The Fundamental Rights are the six rights, described in Articles 12-35, which protect citizens against many kinds of injustices and discrimination. They have been useful in eradicating untouchability, and other injustices that the minorities faced. These 6 fundamental rights are the most important and must be protected at any cost because the country holds a “democratic” title. These rights prevent the State and the society from taking away the liberty and freedom of any citizen or a section of citizens. Initially, there were 7 fundamental rights but the right to property was scraped in 1978. In case any of these rights are violated, the Supreme Court and the High Courts hold the power to take further action against the guilty. The fundamental rights can be restricted if it causes harm to the constitution and these rights can also be changed or removed but only with a two-thirds majority of each House of Parliament.
- Right to Equality: The right to equality ensures equality before law irrespective of gender, caste, religion.
Article 14: Equality before law: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
Article 15: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.”
Article 16: “There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.”
Article 17: “Abolition of Untouchability”
Article 18: “Abolition of all titles”
- Right to Freedom: (Article 19): Right to:
Freedom of Speech: Every citizen has the right to give their opinions and ideas publicly without fearing censorship.
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of assembling peacefully, without arms: Everybody has the right to hold meetings and processions without arms i.e. peacefully.
Freedom of association: Everybody has the right to form associations and groups to express their ideas.
Freedom to practice any profession
Freedom to reside anywhere in the country
- Right against exploitation: contained in Article 23-24:
It protects the weaker sections of the society against any kind of injustice. Under Article 23, human trafficking is a punishable offense and forced labor is also punishable. Article 24 prohibits child labor, children under the age of 14 years should not be employed to work in any factories, mines, and other hazardous environments.
- Right to Freedom of Religion: Article 25-28
All religions must be respected and everyone has the freedom to practice any religion that they want.
- Cultural and educational right: Article 29-30:
It protects religious, cultural, and linguistic minorities against any kind of discrimination. Article 29 enables any group of a citizen of distinct language and culture, to preserve the same.
- Right to Constitutional Remedies: Article 32-35
If any of the fundamental rights are violated, the citizen can seek remedies from the government and that citizen can go up to the Supreme Court to take action against those who violated the fundamental rights.