The Preamble of The Constitution of India

  • The preamble to the Constitution is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document. In the case of Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643 the honourable Supreme Court observed that the Preamble sets the ideals and goals which makers of the constitution intended to achieve through that constitution. In Berubari Union (1) re, AIR 1960 SC 845  Case, the Court observed that the preamble also shows the purpose of the several provisions in the constitution.
  • The Preamble was formulated as the last item of formation of the Constitution so that the core of the Constitution can be summarized. In Berubari Union (1) re, AIR 1960 SC 845 Case, the Court held that the Preamble is not part of the Constitution. In Kesavanada Bharati v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461 case, the Supreme Court gave importance to the fact that the Preamble was formulated as the last item of formation of the Constitution so that the core of the Constitution can be summarized. Hence held that the Preamble is part of the 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.
  • 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 the 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 the Indian constitution is the people of India. The capitalization of the phrase put emphasis on the phrase. The power and authority of government are derived from the people.
  • In Kehar Singh v. Union of India AIR 1989 SC 653 case the court held that 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:

  • The nature of State is SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. There are no punctuation marks and the set of words is in capital letters. Thus emphasis is given to words.

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 the formulation of its foreign policies and internal affairs.
  • The term sovereign was discussed in Kesavanada Bharati v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461 case and in Synthetics & Chemicals Ltd. v. State of U.P. AIR 1990 SC1927.

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.
  • The amendment incorporated the philosophy of socialism in the constitution. 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.
  • In 1991 India accepted the policy of free economy and privatization. It was being asked whether this policy is in accordance with the principle of socialism as mentioned in the Preamble.

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.
  • In S. R. Bomai v. Union of India, (1994) 3 SCC 1, 149 case the court held that the secularism is a part of the basic structure of the constitution. A similar view was given by the court in a case M. Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India (1994) 6 SCC 360.

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.
  • Constitution ensures creation and existence of government at the will of people, through their participation in the formation of the government at regular intervals on principle of universal adult franchise.
  • In R. C. Poudyal v. Union of India, AIR 1993 SC 1804 case the court held that democracy denotes people’s power and equal participation of all citizens in polity.

Republic:

  • In this type of 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 a fixed term of 5 years,

Objectives of the Constitution:

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.
  • Justice social, economic and political.

Liberty:

  • Every citizen has the right to think and express oneself.
  • Every citizen has the freedom to follow any belief and 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 the 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 a Part of Constitution Preamble Indicates the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • 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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!