The challenge of reviving a sense of fraternity

What is Fraternity?

  • The term fraternity is provided in the Preamble of the Indian constitution. In the words of Dr Ambedkar, it means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians — if Indians are one people. It is the principle that gives unity and solidarity to social life.
  • The idea of fraternity is based on the view that people have responsibilities to each other.
  •  It was defined after the French Revolution in the following terms: ‘Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you; do constantly to others the good which you would wish to receive from them.
  • It is generally seen as an emotion rather than a principle because it denotes a feeling of attachment to nationals.

Why do we need Fraternity?

  • India is a land of Diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, caste and culture.  To ensure unity and integrity of the nation we need to follow the concept of fraternity.
  • It is the Fundamental duty of every citizen of India ‘to promote harmony and the spirit of commonality among all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.
  • In the words of Ambedkar, these principles of liberty equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy.
  • Fraternity assures the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation. 

Challenges before Fraternity

  • Social inequalities: There are widespread inequalities in our society based on caste, gender, religion race and culture etc.
  • Political inequalities: Political inequalities are visible in the fact that only 10.5% of MPs are female in our parliament.
  • Economic inequalities: top 10% of the Indian population holds 77% of the total national wealth and 73% of the wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest 1% while 670 million Indians who compromise the poorest half of the population saw only a 1% increase in their wealth.
  • Regional inequalities: it can be seen in the case of South Indian states vis a vis North Indian states specially BIMARU states (Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, UP)
  • Communalism: Communalism is growing in India it can be seen in the communisation of religious festivals like recent Ramanavami processions, Cow vigilantism, Love Jihad etc.

Way forward:

  • Every citizen should follow their constitutional duty of harmony.
  • State agencies should follow the principle of secularism while implementing the law.
  • Religious and political leaders should avoid divisive politics.
  • Civil society can play a crucial role in resistance against state-sponsored discrimination.
  • Institutions’ autonomy should be promoted so that they can perform their duty effectively.

Mains Practice Question

Do you think that the fraternity is becoming more relevant present context? What are the challenges associated with it and suggest measures to promote it?

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