Preamble of Indian Constitution

  • The preamble to the Constitution is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document.
  • It gives the idea of the source of the constitution, the nature of the state and the main objectives of the people of India as a nation.¬†
  • The idea of the preamble of our constitution seems to be borrowed from that of USA constitution.

The Preamble of Constitution of India:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;



and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Source of Constitution:

The opening line of preamble “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA,” indicates that the source of Indian constitution is the people of India. The power and authority of government are derived from the people. Thus the constitution reflects the wishes of the people and it is not imposed on the people. Thus Indian constitution is self-imposed by people of India wishfully.



Nature of the State:

Sovereign:

  • Sovereign means an independent country completely from foreign control.
  • India is not subject to any outside authority and not influenced or interfered by any outer power during formulation of its foreign policies and internal affairs.

Socialist:

  • This term was not present in the original preamble of the constitution. It was introduced by 42 nd Amendment of the constitution in 1976.
  • Socialist means a fair distribution of the wealth of the country among all sections of people.
  • It also means providing equal opportunities to everyone to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

Secular:

  • This term was not present in the original preamble of the constitution. It was introduced by 42 nd Amendment of the constitution in 1976.
  • Secular means that the state does not have an official or state religion.
  • The state does not favour or promote any particular religion.
  • The state does not discriminate against anybody on the basis of religion.
  • State guarantees the freedom of every individual to profess, practice and propagate his/her own religion.

Democratic:

  • Abraham Lincoln described democracy as “Government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
  • People of India has the power to elect a government of their choice and govern the country through their elected representatives.

Republic:

  • In this type state, the head of the state is directly or indirectly elected official and not a monarch or a dictator.
  • The post is not hereditary.
  • In India, the President is the head of the state. The president has fixed term of 5 years,

Objectives of the Constitution:

Preamble Justice

Justice:

  • All citizens are equal in the eyes of the law.
  • Justice shall not be denied to anybody on the basis of race, caste, birth, religion, creed, gender and status.
  • Every individual gets what is his / her due.


Liberty:

  • Every citizen has right to think and express oneself.
  • Every citizen has the freedom to follow any religion of one’s choice.

Equality:

  • All citizens are equal before the law and will be protected equally by the laws of the land.
  • The state should not discriminate between the people on the basis of place,¬†race, caste, birth, religion, creed, gender, wealth and status.

Fraternity

  • Fraternity means the inculcation of a strong feeling of spiritual and psychological unity among the people. It is designed to secure the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation.
  • Democracy gets developed in the environment of brotherhood and oneness among the different sections of the society, This can be achieved by removing the social barriers between citizens belonging to different communities.\We may have a diverse culture. We may have different religions. We may have different creeds. But by fraternity, we mean “one people”.
  • We can achieve this by removing ill practices and social evils like untouchability and communalism.
  • Thus we can see that the aim of our constitution is to progress united towards the goal of securing justice, liberty, and equality for all its citizens.

Legality of the Preamble:

  • The preamble is part of the constitution of India.
  • In Berubari Case (1960), Supreme Court had held that Preamble is NOT a part of the constitution
  • Later in Kesavanada Bharati Case (1973), the Supreme Court gave an elaborate verdict which inter alia said that Preamble is Part of Constitution and is subject to the amending power of the parliament as any other provisions of the Constitution, provided the basic structure of the constitution is not destroyed.
  • Preamble is a Part of Constitution Preamble Indicates basic structure of the Constitution (SR Bommai Case)
  • The preamble can be amended by Parliament using its amendment powers as per article 368.
  • The preamble has been amended only once so far through the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act 1976. The words Secular, Socialist, and Integrity were added to the constitution.
  • The preamble outlines the ideas and philosophy of the constitution, and NOT the objectives of the governments.
  • It also does NOT provide any legal framework of constitutional law.
  • The preamble is neither a source of power nor a source of limitations similarly it neither provides any power nor imposes any duty. It is neither enforceable not justifiable in a court of law. Thus the courts cannot pass orders against the government in India to implement the ideas in the Preamble.

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