Fundamental Rights of Indians
Fundamental Rights is a charter of rights contained in the Constitution of India. Fundamental Rights assured to all Indians ensure that we live in peace and harmony as Citizens of India. In this article, we look at the Fundamental Rights of Indian Citizen as per the Indian Constitution.
Right to Equality
Right to equality ensures that every citizen is the same under the law. Hence, any person irrespective of age, gender, caste, creed, religion, language and social status are considered equal. Right to equality ensures that all persons are treated equally. Right to equality makes discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth, and equality – illegal in India.
The following Articles in the Constitution ensure right to equality for all Indians:
- Article 14 : Equality before law
- Article 15 : Prohibition of discrimination on grounds only of sex, religion, race, caste, or place of birth.
- Article 16 : Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
- Article 17 : Abolition of untouchability
- Article 18 : Abolition of titles, Military and academic distinctions are exempted
Right to Freedom
Indian Citizens enjoy six freedoms as per the Constitution. Right to freedom ensures that Indian citizens can carry out their daily lives peacefully without undue restriction, harassment or oversight by the Government.
Six fundamental freedom provided under Article 19 of the Constitution are:
- Freedom of speech and expression
- Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms
- Freedom to form associations or unions or co-operative societies
- Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India
- Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India
- Freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
In addition to Article 19 above, the following Articles of the Constitution ensure right to freedom for all Indian Citizens:
- Article 20 : Protection in respect of conviction for offences
- Article 21 : Protection of life and personal liberty
- Article 22 : Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases
Right against Exploitation
All Indian Citizens enjoy a right against being exploited or misused. The right against exploitation provided under the Constitution protects children, the vulnerable and the poor from bonded labour, child labour and human trafficking.
The following Articles in the Constitution ensure right against exploitation for all Indians:
- Article 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
- Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children (No Indian below the age of 14 years can be employed)
Right to Freedom of Religion
India is a secular country with people of different faiths living in harmony. Indian citizens can practice a religion of choice and perform rituals or activities as per their religious customs. According to the Constitution, all religions are equal before the State and no religion shall be given preference over the other. Further, Indian Citizens are free to preach, practice and propagate any religion of their choice.
The following Articles in the Constitution ensure right to freedom of religion:
- Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion
- Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs
- Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion – No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religions denomination
- Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions
Cultural and Educational Rights
The Cultural and Education Rights provided in the Constitution are designed to protect the rights and customs of the minorities. Further, the Constitution provides for any community that has a language and a script of its own has the right to conserve and develop it.
The following Articles in the Constitution protect cultural and education rights:
- Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities
- Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions
Right to Constitutional Remedies
Right to Constitution Remedies empowers an Indian citizens to approach a court of law, in case of any denial of the fundamental rights. This right gives also empowers Courts to preserve or safeguard the citizens’ fundamental rights as laid out in the Constitution.