August 19, 2016

Good citizens make good state

IT is a popular belief that rights imply duties because rights and duties are inter-related. They are, in fact, the two sides of the same coin, both arising from the social nature of human beings.
The state must guarantee certain basic rights to citizens, who are expected to perform certain duties or obligations in return. A duty implies an obligation to do or not to do something. It should be noted that rights are not absolute in nature; they are limited in the sense that they impose the duty upon the individual to see that she does not interfere in any way with the enjoyment of similar rights of others.  Every right involves an obligation to use it appropriately.
On the other hand, duties may be moral and legal. A moral duty is recognised and enforced not by law enforcement agencies but by our sense of morality and justice. As for legal duties, violations entail punishment by the state.
The supreme duty of a citizen is to be loyal to the state. As citizens, we ought to identify our own interests with those of our states. We must not betray our country’s respective interests. We should defend our country against alien aggression. We should help the authorities during internal disturbances in order to maintain law and order. And what is more, we must exert our utmost efforts to become law-abiding citizens. This is necessary in the interest of the
general welfare and maintenance of law and order.
Another important duty is to pay taxes because there is no government in this world that can run without money, which must come from the people through the imposition of taxes and duties. The revenue collected from the citizens is spent by the government to promote public welfare. This being so, citizens ought to pay their taxes honestly and willingly. Tax evasion is an offence in every country.
Last but not the least, every citizen has a duty to render public service when called upon to do so. He should take an active part in the civic affairs of the village, town and local governing bodies. In the same vein, those who are elected or appointed to public offices should render their services effectively and efficiently without fear or favour.
The Global New Light of Myanmar would like to provide an aide-memoire to all citizens that good citizens make good states because a state is what its citizens make it. Be careful, please, because we can make it or mar it.


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