What are the rights and responsibilities

Dear Student,

Rights are the agreeable claims of an individual over other fellow beings, society and the government. These are such claims that can be made available to all in an equal measure. Thus, a right comes with a responsibility to respect other’s rights. When the socially recognized claims (rights) are written into law in a democracy, they are termed as democratic rights or Fundamental rights. Rights are required for the very existence of a democracy. In a democracy, along with several other rights, every citizen has to have the right to vote and the right to be elected to the government. Rights are similar to guarantees which can be used when things go wrong. Rights greatly protect minorities from the oppression of the majority. In most democracies, the basic rights of the citizen are written down in the Constitution.
In exchange for every right, society expects citizens to do certain things which are collectively known as duties. Some such important duties have been made part of the Indian Constitution also. These are not mandatory but it is expected that citizens will perform their duties willingly. Examples of duties that citizens are expected to perform are- to value and preserve the rich heritage and culture, to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures, etc.

It is noteworthy that in a democracy both rights and duties go hand in hand.

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