of tolerance of and respect for all religions and a certain pride in belonging to this land and in being considered as Indian. The highest office in our democracy is the office of citizen; this is not only a platitude, it must translate into reality.

The distinction is not illusory. This country has given far too much indulgence to an attitude of mind that acts on the question-what is there in it for me? Education and the process of inculcating unselfishness and a sense of obligation to one's fellowmen should inspire the question where does my duty lie? The transformation has the potential to make our nation strong, invincible and able to command the respect of the world.

  • The Commission recommends that the first and foremost step required by the Union and State Governments is to sensitise the people and to create a general awareness of the provisions of fundamental duties amongst the citizens on the lines recommended by the Justice Verma Committee on the subject. Consideration should be given to the ways and means by which Fundamental Duties could be popularized and made effective
  • right to freedom of religion and other freedoms must be jealously guarded and rights of minorities and fellow citizens respected
  • reform of the whole process of education is an immediate but immense need, as is the need to free it from governmental or political control; it is only through education that will power to adhere to our Fundamental Duties as citizens can be inculcated
  • duty to vote at elections, actively participate in the democratic process of governance and to pay taxes should be included in article 51A. The Commission fully endorses the other recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee on operationalisation of Fundamental Duties of Citizens and strongly suggests their early implementation.

The Commission also recommends that the following should be incorporated as fundamental duties in article 51A of the Constitution

  • To fosters a spirit of family values and responsible parenthood in the matter of education, physical and moral well-being of children.
  • Duty of industrial organizations to provide education to children of their employees.