PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

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PREAMBLE

PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, preamble,Preamble of Indian Constitution, Preamble of India, Introduction to the constitution of India

The PREAMBLE to the Indian Constitution (as amended in 1976) reads:

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.



Objectives of Indian Constitution

The preamble sets out the main objectives of the Constitution; the objective which the Constitution- makers intended to be realised through it. It is the key to open the mind of the Constitutionmakers. The preamble is a legitimate aid in the construction of the provisions of the Constitution. Generally, for purposes of interpretation, the preamble of the Constitution stands in the same position as the preamble of an Act.

 WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PREAMBLE?

The preamble specifies the source of authority, the system of government, the objectives to be attained by the political system and the date of the adoption and enactment of the Constitution. Though the Preamble is not enforceable in a court of law and generally, not considered a part of the Constitution, it provides a key to the understanding and interpretation of the Constitution; it has, therefore, been described as the soul of the Constitution. In case of doubt the Supreme Court has referred to the Preamble to elucidate vague aspects of the Constitution

 Purposes of the Preamble

The framers of the Constitution of India set out two purposes in the preamble.

  1. First, to constitute India into a Sovereign Democratic Republic. It is Republic because the head of the State is not a hereditary monarch. It is Democratic because the Constitution rests on the people’s will, and the institutions set up under it shall seek to give effect to democratic principles. It is Sovereign because the Constitution does not recognise the legal supremacy of another country over India. Her membership of the Commonwealth of the Nations is not inconsistent with her independent and sovereign status. The words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added in the Preamble by the Forty second Amendment. The addition of ‘socialist’ indicates the incorporation of the philosophy of ‘socialism’ in the Constitution which aims at elimination of inequality in income and status and standards of life and may enable the courts to lean more and more in favour of nationalisation and State ownership of an industry. It is yet to be seen how the new economic policy adopted by the Narsimha Rao Government since 1991 oriented towards free market and privatisation is to be viewed in the courts. The word ‘secular’ simply recognises the concept of secularism as manifested in the guarantee of freedom of religion as a fundamental right in the Constitution.
  2. Second, to secure to citizens justice – social, economic, and political; liberty of thought, expression, faith, and worship; equality of status and opportunity; and to promote among the people of India fraternity, assuring dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. Although the expressions, ‘justice’, ‘liberty’, ‘equality’, and ‘fraternity’, may not be susceptible to exact definitions, yet they are not mere platitudes. They are given content by the enacting provisions of the Constitution particularly by Part III of the funda-mental rights and Part IV, the Directive Principles of State Policy.



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