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Mains Answer Writing

20-February-2024

Q1) “Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood of all Indians – a feeling of oneness and commonness – despite the diversities of caste, creed, language or religion.” Discuss the significance of the concept of fraternity in the Indian Constitution. How do the various constitutional provisions promote fraternity among all citizens?

(250 Words/15 Marks)

ANSWER

Establishing and reinforcing fraternity among all Indians transcending differences of caste, creed, language, or religion is one of the basic objectives of the Constitution of India as outlined in its preamble.

The concept of fraternity in the constitution is significant for the following reasons:

  1. Overcoming barriers to unity: Fraternity among Indians promotes patriotism and a commitment towards the unity and integrity of the nation. It militates against communalism, regionalism, and separatism.
  2. Social democracy: Fraternity becomes a way of life for socially responsible people who undertake social activism for public causes.

E.g., the 2012 Nirbhaya protests, RTI movement by MKSS etc.

  1. Constitutional morality: Fraternity is a key to overcome regressive social attitudes that blind the people towards social injustice.

E.g., annihilation of caste, gender justice etc.

  1. Inclusive Development:
  2. a) Sense of fraternity goads responsible citizenry to pays its taxes honestly. It enables the welfare state to work for the upliftment of the proverbial last man of Gandhiji’s Talisman.
  3. b) Fraternity is key to move towards the goals of rapid economic growth and prosperity. It broadens the social base of growth by utilizing the demographic dividend, such as through greater participation of women in public life, better education, and health etc.

 

The various constitutional provisions that promote fraternity among all citizens in India are as follows:

  1. Preamble: The Preamble of the Indian Constitution emphasizes fraternity as one of its core values. It outlines among its objectives securing to all citizens, fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.
  2. Citizenship: Articles 5-11 (Part II) of the Constitution promotes the feeling of fraternity through a single citizenship system.
  3. Fundamental Rights: The fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, such as the right to equality, freedom of religion, and the prohibition of untouchability promote fraternity. These rights ensure that every citizen is treated with dignity and respect, irrespective of their identity.
  4. The Directive Principles of State Policy provide guidance to the government in achieving social and economic justice to overcome social inequality.

E.g., minimizing inequalities in income, status, facilities, and opportunity (article 38)

  1. Fundamental duty: Article 51A(e) of the Indian constitution prescribes the duty for every citizen to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectional diversities.
  2. Schedule V and VI of the Indian Constitution are instrumental in fostering fraternity by addressing the development gaps in tribal areas. These schedules recognize the unique sociocultural identity and autonomy of tribal communities while simultaneously striving for their integration into the larger national framework.

 

Fraternity is one of the three principles of the French Revolution and remains ever so relevant in an era of hate speech, communal violence, vote-bank politics etc. Without a sense of fraternity, the nation cannot advance towards goals of development and prosperity. Thus, it is incumbent upon the government, civil society, and individuals to engage in promotion of constitutional fraternity for a harmonious society.

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