The Fundamental Rights embodied in the Indian constitution acts as a guarantee that all Indian citizens can and will lead their lives in peace as long as they live in Indian democracy. These civil liberties take precedence over any other law of the land. They include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before the law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights such as habeas corpus.
In addition, the Fundamental Rights for Indians are aimed at overturning the inequities of past social practices. They have also been used to in successfully abolishing the "untouchability"; prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth; and forbid trafficking in human beings and also the forced labor. They go beyond conventional civil liberties in protecting cultural and educational rights of minorities by ensuring that minorities may preserve their distinctive languages and establish and administer their own education institutions.
Originally, the right to property was also included in the Fundamental Rights; however, the Forty-fourth Amendment, passed in 1978, revised the status of property rights by stating that "No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law." Freedom of speech and expression, generally interpreted to include freedom of the press, can be limited " in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence" Here we have defined the six fundamental rights as per the constitution of India:-
(1.) THE RIGHT TO EQUALITY
The right to equality is one of the six rights that have been granted to us. In the Indian Constitution these rights have been described as: The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of (1.) religion, (2.) race, (3.) caste, (4.) sex, and (5.) place of birth or(6.) any of them.
No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
(2.) Equal opportunity for all
There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.
Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment.
Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from considering any unfilled vacancies of a year which are reserved for being filled up in that year in accordance with any provision for reservation made under clause (4) or clause (4A) as a separate class of vacancies to be filled up in any succeeding year or years and such class of vacancies shall not be considered together with the vacancies of the year in which they are being filled up for determining the ceiling of fifty per cent. reservation on total number of vacancies of that year.
Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination.
(3.) THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM
The right to freedom is one of the most important fundamental right that have been granted to us by the founders of Indian Constitution. This right allow every citizen of India to be free from the ancient form of slavery. This fundamental right is described in the constitution as:
All citizens shall have the right-
• To freedom of speech and expression;
• To assemble peaceably and without arms;
• To form associations or unions;
• To move freely throughout the territory of India;
• To reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
• to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of _16[the sovereignty and integrity of India,] the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
Nothing in sub-clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of _16[the sovereignty and integrity of India or] public order, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause.
Nothing in sub-clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of _16[the sovereignty and integrity of India or] public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause.
Nothing in _17[sub-clauses (d) and (e)] of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub-clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe.
Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause, and, in particular, _18[nothing in the said sub-clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to, or prevent the State from making any law relating to,- the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.
(4.) THE CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS
The Cultural and Educational Rights is one of the six fundamental right that have been granted to us in the Indian Constitution. This right allow every citizen of India to have a cultural and education upto where that person wants. This fundamental right is described in the constitution as:
Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part there of having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.
No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of any educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause.
The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
(5.) THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION
The right to freedom of religion allows Indian citizens to choose any religion that he/she wants to choose. This fundamental right was chossen after lot of thought regarding the process of person chossing his / her own religion. This fundamental right is described in the constitution as:
The right to freedom of religion is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. Article 25 reads as follows:-
Article 25. (1). Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.
Article 25. (2). Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law: -
(a) Regulating or restricting any economic financial political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) Providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.
This Article guarantees that every person in India shall have the freedom of conscience and shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate religion, subject to the restrictions that may be imposed by the State on the following grounds, namely:-
(1) Public order, morality and health;
(2) Other provisions of the Constitution;
(3) Regulation of non-religious activity associated with religious practise;
(4) Social welfare and reform;
(5) Throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes of Hindus.
(6.) THE RIGHT AGAINST EXPLOITATION
The right against exploitation allows Indian citizens to stand up against any kind of exploitation that he/ she might be going through. This fundamental right is described in the constitution as: Article 23. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.-
(1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
Article 24. Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.- No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
THE RIGHT TO CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDIES
The right to constitutional remedies allows Indian citizens to stand up up for their rights against anybody even the government of India. This fundamental right is described in the constitution as:
Article 32. Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part.-
(1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part.
(3) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by clauses (1) and (2), Parliament may by law empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under clause (2).
(4) The right guaranteed by this article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution.
Article 33. Power of Parliament to modify the rights conferred by this Part in their application to Forces, etc.- Parliament may, by law, determine to what extent any of the rights conferred by this Part shall, in their application to:-
(a) The members of the Armed Forces; or
(b) The members of the Forces charged with the maintenance of public order; or
(c) Persons employed in any bureau or other organisation established by the State for purposes of intelligence or counter intelligence; or
(d) Persons employed in, or in connection with, the telecommunication systems set up for the purposes of any Force, bureau or organisation referred to in clauses (a) to (c), be restricted or abrogated so as to ensure the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.
Article 34. Restriction on rights conferred by this Part while martial law is in force in any area.- Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, Parliament may by law indemnify any person in the service of the Union or of a State or any other person in respect of any act done by him in connection with the maintenance or restoration of order in any area within the territory of India where martial law was in force or validate any sentence passed, punishment inflicted, forfeiture ordered or other act done under martial law in such area.
Article 35. Legislation to give effect to the provisions of this Part.- Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-
(a) Parliament shall have, and the Legislature of a State shall not have, power to make laws-
(i) with respect to any of the matters which under clause (3) of article 16, clause (3) of article 32, article 33 and article 34 may be provided for by law made by Parliament; and
(ii) for prescribing punishment for those acts which are declared to be offences under this Part; and Parliament shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Constitution, make laws for prescribing punishment for the acts referred to in sub-clause (ii)
(b) any law in force immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in the territory of India with respect to any of the matters referred to in sub-clause (i) of clause (a) or providing for punishment for any act referred to in sub-clause (ii) of that clause shall, subject to the terms thereof and to any adaptations and modifications that may be made therein under article 372, continue in force until altered or repealed or amended by Parliament.
These Fundamental rights have been provided at the cost of some fundamental duties. These are considered as the duties that must be and should be performed by every citizen of India. These fundamental duties are defined as: It shall be the duty of every citizens of India: -
1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
8. To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.