Preamble of India
The American Constitution was the first to have a preamble. This practice was adopted by many countries, including India. A preamble is an introductory and expressive statement in a document that explains the purpose and underlying philosophy of the document.
What exactly is a preamble?
- A preamble is an introductory statement in a document that explains the philosophy and objectives of the document.
- A Constitution expresses the intent of its framers, the history of its creation, and the nation’s core values and principles.
- The following things/objects are briefly mentioned in the preamble:
- Nature of the Indian state
- Statement of its objectives
- Source of the Constitution
- The date it was adopted
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.
The Evolution of India’s Preamble
- The ideals underlying India’s Constitution were outlined in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.
- Although not legally binding, the Preamble states the goals of the Constitution and serves as a guide during the interpretation of the Articles when language is found to be ambiguous.
- The Preamble indicates that the Constitution’s source of authority is the people of India.
- India is declared to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic in the preamble.
- The Preamble’s stated goals are to secure justice, liberty, and equality for all citizens, as well as to promote fraternity in order to maintain the nation’s unity and integrity.
- The date it was adopted is mentioned in the preamble, which is November 26, 1949.
Some statements by eminent personalities regarding the preamble of the Indian constitution
|Authors||Termed Preamble As|
|K.M. Munshi||Political Horoscope|
|Earnest Barker||Key to the Constitution|
|Thakurdas Bhargav||Soul of the Constitution|
|N.A. Palkhiwala||Identity card of the constitution|
Meaning of the Terms Mentioned in the Preamble
- We, the people of India: It represents the people of India’s ultimate sovereignty. Sovereignty refers to the state’s independent authority, which is not subject to the control of any other state or external power.
- Sovereign: The term refers to India’s independent authority and independence from any other external power. The legislature has the authority to make laws in the country, subject to certain constraints.
- Socialist: The term socialist refers to the pursuit of socialist goals through democratic means. It believes in a mixed economy in which the private and public sectors coexist. The 42nd Amendment of 1976 added it to the Preamble.
- Secular: The term refers to the fact that all religions in India are treated equally by the state in terms of respect, protection, and support.
- It was added to the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976.
- Democratic: The term implies that the Indian Constitution has an established form of Constitution that derives its authority from the will of the people as expressed in an election.
- Republic: The term republic denotes that the head of state is elected by the people. The President of India is the elected head of state in India.
Objectives of the Indian Constitution
- The Constitution is the supreme law, and it helps to maintain society’s integrity and promote citizen unity in order to build a great nation.
- The primary goal of the Indian Constitution is to promote national harmony.
- Justice: Justice is required to maintain the order promised by the Constitution of India’s various provisions of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. It consists of three components: social, economic, and political.
- Social Justice: The Constitution seeks to create a society free of discrimination based on caste, creed, gender, religion, and so on.
- Economic Justice: It entails the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of one’s wealth, income, or economic status. Every person must be paid equally for an equal position, and everyone must have the opportunity to earn a living.
- Political Justice: It entails ensuring that all people have an equal, free, and fair opportunity to participate in political opportunities.
- Equality: The term “equality” refers to the fact that no section of society has any special privileges and that all people have equal opportunities for everything without any discrimination. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.
- Liberty: The term “liberty” refers to the freedom of people to choose their way of life, political beliefs, and behaviour in society. Liberty does not imply the freedom to do whatever one wants; a person can do whatever they want within the limits set by the law.
- Fraternity: This idea was inspired by the French Revolution. Fraternity refers to a feeling of brotherhood. According to the preamble, the fraternity must ensure two things: the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. The word integrity was added in 1976 by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act. Through the system of single citizenship and provisions included in the Fundamental duties, the Constitution attempts to promote a sense of fraternity. According to Dr. KM Munshi, the phrase “dignity of the individual” means that the constitution not only ensures material advancement and the maintenance of a democratic system, but it also recognizes that every individual’s personality is sacred.
Importance of Objectives:
- It offers a way of life. It includes fraternity, liberty, and equality as aspects of a happy life that cannot be separated.
- Liberty cannot exist apart from equality, and equality cannot exist apart from liberty. Liberty and equality cannot be separated from fraternity.
- Without equality, liberty would result in the few ruling over the many.
- Individual initiative would be killed by equality without liberty.
- Without fraternity, liberty would result in the few ruling over the many.
- Liberty and equality would not have been possible without fraternity.
The Preamble’s Current Situation
- The Supreme Court has discussed the preamble as a part of the Constitution several times. It can be understood by reading the two cases below.
The Berubari Case:
- It was used as a reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution on the implementation of the Indo-Pakistan Agreement related to the Berubari Union and in exchanging the enclaves that were decided for consideration by an eight-judge bench.
- The Court stated in the Berubari case that the “Preamble is the key to open the mind of the makers,” but it cannot be considered part of the Constitution. As a result, it is unenforceable in a court of law.
Kesavananda Bharati Case:
- In this case, a bench of 13 judges was assembled for the first time to hear a writ petition. The Court ruled that the Constitution’s Preamble will now be considered part of the document.
- The Preamble is not the supreme power or the source of any restriction or prohibition, but it does play an important role in the interpretation of statutes and constitutional provisions.
- As a result, the preamble is part of the Constitution’s introductory section.
- In the 1995 case of Union Government vs. LIC of India, the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution but is not directly enforceable in an Indian court of justice.
Amendment of the Preamble
- 42nd Amendment Act, 1976: Following the Kesavanand Bharati case decision, it was accepted that the preamble is part of the Constitution.
- Article 368 of the Constitution allows for amendments to the preamble as a part of the Constitution, but not to the basic structure of the preamble.
- As of now, the preamble has only been amended once, by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
- Through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, the terms ‘Socialist,’ ‘Secular,’ and ‘Integrity’ were added to the preamble.
- Between ‘Sovereign’ and ‘Democratic,’ the words ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ were added.
- The phrase ‘Unity of the Nation’ was changed to ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’.
Significance of The Preamble
- Outlines the Ideals and Philosophy of the Constitution: The Constitution’s Preamble outlines the Constitution’s underlying ideals and philosophy, as well as the policy goals and objectives that the Constitution’s founding authors aimed for.
- Preamble And the Supreme Court: In a number of rulings, the Supreme Court of India has emphasized the importance and utility of the preamble.
- Goals of Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity: It states that the Constitution’s goal is to provide its citizens with justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
- Aids in the Decoding of Policies and Legislation: It’s a kind of primer on the statute, and it’s frequently quite useful in deciphering policy and legislative meaning. “What we’d been thinking or dreaming about for a long time,” it says.
- Holds the Principles & Goals Required during the British Rule: It solemnly encapsulates all of the principles and goals for which the country fought during the British Regime.
- People As the Source of the Constitution: It names the Indian people as the source of the Constitution.
- Has an Enacting Clause: It includes an enacting clause that puts the Constitution into effect.
- Has the Fundamental Liberties: It defines the fundamental liberties that the Indian people sought to protect for all citizens, as well as the basic style of government and politics that was to be established.
- An Aid to the Supreme Court: It assists the Supreme Court in determining whether a specific provision or piece of legislation is consistent with the spirit of the Constitution.
- According to Article 394 of the Constitution, Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 367, 379, and 394 entered into force on November 26, 1949, and the remaining provisions on January 26, 1950.
- The concept of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in our Preamble was inspired by the French Revolutionary Motto.
- The preamble is used to introduce the statutes or the constitution. A preamble is a declaration made by the legislature in order to pass a statute, and it is useful in interpreting any statute. The preamble plays an important role in determining the fate of the country.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here
Visit our YouTube Channel – here