9 most essential civic Rights enjoyed by a citizen

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Rights are the condition essential for fulfillment of man’s per­sonality. These are the opportunities without which a man cannot be at his best. There are different forms of rights such as civic, political, economic.

Civic Rights:

These are the rights which are necessary for an individual to lead a happy, contented and progressive life in society. Some of the civic rights are given below:

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1. Right to Life:

Right to Life is a basic civic right. It implies the protection of the life of a citizen against an assault by other citizens and against an external aggression.

The right to life carries with it the right to use force in self-defence. One may even kill another person in self-defence provided the force used is necessary and reasonable. Certain philosophers even challenge the validity of capital punishment on the basis of this right.

2. Right to Liberty:

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This implies that every citizen has complete freedom of action within the limits of law. One should not be arrested, imprisoned, detained or deported without proper cause and a fair and open trial in a court of law.

3. Right to Family:

It means that a person has a right to marry, to beget children and to be protected in the enjoyment of his family life.

4. Freedom of Conscience:

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Citizens in a modern secular state enjoy the right to profess, practice and propagate any religion. The state takes the responsibility to regulate the relations between man and man and not those between man and God. The recognition of this right by a state pre-supposes complete religious toleration.

5. Freedom of Speech:

This is one of the most valued rights in a democratic state. A citizen should have freedom to express his views in any way he likes. He may openly criticize the ruling authority. Democ­racy is a government by criticism. Healthy criticism keeps it alert, vigilant and alive to its defects.

In the absence of this right, democracy loses its spirit and essence. According to Prof. Laski, “men who arc prevented to think as their experience teaches them will soon cease to think at all.” Men who cease to think cease also to be, in any genuine sense, citizens.

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6. Freedom of Association:

Formation of Association is instinc­tive to man. The social instinct impels him from within to lead a gregarious life. It is, therefore, in the best interests of human beings that they should be allowed to form associations, groups or organizations for the pursuit of common purposes.

7. Freedom of Press:

Freedom of speech and press aims at one and the same thing. This right implies that a citizen should have the liberty to publish his opinion in a book, journal, pamphlet or newspaper. The press has been called the watchdog of democracy. It criticizes the ruling authority and keeps alive to its flaws and failings.

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Although the rights to speech, association and press are the core of civil liberties yet they have not been guaranteed by any state in absolute terms. They have been restricted in various respects. These rights are generally denied to those who try to overthrow the existing social order by preaching violence and breach of law.

8. Equality before Law:

This right implies that all are equal before the law irrespective of their caste, creed, race or social status. There cannot be any true liberty if law makes any distinction between the rich and the poor, the high and the low.

9. Right of Education:

This right means that the state should make adequate provision for educating the citizens. Civilized states of the world recognize their responsibility of moral and intellectual welfare of the people without which democracy turns into a mob rule.

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