Hints: Introduction, Definition of citizen, Rights of a citizen, Duties of a citizen, Limit of rights and duties, Conclusion.
In this modern world, a citizen needs to know his rights and duties as a citizen. To keep up peace and harmony in a society or country, every member of that country should be aware of his rights and duties to the society or country. The Constitution of each country specifies some duties and rights. Besides, there exist some unwritten rules of conduct also. To be a conscious citizen, everyone should follow these rules of conduct.
Definition of citizen
Before starting the main discussion, it is important to define the term, Citizen. “Citizen’ primarily means one who lives in a city. But the term is generally used in a wider sense to mean one belonging to a state. A person who has all rights as a member of a state, either by birth or given such rights by the state is called a citizen. A citizen has some duties to the state also.
Rights of a citizen Man is a social being. As a member of a society, one should enjoy some facilities. Due to the creation of states, now states ensure some facilities which are called basic rights of a citizen such as security, justice, freedom of speech, etc. The Constitution of Bangladesh also has given some rights to all. In Bangladesh, the Basic rights of a citizen are discussed below :
- Security: It is the right of a citizen to get the security of his life and property. The state is responsible to protect one’s life and property whether S/he stays in that country or not. If one acts rightly, he can claim the protection of his state even in a foreign country.
- Equality: According to law, all citizens are equal. The state does not make any discrimination among her citizen based on religion, sex, color, place of birth, etc. Of course, the government can take special steps to develop the less developed community.
- Justice: Every citizen has the right to get justice by an independent and neutral court. Every citizen has the right to show arguments in favor of him in court also.
- Choice of the profession: A citizen has the right to choose his own profession. One has freedom of movement to carry on any legal business.
- Expression of opinion: It is a very important right of a citizen. One can express one’s opinion independently in a democratic state.
- Movement: A citizen has the right to move anywhere within his own country without any restriction.
- Every citizen can form an association and participate in politics if it does not jeopardize the existence of the state.
- Religion: A citizen has the right to choose and perform any religion. The state ensures performing religious work safely. Besides, the state ensures some other fundamental rights such as food, cloth, housing, health, education, etc.
Duties of a citizen
Since a citizen enjoys rights in a state, he has some duties to the state. Because right implies duty. A citizen should treat his own country as his mother. The main duties of a citizen towards his country are as follow :
- a) The first and main duty of a citizen is to keep him prepared to save or protect his state from all sorts of probable threats to her (state’s) independence and sovereignty. He must keep the state’s interest above all other interests.
- b) Another important duty of a citizen is to obey the laws of the state. A citizen should not take the law into his own hands. To honor the laws is a pre-condition of peace.
- c) A citizen must work for the well-being of the state. He should not involve in any activities which may hinder the progress and development of his state.
- d) To select an appropriate leader using voting power, is another important duty of a citizen. A citizen should use his voting power honestly and intelligently.
- e) A citizen must be ready to pay government taxes due on him. Besides, to abide by unwritten rules of the state and society is not less important. A citizen should help the government if any unexpected calamity comes.
Limit of rights and duties
Basic rights, such as freedom of expression, formation of an organization, etc. do not indicate that a citizen can do everything. Because absolute right may increase the tendency to branch off law. Hence, a citizen’s rights are fixed up by the constitution. On the other hand, a citizen cannot do such types of activities without proper authorization which represents the state.
Man is a social being. So, he should try to live in peace with himself and with society. A citizen must be loyal and obedient to his state. He must not participate in any subversive activities. To live in peace, one has to know his duties and rights to the state at first. Actually, it is another and the most important duty of a citizen to know his rights and duties properly. Then and only then, he can be a good citizen.