History of the Demand for Fundamental Rights in India.

What are Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution?

The Fundamental Rights are defined as the basic human rights of all citizens. These rightsdefined in Part III of the Constitution, applied irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, or gender. They are enforceable by the courts, subject to specific restrictions.


In India, the Simon Commission and the Joint Parliamentary Committee which were responsible for the Government of India Act 1935, had rejected the idea of enacting declarations of fundamental rights on the ground that “abstract declarations are useless, unless there exict the will and the means to make them effective”. But nationalist opinion, since the time of the Nehru Report, was definitely in favour of a Bill of Rights, because the experience gathered from the British regime was that a subservient Legislature might serve as a handmaid to the Executive in committing inroads upon individual liberty.

Regardless of the British opinion, therefore, the makers of our Constistution adopted Fundamental Rights to safeguard indidvisual liberty and also for ensuring (together with the Directive Principles) social, economic and political justice for every member of the community. That they have succeeded in this venture is the testimony of an ardent observer of the Indian Contitution.

"In India it appears that the Fundamental Rights have both created a new equality. . . and have helped to preserve individual liberty. . . The number of rights cases brought before High Courts and the Supreme Courts attest to the value of the Rights, and the frequent use of prerogative writs testifies to their popular acceptance as well. The classic arguments against the inclusion of written rights in a have not been born out in India. In fact, the reverse may have been the case."

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