Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens are the basic human rights given to Indian citizens by the Constitution of India. The fundamental rights gurantees all basic liberties to Indian citizens and empower them to live their lives in peace and harmony.
The fundamental rights are defined or described in the part 3 of the constitution and they apply to all indian citizens irrespective of their race, religion, caste, creed, sex or place of birth. The articles from 12 to 32 in the part 3 of the constitution contains the fundamental rights. Originally the fundamental rights were classified into seven categories, i.e. there were seven fundamental rights. In 1979, after the elimination of “Right to Property” by the 44th amendment, at present, there are only six categories of fundamental rights or six fundamental rights. The six fundamental rights are as follows:
1) The Right to Equality: The are six articles for the right of equality in the indian constitution, from 14 to 18. Each article talks about a specific right to equality such as:
Article 14: It gurantees equality before law
Article 15: It gurantees prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, caste, race, creed and place of birth.
Article 16: It gurantees equality of opportunities related to public employment
Article 17: It gurantees abolition of untouchability
Article: 18 It gurantees abolition of conferring titles by the state except for military and academic distinctions
2) Right to Freedom: There are five articles in the Indian constitution, from 19 to 22 including 21A, for the right to freedom. A specific right to freedom is provided under each article:
Article 19: There are six different rights to freedom under this article which are as follows:
- Right to freedom of speech and expression
- Right to assemble peacefully without arms
- Right to form association, unions, groups
- Right to travel or move freely throughout India
- Right to live or settle in any part of India
- Right to opt any proffession or carry any trade, bussiness or occupation
Article 20: This article deals with “Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences”
Article 21: This article deals with “Protection of Life and Personal Liberty”
Article 21A: This article guarantees the “Right to Education”. It states that the Indian states will provide free compulsory education to the children of the age of 6 to 14 years.
Article 22: It gurantees “protection against arrest and detention in certain cases”
3) Right Against Exploitation: This right aims to protect the weaker sections of the society against exploitation. There are two articles (23-24) in the Indian constitution for the “right against exploitation”. A specific “right against exploitation” is provided under each article:
Article 23: This article deals with the prohibition of trafficking in human beings and forced labour.
Article 24: This article deals with the prohibition of employment of children. It states that children below the age of 14 years cannot be employed and if employed, it will be a punishable offence.
4) Right to Freedom of Religion This right aims to provide every Indian citizen the freedom to practice and propgate a religion of his or her choice including the freedom to perform rituals as per his or her religion. There are four articles (25-28) in the Indian constitution for the “right to freedom of religion, Each articles talks about a special right:
Article 25: It states that every citizen has the freedom of conscience, and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
Article 26: It guarantees the freedom to manage religious affairs.
Article 27: It gives the freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of a particular religion. Article 28: It gives the freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain institutions.
5) Cultural and Educational Right: This right aims to protect the interests of minorities. There are two articles (29-30) in the Indian constitution for cultural and educational rights of minorities. Each articles talks about a special right:
Article 29: It deals with the protection of interests (language, script, culture, etc) of minorities. Article 30: It deals with the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions to preserve their culture, language and script.
6) Right to Constitutional Remedy: This right aims to protect or safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens of India. It empowers the Indian citizens to move to the supreme court in case of denial of their fundamental rights. It also empowers the supreme court to preserve or protect the fundamental rights of an Indian citizen as described in the Indian constitution.
Article 32: It deals with the remedies for enforcement of fundamental rights.
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