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Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights are the elements of liberty and freedom that are granted to Indian Citizens. Read on.

People in democratic countries enjoy certain rights that are not denied under any circumstances. Such rights given to the people are known as their ‘Fundamental Rights’. These rights are protected by the judicial system and any individual, group, organization, or State violating them can be taken to court. They play a significant role in people attaining full moral, intellectual, and spiritual status in society. The fundamental rights prevent any individual, organization, and even the State from denying the rights of people, under any given circumstance. There are 6 Fundamental Rights for the citizens of India and the same are listed and described in detail in Chapter III of the Indian Constitution. 

Fundamental Rights of the People:

 Right to Equality

Right to Freedom 

Right against Exploitation

Right to Freedom of Religion

Cultural and Educational Rights, and 

Right to Constitutional Remedies.

What is the meaning of fundamental rights?

Fundamental rights are the essential freedom that is based on the sound principles of human rights, which every Indian citizen enjoys for the proper development of individual personality. 

These 6 fundamental rights according to the Indian Constitution will be discussed in detail in the following section.

Right to Equality: This fundamental right is defined under ‘Articles 14 to 18’ of the Indian constitution. It states that the state shall not deny equality before law under any grounds to any person in the country. It means that all citizens of the country would be treated equally by the law and would not be denied any form of service on any grounds. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution was taken from section 1 of the 14th Amendment of the US constitution. 

Article 15: Non-Discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex, and place of birth

Article 16: Equality of opportunity in Public Employment

Article 17: Prevention and Abolition of Untouchability in the country

Article 18: Abolition of all titles (Exemption for military and academic distinctions) 

Right to Freedom: This fundamental right in the Indian constitution entitles all citizens of the country to the freedom to live with dignity. The right to freedom is regulated under Articles 19, 20, 21, 21A, and 22 of the Indian Constitution. Article 19 protects 6 different freedoms, including, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of trade unions and cooperatives, freedom of movement, housing freedom, and freedom to work. Moving on Article 21 and 21A guarantee the right to life and the right to basic education.

Right against Exploitation: Articles 23 and 24 of the Indian constitution govern the fundamental right against exploitation. Exploitation seems like a pretty narrow term, but it includes activities like child labor, sati, forced prostitution, human trafficking, among other activities promoting exploitation by the upper caste people. People engaging in any of the aforesaid activities are violating the law and committing a criminal offense. 

Right to Freedom of Religion: In India, Articles 25 to 28 of the Indian Constitution provide individuals with the freedom to practice any religion. This right says that being secular is independent of one’s belief in God. This right eliminates such thought processes and ensures that people in the country are not discriminated against on the grounds of religion and caste. 

Cultural and Educational Rights: The cultural and educational rights are provided by articles 29 and 30 of the Indian constitution. These rights help people uphold their language, culture, and traditions. According to this right, no person, organization, or even the State can deprive people of these rights. Articles 29(1) and 29(2) protect the interests of the minorities and Article 30 provides minorities with the right to establish and head educational institutions. Article 30 is alternatively known as the ‘Charter of Educational Rights’. 

Right to Constitutional Remedies: This probably is the most important fundamental right provided by the Indian constitution. The right to constitutional remedies entitles people to move to the High Courts or the Supreme Court in case of any fundamental right violation. Merely listing and describing rights will not be of any help to the people, but there must be a regulation that ensures that the fundamental rights are practiced in society. And this is exactly what the fundamental right to constitutional remedies does. This is proposed by Article 32 of the Indian constitution. 

Conclusion

Fundamental rights are universally accepted basic rights needed by people. The Indian constitution guarantees a total of 6 fundamental rights that cannot be violated under any given circumstance. They are highly important to protect the liberties and freedom of people and to ensure that they are not denied any amenity or service under any grounds. Fundamental rights prevent the establishment of an authoritarian rule in countries and promote the all-round development of people in society.