The minaret of social responsibility could be raised higher


Corona outbreak has highlighted one thing for sure. Fundamental rights can be secured firmly only if fundamental responsibilities are being fulfilled. Indeed, the protection of the fundamental rights of individuals is the prime responsibility of any state. It is the constitutional right of an individual. The question is why not to think about the fundamental responsibilities of people toward the state. Even if governments are performing with the fullest efficiency possible, the crisis wouldn’t be averted unless individuals play their due part.
Many people are manifesting an elevated sense of social responsibility. They are observing social distancing, giving charities and curtailing over-consumption, while many others recommence to congregate in huge masses. So this means lockdown will keep lingering on. The irresponsibility of folks who have not adopted social distancing will outpace the struggles of both socially responsible individuals as well as the government.
Every citizen contributes to society for better or worse. Every individual craves for the protection of basic rights from the state. The state needs responsible citizenship for its continuance. When a state fails to preserve fundamental rights, its standing is challenged. Likewise, an individual must be held accountable if one is overlooking fundamental social responsibilities. As enshrined in Article 29 (1) of Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.”
Responsible citizenship is imperative for achieving the fuller utilization of resources, development, and prosperity of any nation. This is the reason many nations around the world are emphasizing heavily over constitutionally ceded fundamental responsibilities as well.
Singapore, a country championed for its sustainable and exponential growth, has always emphatically reiterated the idea of responsible citizenship. In the United States of America, “Constitution Week” is commemorated every year during September so that people could reflect on their rights as well as responsibilities toward the state.
States are going out of their previously specified realm to guarantee the safeguard of fundamental human rights to contain COVID-19. Heavy investments are being done for the protection of subjects. Globally, many provisions have been implemented expeditiously to ensure the survival of its subjects. The Pakistani state has even given an exemption to health sector-related NGOs so that they can work without getting an approval from SECP. If states are going so far, why aren’t citizens? Why we expect so much from the state when many of us hadn’t consciously paid our taxes, bills, and dues.
Pareto efficiency always exists. Democratically, if many are getting better off due to some policy decision while few are getting worse off, such policy is admissible. Rationally speaking, few individuals have to bear the brunt of such a policy as it is valuable for the welfare of a larger segment of society. So what about being self-quarantined? What about people who are not obeying social distancing for the protection of others? What about the ones who are snubbing the government’s instructions?
The interest of an individual is worthy until it doesn’t hurt the wellbeing of the community. We must have to understand it promptly. We have to actualize the fundamental responsibilities in the same way as we recognize fundamental rights. To protect our collective rights to health in the contemporary pandemic situation, we need to balance our rights with collective responsibilities.
The danger of COVID-19 can’t be ignored if you and your family are safe.
There are many other at risk right now. Their protection and survival endeavors are our responsibility. Cognizance of our actions is indispensable always but is of critical essence right now. Understanding is crucial that the consequences of our activities and associated risks do not exist in a vacuum. This virus spreads exponentially, so one man’s inconvenience could be another man’s death.
Many individuals, chiefly media people owe their fame and prosperity to their followers. In this demanding time, such billionaires should perform their social responsibility by assisting the destitute and most vulnerable.
Civic responsibility and engagement are imperative. A new chapter should be added in the constitution before the chapter of fundamental rights which illustrates the fundamental responsibilities a citizen is supposed to satisfy. Full implementation and protection of human rights are only achievable if all actors behave responsibly, and not just states. Rights cannot be divorced from duties. These fundamental responsibilities of an individual should be appended in the curriculum as well. Obviously, “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on this Earth”.
Let this virus, no matter how devastating it is for so many, be a launching pad of a new kind of recognition of large scale social responsibility. 2020 suggests a new model: not only are we all interconnected, but we are also profoundly interdependent. We are literally and metaphorically accountable for the wellbeing of humanity.