‘Every right has a corresponding duty’.
Rights and duties go together. We as a nation are more conscious and vociferous about rights than about our duties. Life is full of duties – duties to God, duties towards parents, neighbors, society and the nation. In fact duty gives dignity to life. A person who neglects his/her duties is criminal both in the eyes of God and the people.
As a citizen everybody must perform his/her duties honestly and wholeheartedly. It is a national call. The words of Admiral Nelson are worth quoting. As the last signal in the battle between England and France, he had said: ‘England expects every man to do his duty’. Substitute the name of any country and the signal becomes universal. We can justly say: ‘Pakistan expects every man to do his duty.
All the grown-up citizens owe some duties to the society and the country. The first and foremost duty of a citizen is to love his country. Patriotism is a universal value. We must keep all the national interests above self or personal interests. A citizen who does not love his country, and is self-centered, is a traitor. All considérations of Land and Language must be subordinated to the greater good of the nation. Unfortunately, it is not so in our country. Love for land and language is chauvinism or narrow form of patriotism.
The second important duty of a good citizen is to defend his country. It is a patriotic duty of everyone. It is correct that a soldier dies so that his country may live. A good citizen should be prepared to make all sacrifices for his motherland. Shakespeare has rightly said that
cowards die many times before their death.
The third duty of the citizen is pay all the taxes and charges honestly. Nonpayment of taxes and tax-evasion is a common practice in our country. Tliey who don’t pay or use foul practices to evade correct amount, are criminals in the eyes of the law.
The next important duty is to respect and obey the laws. Laws are like our parents, guardians’, said Socrates. The people in power and the rich use the laws for their selfish motives. Laws are made for man; they must be obeyed without exceptions. Even educated persons break the laws with impunity; and they are proud of it. The present political and social corruption in the country is due to poor respect for the country’s laws and misuse of powers.
Correct and honest use of votes is another democratic duty of the people. Poverty, ignorance and leg-pulling have made a mockery of democracy in the country. In fact democracy is a function of education. Therefore, to receive education and give good education to the children is a great duty of good citizen.
Respect for the rights of others, keeping the city neat and clean, rendering social services, helping the police, using fairs means in the examinations, relieving the people in distress, correct measurement and weighing and respecting the women are some of the non-obligatory duties of a citizen. It requires correct thinking to perform all the duties honestly. Good citizens make good society, bad citizens, corrupt society. Self-assessment is the best standard for being a good citizen.