Rights and Duties are Two Facets of the Same Coin. Elaborate.

Rights and Duties by Dr. Shumaila Parween

CSS Solved Political Science 2023 Past Paper | Rights and Duties

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Question breakdown

In this question, the examiner inquired about the rights and duties of humans and their correlation, which play a role in harbouring equilibrium and contentment in life. You must first write an introduction, then describe the rights and duties of humans and their relation, and finally, a conclusion.



2-Description of the terms “right” and “duty”


  • Constitutional rights
  • Religious Rights 
  • Moral rights


  • Legal Obligations
  • Civil responsibilities
  • Religious duties

3-Expounding rights and duties as the two facets of the same coin

  • The fundamentalist-legal view
  • The socio-culture perspective
  • The religious viewpoint

4-Inevitability of rights and duties-a critique


                                                         Answer to the question


It is a general belief that everyone is endowed with certain obligations. However, these duties do not assume their rule alone; humans’ rights play along to harbour equilibrium and contentment in life. Moreover, both presences are vital for a stable society, either at the primary level of interactions or at the tertiary level of the state’s affairs. Like every individual who possesses particular rights and duties, each institution in a society endures specific responsibilities and claims certain rights. Furthermore, these rights have many categories, such as natural rights, political privileges, constitutional rights, and religious claims, owing to human fundamental freedom and liberties. Similarly, numerous duties are also present for the better functioning of a community, particularly legal obligations, religious responsibilities, and societal requirements. These rights and duties are conserved through constitutions, international agreements, judicial system, cultural values, and, last but not least, religious injections. Moreover, the legitimacy of both aspects of one coinage is verified through fundamentalist views, sociological postulates, and spiritual viewpoints. Consequently, the optimal practicality of rights and duties has sine-qua-non importance, claiming their hypothetical and practical standing for a sound society. 

Description of the terms “Right” and “Duty”


Rights are the legal or ethical code of freedom and privilege protected through legal schemes, communal conventions, and moral theories. According to Laski, rights are those circumstances of life without which no man can choose to be himself at his best.  Moreover, multiple philosophers and constitutional experts deemed that the basis of human society lies in the adoption of particular rights for humans. For instance, John Locke, one of the proponents of the Social Contract Theory, assumes that humans have preserved their fundamental rights of life and liberty, the right to be governed, and property rights when entered into the state of contract, forming a society. Thus, the smooth sailing of a state demands the transparent transmission of rights to each individual. 

  • Constitutional rights 

In contemporary political dogma, human rights and institutional privileges are preserved through constitutions. Moreover, specific legislative articles of national and international polity further divide the fundamental rights of humans. Take the fine example of the constitution of Pakistan; numerous articles safeguard the rights of the citizens; for instance, Article 19 grants the freedom of speech and social media, and Article 25 (A) gives credibility to the provision of education. Moreover, the constitution of Pakistan also provides rights to the provisional government and state ministries. To gauge the policies of international fronts, the Declaration of Human Rights protects fundamental human rights. These legally verified formulas cover almost all rights of humans, whether they are related to political and administrative branches, such as political activism, assuming public office, and elections-related aspects, economic privileges, like freedom of business ventures, tax policies, and market rates, educational claims, minority rights, quota system, women rights, or religious freedom. Further, these rights have general properties, giving equal rights to everyone without any caste, class, religious, social, regional, or other variations.

  • Religious privileges

Another aspect of rights is religious rights, a fundamental human right to follow one’s religion openly and independently. In this context, both the statute of a state and religion give religious freedoms to all citizens. Through constitutional provisions, all secular states secure religious liberties for their majority and minorities. In addition, in all Islamic countries, people’s religious rights are protected by the holy law of the Quran and the Sunna of the esteemed Prophet Muhammad, which protects the sanctity of human life despite religious dissimilarities and their economic liberties and religious autonomy.

  • Moral rights- socio-culture scheme

Similarly, humans also conserve certain socio-cultural rights, moral values, norms, folkways, and traditions. First, at the primary level of interaction, every society provides moral rights, learning good personal characteristics, having a good name, and all the general necessities of life. Second, each individual seeks respect, growth, and harmony in society, usually achieved through interpersonal interactions, family roles, education sectors, and job sights. Thus, moral rights, though they have liquidity in nature, can be achieved by primary, secondary, and tertiary socialization.


Duties are generally known as the acts or activities one must perform. Moreover, these duties are allocated under specific legal procedures, religious provisions, and societal norms, efficiently running the operations of society and the state. For instance, the Cambridge Dictionary defines duty by dividing its nature according to two parameters. First, as per the legal parameter, “duty is something you have to do as it’s part of your job. Second, the societal parameter references that duty is something that you sense is right to do. So, duty is an action that either a person is obliged to accomplish under constitutional or legal constraints, or one has to act on certain culturally accepted behaviours and ethical norms and values.

  • Legal Obligations

The acts of a person or between persons formulated, executed, and governed by legal agencies, such as the court of law and legislative system, are confined under legal duties. An obligation is a legal bond, vinculum iuris, in which a person, as part of his occupation, has to act or refrain from acting. For instance, by allotting punishments, fines, and judicial charges, the Penal Code of Pakistan either refrains a society from performing an act or, through detention, re-educates an individual. Similarly, every law assigns numerous duties to an individual, like being a taxpayer, following economic policies, observing transparency at work, staying away from robbery, terrorism, theft, and any action that harms the life and property of others. Meanwhile, these legal obligations have an equal effect on all state citizens, and no one is above legal law or takes impunity from constitutional provisions based on wealth, social status, political affiliation, or religious grounds. 

  • Civil responsibilities

Besides, every society has numerous cultural values, though their violations are not punishable by abusing legal duties. Culturally accepted norms of society, traditional ideals, and ethical conduct are deemed necessary to be respectable and responsible. Moreover, these societal values are the nurturing grounds for the later roles of humans. For instance, respecting the opinions of family members, earning honestly, accepting social roles, refraining from bad demeanours, deceitfulness and petty crimes, and not abusing one’s power and authority are a few civil responsibilities. Social duties vary from society to society; their defilement usually does not result in punitive responses until they cross certain limits. 

  • Religious duties

Similarly, religious duties also play their respective role at individual and societal levels. Further, as civil duties fluctuate from society to society, religious responsibilities, too, alter according to different societies and religions; most of the time, religion is thought of as a subjective matter. For example, the constitution of Pakistan is constructed mainly on Islam, and the constitutional system of Saudi Arabia is entirely grounded on the Holy law of Sharia. Nevertheless, in Europe and America, religious duties have zero stance. Further, obedience and consciousness are the parameters of religious duties. These duties include observing the sanctity of human life, abstaining from immoral relations and activities, being good to parents, performing hajj, and giving zakat.  

Expounding rights and duties as the two facets of the same coin

  • The fundamentalist view

It is generally observed that rights and duties strictly adhere to each other; they always go side by side. The fundamentalist standpoints comprehend that the execution of both is compulsory to form an enduring society. The state stretches fundamental rights to its citizens; in return, every individual has also bestowed specific duties. For instance, a state must deliver security, education, goods and services, freedom to move, communicate, and express, media’s liberty, economic autonomy, political activism and demonstration rights, transparency, equality, justice, and meritocracy, viewing as the rights of citizens. Every individual, by virtue and through legal provisions, knows his duties. To name a few duties of citizens, abiding by the law and order of the country, paying taxes, observing transparency in dealing, respecting the rights of others, avoiding radical and terrorist affiliations and activities, and earnestly assuming public office. However, their rights automatically shut down when people fail to perform their duties. As Laski said, my rights are also my duties; it is my duty to respect the rights of others in correspondence, availing my rights in the best interest of society. Accordingly, rights and duties are the two sides of the same coinage; the attendance of both reinforces each other, while the absence or neglect of the one eventually lessens the retort of the other.

  • The socio-culture perspective

Rights are not the monopoly of any specific being, cluster, or zone. Likewise, duties are not assigned to any particular entity. On all societal fronts, every individual, regardless of wealth, class, educational background, family status, religion, political affiliation, and strength, possesses the same rights and duties. The privileges, such as opportunities to grow, avail services and goods, enjoy equality, amicability, respect, and attain education rights, are offered at equal footing. However, these rights strictly correlate to the socio-culture duties, for instance, observing truthfulness and tolerance in all conducts, evading exploitation of others’ rights, efforts, and property, perceiving cultural ethos and norms, giving rights to women in household settings and public domains, and dispensing philanthropic activities by the affluent members of society to uplift the status of poor. Thus, observing social duties is directly proportional to the availability of social rights and vice versa. Further, implementing these rights and responsibilities is the prerequisite for a developed society.

  • The religious viewpoint

Similarly, every human society with any annexes to religion employs certain religious decrees in its political, economic, and cultural affairs, yielding particular rights and duties for citizens, administrative ministries, and imam or leader. Taking the example of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH), in his last sermon, he aptly announced the duties and rights of every member of Muslim society. In addition, in numerous aspects, legal, social, and religious rights and responsibilities overlap one another. The right to live, the freedom of religious beliefs, the right to attain property, and the sanctity of human life are universal obligations, and all religions and constitutions of the world prove their validity. 

Inevitability of rights and duties-a critique

The actualization of rights and duties contributes to the common good and general welfare. Hobhouse aptly apprehends the role of rights and obligations, saying that “Genuine rights are conditions of social wellbeing, and various rights owe their credibility through their functions to an optimal and harmoniously developed society.” on the contrary, if human rights fail to be ensured at any level, either at family, society, and state levels, the amicability and tolerance of a household would stagger, societal solidarity, peace, and development would disrupt, and the administrative, judicial, economic functions of a nation would flop to promote collective progress, concord, and the general belief on the leadership. Hence, implementing rights and duties reinforces a healthy society while neglecting one would automatically deteriorate the construction of a sound society. 


In summation, every human being assumes particular rights and duties. These rights are protected through the legislature, societal culture and values, and religious injunctions. Similarly, duties, the other aspects of the same coin, are prescribed via legal coercions, cultural norms, and spiritual resources. International treaties shield human and state rights and duties, bestowing specific rules and responsibilities to maintain global peace and inter-state harmony. Owing to the crucial status of rights and duties, sociologists, legal experts, political thinkers, and religious scholars assert that both are necessary for personal contentment and for a nation’s mutual development, peace, and prosperity. Nonetheless, neglecting one’s duties automatically lessens one’s privileges, reducing national unity, harmony, and collective growth. Thus, by elaborating on rights and duties, it is understood that these terms are the two facets of the same currency and share a direct relation.

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