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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The rights and duties of a citizen

Talk about the rights and duties of a citizen

Almost every modern state, especially a democracy, allows its citizens several rights; but in return, it expects its citizens to perform certain duties.

Among the rights enjoyed by the citizen in a democracy are the right to pursue his own affairs as he prefers; the right to express his views, however silly they may appear to others, and the right to move about as he pleases. The citizen is considered so important that his rights are protected by the law of the state, and whenever they are infringed, he can secure redress.

But in a totalitarian state, the rights of the citizen are so restricted that he has practically no freedom. The citizen is supposed to exist for the state. His interests are always subordinated to those of the state. Thus, his duties exceed his rights.

Even in a democracy, however, the citizen is expected to exercise his rights within the limits of the law. He should not do or say anything that may affect the rights of others. In exercising his right to act as he pleases, for example, he should not try to elope with another man’s wife or say anything slanderous about her or anyone. In the same way, his actions should not cause injury or damage to any individual or his property. He cannot kill as he pleases. If his conduct infringes the rights of others, then those who have been affected by his misconduct could take legal action against him and he will be punished according to the law of the state. In this way, the state protects its citizens and their rights from the thoughtlessness of any individual in the state. This means, of course, that every citizen in the state is expected to do his duty to his fellow citizens.

The citizen is also expected to give his services for the protection of the state in times of war, and to maintain law and order in his state, at all times.

Thus, every citizen who is conscious of his rights should also be conscious of his duties to the state and his fellow citizens.

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