The Constitution of India begins with the Preamble. The term ‘Preamble’ refers to the introduction of the Constitution or a preface to the document of the Indian Constitution. The preamble of the Indian Constitution covers the essence of the Constitution of India and gives away the gist of the entire Constitution. The preamble contains the basic philosophy and the fundamental values of the Constitution of India. The preamble of the Indian Constitution is also known as the ‘identity card of the Constitution.
The Constitution of India adopted the idea of Preamble from America. American Constitution was the first one to have a Preamble. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is based on the ‘Objective’s Resolution’, which was drafted by Pandit Nehru and was later adopted by the Constituent Assembly. The Preamble we see now has been amended in 1976 by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
The preamble of the Indian Constitution reads as follows
“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a [SOVEREIGN
The 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.”
It is the first page of the Constitution of India. You can download the Constitution of India Pdf to give it a read along with all the details of the Parts of Indian Constitution.
Ingredients of the Preamble of Indian Constitution
The preamble of the Indian Constitution gives away the following components of the Constitution of India.
- Source of the Constitution - The Preamble says that it derives its authority from the people of India
- Nature of Indian State- It states that India is sovereign, secular, socialist, democratic and a republic.
- A statement of its objectives- It Clearly explains the objectives of the constitution of India in detail. Justice, liberty, etc
- Date of its adoption- It also gives away the date of adoption of the Constitution of India i.e. 26 November 1949.
Key Words in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution
If you read the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, you will come across various keywords which will sound common yet they are the most important terms in the Constitution of India.
The terms are as follows:
42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976, also known as ‘Mini-Constitution’ added three new words to the Preamble of the Constitution of India - Socialist, Secular, and Integrity.
All the important keywords of the Preamble are explained below in detail :
Sovereign: Meaning in Constitution of India
The term ‘sovereign’ signifies that India is neither a dependent nor a dominion of any nation or country. India is a sovereign state, i.e. an independent state. For example, India is a member of the United Nations Organization. This does not imply that the UN has any limitation on the sovereignty of India. No external authority can formulate terms for India.
The Constitution of India provides us as a Nation the freedom to elect a free Government and be autonomous both internally and externally. India is free to make any decisions or laws, for both internal affairs and external. This can be done within the limitation of the Constitution of India.
Socialist: Meaning in Constitution of India
Before 1976, when the term ‘Socialist’ was not added to the Constitution of India, the socialistic spirit of the Constitution was completed by Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP). Indian Constitution Articles 36 to 51 cover Part IV of the Constitution in the form of DPDP.
In 1955, Congress adopted a resolution in the Avadi session to establish a ‘socialistic pattern of the society'. Therefore, made changes accordingly. In India, the Socialist term refers to the Socialistic economy which means democratic socialism. It believes in a mixed economy where the resources are owned by both the public and private sectors.
Socialist India as per the Constitution of India is a combination of Marxism and Gandhism, leaning heavily towards Gandhian Socialism.
Secular: Meaning in Constitution of India
The term ‘ Secular’ was also added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976. However, there are certain parts of the Indian Constitution that established that India is a secular state. Indian Constitution Articles 25 to 28 (Fundamental Right of religion) define the concept of Indian Secularism.
Secularism in the Constitution of India guarantees freedom, liberty of faith, and worship irrespective of the religion you belong to. The State has nothing to do with religion except treat it with equality. The Constitution of India states that the State will have no foundation of any religion; it does not owe loyalty to any particular religion and gives freedom to all religions irrespective of their strength.
Democratic: Meaning in Constitution of India
The term 'Democratic' indicates that the Constitution of India has an established form of Government. It gets its authority from people's will expressed in the form of elections. The elected representatives of India are responsible for the people.
As per the Constitution of India, we follow Representative Democracy and that is Parliamentary in nature. The Constitution of India indicates that the Executive is responsible to the Legislature for all the policies and actions.
There are several other parts of the Indian Constitution that show the 'Democratic' nature of the country as mentioned in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. They are Universal Adult Franchise, Regular Elections, Independent judiciary, etc.
Republic: Meaning in Constitution of India
The term ‘Republic’ as mentioned in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution is the chosen democratic polity for India. The other kind is a monarchy where the head of the state, generally Kind, holds a hereditary position.
As per the constitution of India, in the Indian Republic elections are held and the head of the state is elected directly or indirectly. The President of India is the elected head of the State who is elected indirectly for a fixed tenure of five years.
Justice: Meaning in the Constitution of India
The term ‘Justice’ in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution refers to three forms of Justice, social, economic, and political. They are enforced by various sections of the Constitution of India like Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
Justice in the Constitution of India is taken from the Russian Revolution.
Social justice means equal treatment of all Indian citizens with no distinction as per their social status like caste, color, race, religion, sex, and so on.
Economic justice means non-discrimination of the people based on economic factors and the elimination of inequalities in terms of wealth, income, and property.
Political justice means every citizen has equal political rights and equal access to political office and voice in the government.
Liberty: Meaning in Constitution of India
The term ‘Liberty’ in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution is influenced by the ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity from the French Revolution.
Constitution of India via the Preamble provides to all citizens of India Liberty of expression, thought, belief, faith, and worship.
It is important to note here that Liberty does not mean a ‘license’ to do anything you want to without any limitation. The Constitution of India provides limitations ensuring that Liberty in Preamble is not absolute but qualified.
Equality: Meaning in the Constitution of India
The preamble of the Indian Constitution secures equality to all citizens i.e. equality of status and opportunity.
The Constitution of India indicates three kinds of quality - civic, political, and economic equality. There are various parts of the Indian Constitution that clarify the same.
- Indian Constitution Articles 14, Articles 15, 16, 17, and 18 ensures Civic Equality as Fundamental Rights.
- Indian Constitution Articles 325, 326 ensures Political Equality.
- Indian Constitution Articles 39, DPSP refers to Economic equality.
Fraternity: Meaning in the Constitution of India
The term 'Fraternity' in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution means a sense of brotherhood. The Indian Constitution Article 51-A, which refers to Fundamental Duties sheds light on fraternity. In the Constitution of India, Fraternity is ensured by the system of single citizenship.
The preamble of the Indian Constitution can be comprehensively understood by reading the above article.
Now let’s look at the basic framework of the Constitution of India for better understanding.
Indian Constitution Written by the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. Generally, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is given credit because he was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee.
Originally, the Constitution of India is divided into 25 parts of the Indian Constitution and there are 12 Schedules of the Indian Constitution. You can find all the Indian Constitution Articles on the Constitution of India Pdf.
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