Fundamental rights and duties of citizens should not be viewed in isolation from each other as they are heavily dependent on each other, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister was speaking to students at the second Pariksha Pe Charcha, an event where a large number of students, teachers and parents had gathered to interact with him.
He responded to queries from students on how to deal with the pressures of examinations and the role of extracurricular activities in wholistic development.
“Today, I am talking to students who would be playing a key role in India’s development in 2047, when we mark a hundred years since independence. I hope this generation takes it upon themselves to act on some of the Fundamental Duties enshrined in our Constitution,” Modi said.
In response to queries from students on Fundamental Duties, Modi said, “The problem begins from how we say rights and duties together. It appears as if the rights and duties are two separate structures. This is not a correct approach. Our duties form the basis of everybody’s rights.”
“If I uphold my responsibility as a teacher, aren’t the rights of a student upheld? This means that rights are duties are not conflicting. Mahatma Gandhi used to urge that there are no fundamental rights, but only fundamental duties. And if we uphold our duties with utmost honesty, there is no need for demanding anything else because the rights will be enshrined within,” he said.
“Sometimes we live up to our responsibilities as family members or residents of a certain region. We should uphold our duties for the sake of the nation. If the country has to be taken forward, one must not shy (away) from taking appropriate steps and responsibilities,” he added.
Suggesting that buying domestically manufactured products is a duty to strengthen the nation, Modi said, “For example by 2022, 75 years from Independence...we can pledge to buy only locally produced goods to the extent possible. Exceptions can be made for those goods that are not available in the country, but one must endeavour to buy as much domestically-manufactured products as possible.”