Difference Between Rights and Responsibilities

Rights vs Responsibilities

Under the constitution, all citizens of the country are granted certain rights that bind them together under the shared values of equality, freedom, and liberty. However, citizenship not only grants benefits in the shape of rights as there are also responsibilities of all citizens that they are required to fulfill. So, if there is freedom of expression as a right, there is also the responsibility to uphold the constitution and take part in the democratic process. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand, and both are equally important for all citizens to ensure that the country remains a free and prosperous one in the comity of nations. For those confused between rights and responsibilities, this article attempts to differentiate between the two in an easy manner.

What are Rights?

There are many rights for the citizens, but the one that they love most is the freedom of expression. All rights of the citizens have been described in the constitution, but importantly these rights carry inherent responsibilities that citizens have to understand and fulfill. There are the rights to worship, right to a fair trial, right to vote, right to life (the most basic right), right to liberty, and the right to pursuit of happiness. These are the basic rights of all the citizens of the country, but there are also rights of groups and institutions such as rights of gays, rights of minorities, and so on. There are also property rights, gun rights, economic rights, religious rights, and many other rights. Yes, rights describe the freedoms given to the people of the country but every right carries with it a responsibility that is unspoken and has to be understood and realized by the people of the country. Self-determination is a right that allows each one of us to choose our own path, but we must understand that we have an obligation, rather responsibility towards our community and the nation as a whole.

What are Responsibilities?

Every citizen of the country has certain obligations towards the country, the uppermost being obedience to the laws of the country. A responsibility is what we are supposed to do or fulfill, just like our social and familial responsibilities. Responsibilities are also called our duties and are expected of us, to be performed to the best of our abilities such as upholding democratic values and institutions. To respect the constitution and obey the rules and laws made by the parliament or state legislatures is our primary responsibility. Paying our due taxes and bills of utilities are some other responsibilities that ensure we get to enjoy our rights. To be able to enjoy the freedom of worship, we must respect the religion of others, and to have the right of expression, we must be prepared to respect the opinions and beliefs of others.

What is the difference between Rights and Responsibilities?

• Rights are benefits or privileges granted to us under the constitution whereas responsibilities are our duties or obligations to be able to enjoy these rights.

• In fact, with every right comes a responsibility upon our shoulders to ensure that our nation prospers and remains democratic

• If we have received the right to worship and right of expression, it enjoins upon us, to respect the freedom of expression of others and also their faith or religion.

• Defending our constitution and supporting democratic institutions is our biggest responsibility along with obeying the rules and regulations made by the authorities.

  • C Adams

    Rights are neither benefits grated by other nor priveleges.
    Rights are not earned,
    Rights exist absent any action (or inaction) of the right holder.
    In the Declaration of Independence we see testimony to this fact:
    “All men… are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”.
    Rights are not a benefits or pivileges to be permitted or denied by some authority, but are inherent in one simply being.
    One cannot earn a right, he already has it,.
    He can only recognize that right, and protect his exercise of it.

    Responsibility has nothing to do with one’s entitlment to rights, but everything to do with protecting the free exercise of those rights.