What Are Rights? What are Duties Or Obligations?6 min read

by Politic360 Publishers
Rights And Duties

In his book “The Ethical Basis of the State,” Norman Wilde defines right as, “A right is a reasonable claim of freedom in the exercise of certain activities.” 

According to the English idealist philosopher T. H. Green,” A right is a power claimed and recognized as contributory to the common good.”

Right is a claim or power of an individual to do or have something recognized and protected by the State and followed by the duties or obligations. 

Right is an entitlement granted under law. So, a right is a claim, only available in and protected by the state, followed by the duties.

Types Of Human Rights

Civil Rights

Civil Rights are those rights which are granted by the state and protected by private and public law. These rights deal with the person’s personal affairs. Civil Rights may be classified as follows: 

  • Right To Live 

This right is the basic and the supreme right of the people. Without life, individuals, societies, and states have no existence. 

Life is nothing if not protected by the state. A person cannot be deprived of this right without a legal base. 

This right means that an individual has the right to self-defense in case of danger to his life. 

Right to Live is conditional that government can withdraw its safeguard during the war, aggression, or emergency. 

This right may be taken if fatal for the state or collective interests.

  • Right Of Movement

Everyone is free and can move from one place to the other without any resistance. 

Any person or institution cannot obstruct an individual’s free movement unless the person commits an offense proved before a court; he can be imprisoned. 

This right is conditional and can be restricted in case of national crises or if it is dangerous for the state and its citizens. 

  • Right To Education

People are allowed to get an education according to their capacities. Primary education is now compulsory in the whole world. 

No one can be deprived of this right based on race, color, language, religion, and other distinctions. 

Without education, one cannot improve his personality or fulfill his national responsibilities. 

Education is a must for polishing the qualities of individuals. 

  • Right Of Religion 

It is the basic right of individuals to adopt and follow any religion or creed. The state cannot compel any citizen to follow any particular religion or creed.

 Individuals also have the right to establish their places of worship and can make religious associations and educational institutions. 

  • Right Of Popularity And Fame

A person has the right to maintain the respect and fame that he has got through his struggle and intellectual work. No one is allowed to harm this right, and in case this right is endangered, an individual can table a lawsuit of defamation in a court of law. 

  • Right To Association

Individuals have the right to establish any association that is helpful to humanity. 

Individuals may form social, economic, political, and religious associations. 

Government is to protect such associations of human beings. 

This right is also conditional, for these associations are prohibited when they threaten the country’s peace. 

  • Right To Family Life

Family is the starting unit of society. Government grants various rights to maintain the family life. 

For Example,the right to marriage, divorce, privacy, and inheritance. Family is the training institution of the people. 

Economic Rights

These are the rights that deal with earning the daily bread. These types of rights have the given kinds: 

  • Property Rights

Various states provide their citizens the right to have property. They are allowed to earn income from land, shops, industries, and other legitimate sources. 

It is the right to have a movable and immovable property, and people have the right to destroy, exchange, or sell the property without any external interference. 

The socialists deny this right because the right of property is a source of exploitation of man by man. 

This right is a must for constructive competition, and it attracts people to work. 

  • Right To Work And Profession

Everyone is allowed to work and adopt any profession he likes. 

Right to work is very necessary because work is a source of earning. 

Equal opportunities for employment and work must be guaranteed to all without any discrimination. 

It will enable people to work according to their capabilities and potential. 

  • Right To Contract 

States are to give their citizens the right of contract or agreement. 

They can freely make contracts between themselves regarding trade, industries, and other economic affairs. 

Like other rights, if the right of contract endangers the general interests or national security, the state may withdraw this right. 

  • Right Of Union

People have the right to establish their unions to protect and improve their economic interests. Examples are trade unions, labor unions, medical associations, and teachers’ unions. This right may be withdrawn if used against the general interests and national security. 

Political Rights

These are the rights of the citizens that deal with state affairs, governments, or political participation. Its classification is as follows. 

  • Right To Vote

Today, every individual has the right to vote in favor of their favorite political party or candidate. 

This right is guaranteed to all adult citizens irrespective of any distinction.   

  • Right To Contest Elections

All citizens (within the limits of the state laws) have the right to contest elections as a candidate. 

One may become a member of the legislature and even a member of the government.  

  • Right To Public Office

All citizens of a state have the right to get any public office if they fulfill the required terms and conditions. 

Equal opportunities are provided to all citizens without any discrimination. 

Any citizen can reach the top of the public service but within the context of the state laws. 

  • Right To Speech And Demonstration 

In democracies, the citizens have the right to appreciate or criticize the government through speeches, meetings, demonstrations, processions, statements, etc. 

Communist states also provide such rights but not against the communist party. 

Such rights are illegal if they are used against the integrity of the state. 

  • Right To Make Political Parties

Politics is a game that cannot be played without political parties.

If many citizens have the same political ideas, they can form a political party or affiliate with any political party. 

Such rights are especially denied in the socialist states where only a single party, the communist party, has a monopoly. 

Duties Or Obligations 

There is a deep relationship between rights and duties. 

Rights without duties are a hollow body, and duties without rights are valueless. 

It is the right of a citizen to cast a vote, but on the other side, he must cast his vote keeping in view the best interests of the state and community.

It is a right to move, but it is an obligation to move but not against the state. 

Such a relationship shows that balance in rights and obligations is in the state’s and peoples’ best interests. 

If there is no balance between the two, it will endanger the social and political setup. 

The important duties/responsibilities are: 

Personal Duties

The duties that belong to a person of the citizens: 

  • Use Of Rights

All citizens are to perform the duty to use their rights, and they should get maximum benefits from the rights given and guaranteed by the state. 

They must protect their rights with bravery. People are the self-protectors of their rights. They should not wait or trust others to guard their rights. 

When their rights are in danger, citizens must be alert to cope with these dangers and problems. 

  • To Grow Physical And Mental Capabilities 

It is a personal duty to try the growth of physical and mental capabilities. 

To utilize their qualities, people must concentrate their attention on getting knowledge and avail all possible chances. 

Knowledge is power and a device through which one can change his raw personality into good citizenship or faculty of good actions. 

  • Respect for Others’ Rights

Rights can be protected only when one respects others’ rights. 

It is a morally based obligation to guard others’ rights, and it will protect one’s rights.

 It is said, “your liberty stops where my nose starts.” 

The overall concept of rights is exercisable only if one another rights are wholeheartedly respected. 

  • Performing Social Duties

The society comprises families, villages, cities, and communities, while these social institutions are the starting and founding stones of human civilization. 

Citizens are the members of these social units, and they have to fulfill certain duties in this connection. 

If an individual performs his duties in the best manner and with zeal, these social institutions will strengthen. 

As a result, the human relationship will develop. The strength and development of these basic social units are essential for the betterment of the top human institution, the state. 

Duties Relating To State

  •  Patriotism 

It is the main duty of a citizen to be loyal to the state and must give preference to the national interests and collective welfare. 

A citizen should work hard for the best of the state and must offer all types of sacrifices. 

The state is nothing but a human institution working for her people’s welfare and civilized uplift. 

Therefore it is a moral obligation of the citizens to guard the state and protect it from internal conspirators and external aggressors. 

  • Respect Of Law 

Law is the rules made, executed, and adjudicated by the government to prevent tussles and differences among the citizens on the one hand and between the government and citizens on the other. 

Law must be respected and obeyed, and if a law is enacted against the people’s interests, it is the right of the individuals to demonstrate against but not in forcible ways. 

  • Adequate Use Of Political Rights

All individuals have the right to vote, criticize, demonstrate, make a political party, arrange processions, and arrange public meetings. But the most related responsibility or duty is to use these rights in the light of the general interests. 

National and general interests must be superior to regional or general interests while using these political rights. 

  • Payment Of Taxes

Tax payment is a vital obligation of the citizens. The state provides rights and opportunities to earn wealth and adopt any profession, and the state protects these opportunities. 

The national treasury is used for the defense and welfare of the people. Therefore it is a must that citizens should pay taxes.

  • Cooperation With Government

In the whole world, states alone cannot solve all issues and problems of the citizens. The government runs a state administration, and the government is nothing without our cooperation. 

It is a significant duty of the individuals to cooperate with the government. 

Citizens are to point out all those activities, actions, and social evils that are hazardous to the development of the state.

Crimes can be rooted out only when citizens cooperate; otherwise, the government’s decline becomes a sour fact.

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