Polity

Preamble of the Constitution of India and its Significance

Preamble of the Constitution of India

Preamble was first introduced in American Constitution.

The Preamble refers to the introduction of the Constitution and contains the summary or essence of the Constitution.

    1. Preamble is  based  on  the  ‘Objectives  Resolution’, drafted  and  moved  by  Pandit  Nehru,  and  adopted  by the  Constituent Assembly.
    2. It was enacted at the end of the constitution to reflect constitution.
    3. Preamble is  not  a  source  of  power  to  legislature and  not  a prohibition  upon  the  powers  of legislature.
    4. It is non-justiciable.
    5. The Preamble  has  been  amended  only  once  so  far,  in 1976,  by  the  42nd  Constitutional  Amendment  Act, which  has  added  three  new  words—  Socialist,  Secular and  Integrity—to  the Preamble.

Preamble of the Constitution of India, Preamble of Indian Constitution, Notes on Indian Polity, Studywrap.com

Preamble of Indian Constitution

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 26th day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Components of the Preamble of the Constitution

Preamble have 4 components namely –

    1. The Preamble states that the Constitution drives its authority from the people of India.
    2. It declares India to be Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republican nature of the state.
    3. It specifies Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as the Objective of Constitution.
    4. It stipulates November 26, 1949 as the date of adoption of Constitution.

Key Words in the Preamble of the Constitution

Sovereign

      • India is neither  a  dependency  nor  a dominion  of  any  other  nation,  but  an  independent state.
      • Being a sovereign state, India can either acquire a foreign territory or cede a part of its territory in favour of a foreign state.

Socialist

      • Added by 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in1976.
      • Indian brand of  socialism  is  a  ‘democratic socialism’  (coexistence  of  public  and  private  sector) and  not  a ‘communistic  socialism’  (also  known  as ‘state  socialism’).  Indian  socialism  is  a blend  of Marxism  and  Gandhism,  leaning  heavily  towards Gandhian  socialism’.
      • The new economic policy (1991) of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation has, however, diluted the socialist credentials of the Indian State.

Secular

      • Added by 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in1976.
      • The Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism i.e., all religions in our country have the same status and support from the state.

Democratic

      • The Indian Constitution provides for representative parliamentary democracy under which the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its policies and actions.
      • The term ‘democratic’ is  used  in  the Preamble  in  the  broader  sense embracing not  only political democracy  but  also  social  and  economic democracy.

Republic

      • The term ‘republic’ in our Preamble indicates that India has an elected head called the president. He is elected indirectly for a fixed period of 5 years.
      • It also implies that political sovereignty lies with the people and public offices are open to all without any discrimination.

Justice

      • The term ‘justice’  in  the Preamble  embraces three distinct forms—social,  economic  and  political, secured  through  various  provisions  of  Fundamental Rights  and  Directive 
      • Political Justice is provided through Fundamental Rights and social and economic justice through Directive Principles of State Policies.
      • The ideal of justice, social, economic and political, has been taken from the Russian Revolution (1917).

Liberty

      • The term ‘liberty’ means absence of restraints on  the activities  of individuals,  and  at  the  same  time,  providing opportunities  for  the  development  of  individual personalities.
      • The Preamble secures to all citizens of India liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, through Fundamental Rights which are enforceable in court of law, in case of violation.
      • The ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in our Preamble have been taken from the French Revolution (1789–1799).

Equality

      • The term ‘equality’ means the  absence  of special privileges  to  any  section  of the  society,  and  the provision  of adequate  opportunities  for all individuals without  any 
      • The Preamble secures to all citizens of India equality of status and opportunity. This provision embraces three dimensions of equality—civic, political and economic.

Fraternity

      • It means a sense of brotherhood, the Constitution promotes this feeling of fraternity by the system of single citizenship.
      • The Preamble declares that fraternity has to assure two things—the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
      • The word ‘integrity’ has been added to the preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment (1976).

Significance of the Preamble of the Constitution 

    • Basic Philosophy and Fundamental values of the constitution are stated.
    • Contains the grand and noble vision of the Constituent Assembly, and reflects the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Constitution.
    • Soul to Indian Constitution.
    • Date of enactment of constitution – Nov 26, 1949 mentioned only in Preamble.
    • Source of the constitution as People of India is mentioned in Preamble.
    • Nature of Indian state-sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republican polity.
    • Objectives- it specifies justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, unity and integrity.

Preamble as Part of the Constitution

Berubari case (1960):  The Supreme Court specifically opined that Preamble is not part of the constitution.  

Keshavananda Bharati case (1973): The Supreme Court rejected its previous judgement and held that Preamble is part of the constitution. 

LIC of India case (1995):  the Supreme Court again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.

Amendment of the Preamble of the Constitution

    • The Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973) stated that Preamble can be amended without affecting Basic features of the constitution.
    • The Preamble has been amended only once so far, in 1976, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which has added three new words, Socialist, Secular and Integrity, to the Preamble. This amendment was held to be valid.

 So, this was all about the Preamble of the Constitution of India.

In the next post (Click Here), we will study about the Parts of the Indian Constitution.

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