|The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights are defined as basic human freedoms which every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy for a proper and harmonious development of personality. These rights universally apply to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, color or sex. They are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain restrictions.
Earlier there were six fundamental rights but now there are seven rights. The seventh right was included in 2002 as per 86th amendment.
The seven fundamental rights are:
- Right to equality: It means equality before law and prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment.
- Right to freedom: It ensures freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation.
- Right against exploitation: It prohibits all forms of forced labor, child labor and traffic in human beings.
- Right to freedom of religion: It provides religious freedom to all citizens of India. The objective of this right is to sustain the principle of secularism in India. One is free to practice and propagate religion of his/her choice.
- Cultural and educational rights: All citizens and all sections of societies have the right to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
- Right to constitutional remedies: It empowers the citizens to approach the court of law in case of any denial of the fundamental rights.
- Right to Life and personal liberty (As per 86th amendment of 2002): It states that no person shall be deprived of his property by authority of law. It also includes the right to education at elementary level.