Daily Answer Writing
26 January 2021

Q) What do you understand by the term 'Fraternity'? Why should it be a necessary constituent of the ideal of constitutional morality? 150 words

Source: The Indian express: The Ideas Page: What binds the nation

Topic: GS 4: Moral and political attitudes

Approach Answer:


Introduction: The word fraternity literally means brotherhood. It refers to the feeling of community amongst its members. This idea first appeared in the French declaration of 1793 in which 'equality, liberty and fraternity' were deemed as the three democratic ideals. It was included in the Preamble to the constitution of India by the constituent assembly.


Understanding important aspects of fraternity:

               1. A binding force/promotes unity: It is a sentiment that informs the members of a community who share a common culture, common values, an awareness of common good.

               2. Ensures Peace: It imbibes a sense of belonging-hood in a community which is essential to remove points of conflict.

               3. Promotes Democracy: As it prepares people to make a common effort to achieve a common goal, social, economic or political.

               4. Protects Individual liberty & equality: It prevents an individual from being at the mercy of majority forces, or market forces or any other extremes. Thus it prevents exploitation.

               5. Promotes Inclusive Nationalism: The idea of fraternity promotes those nationalistic ideals which promote belongingness and leaves those which divide the society. Thus it promotes an inclusive form of nationalism. For example: 'Not in my name' protests.


Constitutional Morality is the understanding of right and wrong action which is based on the principles imbibed in the constitution of India. The four pillars of constitutional morality spelt out in the preamble of India’s Constitution: justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.


Importance in Constitutional Morality:

               1. Without it other ideals are meaningless. If there is no sense of brotherhood, there would be discrimination and hate. People would be divided into narrow-minded communities and wouldn't like to engage with each other. This suppresses both equality and liberty, both of which cannot exist in a discriminatory environment.

               2. Ensures dignity of the Individual: The Indian society is divided into various castes and colours. In the past these have been a causes of deep rooted division. Fraternity ensures that individuals all are ensured basic dignity and thus erases the discrimination.

               3. Understanding how others feel: The sense fraternity and brotherhood ensures the emotions of empathy for the others in the society. Thus bridging the gaps and ensuring unity.

               4. Collective caring: The Decision making is easy when people already know the pain points of the public policy. This is easy when people think for the others. This is what Fraternity ensures.


Conclusion: Fraternity remains the least understood, least discussed, and doubtlessly the least practiced of the four pillars of constitutional morality. The father of our Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar dreamed of an India in which divisions of caste and religion would gradually fade away in the spirit of fraternity. He recognised, though, that fraternity “is a difficult thing to achieve.”


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