The Preamble of The Constitution of India
The Preamble of the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution of India that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document, and it indicates the source from which the document which derives its authority, meaning, the people.
The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly of India and came into effect on 26th January 1950. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is based on the “Objectives Resolution”, drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru and adopted by the Constituent Assembly.
History of the Preamble to the Constitution of India
The history of the Preamble to the Constitution of India is stated as the ideals behind the Preamble of the Consitution of India were laid down by the Jawaharlal Nehrus’ Objectives Resolution and it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949.
What is a Preamble?
A preamble is an introductory statement or object that explains the document’s philosophy and objectives. In the Constitution of India, the preamble presents the intention of the framers of the Constitution, the history behind the making of the Constitution, and the core principles of the nation.
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.
Components of the Preamble to the Indian Constitution
The components of the preamble to the Indian Constitution are discussed below;
- The Preamble to the Constitution of India indicates that the source of authority of the Constitution lies with the people of India.
- The preamble of the Indian Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic country.
- The main objectives of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution stated to Secure Justice, Liberty, and Equality for all its Citizens and to Promote Fraternity to Maintain the Unity and Integrity of the Nation.
- The date of adoption of the Constitution of India is mentioned in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution i.e. 26th November 1949.
The Preamble to the Constitution of India gives ideas of the following;
- Source of the Constitution
- Nature of Indian State
- Statement of its Objectives and Goals
- Date of its Adoption
Source of the Constitution
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA is the phrase which emphasises that the Constitution of India is made by and for the people of the country and not given to them by any other State or external power.
The words, “We, the People of India” indicates the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India. Here, the word Sovereignty means the independent authority of the State that not being subject to the control of any other State or external power.
The concept of popular sovereignty as laid down by Jurist Rousseau, stated that all the power emanates from the people and the political system will be accountable and responsible to its people.
Nature of Indian State
The word “Sovereign” means that India has its own independent authority and is not dominated or controlled by any other State or external power. In India, people are free from the control of any foreign power or external force and internally, the country has a free government that is directly elected by its people. Therefore, India is an internal and external sovereign country. In India, the Parliament has the power to make laws which are subject to certain limitations.
The term “Socialist” means achieving socialist ends through democratic means. The word socialist has been inserted in the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India, 1976. It holds faith in a diluted economy where both public and private sectors co-exist in the Country.
“Socialism” is an economical philosophy where the State owns means of production and distribution. India has adopted a mixed economy, where apart from the State and there will be private production too.
The word “Secular” means all the different religions in India get equal respect, protection, opportunities and support from the State. In India, every person will be equally treated and entitled to the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate the religion of their own choice. The term secular is also added in the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India, 1976.
The term “Democratic” implies that the Consitution of India has an established form of the Consitution which gets its authority from the will of its people which is expressed through the election. The Preamble resolves India to be a democratic country, which means all the powers lie with the people.
The word “Republic” in the preamble indicates that the head of the State is elected by the people. In India, the president is the elected head of the State.
Republic means the opposite of a monarchy system. In the monarchy system, the head of State is appointed on a hereditary basis for a lifetime or until he abdicates from the throne.
Therefore, the post of the President of India is not hereditary. Every person in India is eligible to become the President of the country.
Objectives of the Preamble of the Consitution
The main objective of the Preamble of the Consitution is to promote harmony throughout the nation. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land and it helps to maintain integrity in society and to promote unity among the citizens to build a great nation.
- Why Do We Need a Constitution
- Difference Between Constitutional Law and Administrative Law
- The Types of Constitution
There are some important factors specified in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution that help in achieving these objectives;
The main object of the Constitution is to maintain law and order in society which is promised through various provisions of the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy provided in the Constitution of India. It comprises three essential elements which are Social, Economical and Political.
a. Social Justice
In the Preamble to the Constitution, social justice means the makers of the Constitution want to create a society without any discrimination on any grounds like caste, race, creed, gender, religion etc.
b. Economic Justice
Economic justice means there is no discrimination that can be made by people on the basis of their wealth, income and economic status. Each and every person must be paid equally for an equal position and all people must get opportunities to earn to live equally.
c. Political Justice
Political justice means all people have an equal, free and fair right to participate in political opportunities without any discrimination.
The term “Equality” means no section of society has any special privileges and all the people of the country have equal rights and opportunities for everything in the country without any discrimination. Each and every person is equal in the eye of the law.
The word “Liberty” means freedom for the people to choose their own way of life. Every person has the right to liberty to live in the country of their own will and also has political views and behaviour in society.
Here, liberty does not mean a person can do any wrong, means a person can do what he wants but is prohibited to do anything against the binding laws of the country.
“Fraternity” means a feeling of brotherhood and an emotional attachment to the country and its people. Fraternity helps to promote dignity and unity among its people in the nation.
Date of its Adoption
The Constitution of India is adopted on 26th November 1949.
But, most of the articles of the Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.
Article 394 states that this article (394) and articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Constitution shall come into force on the twenty-sixth day of January 1950, which day is referred to in this Constitution as the commencement of this Constitution.
Interpretation by Supreme Court
In this case, the Berubari Union and the President had consulted the Supreme Court of India regarding the Nehru-Noon Agreement signed between the Prime Minister of India and Pakistan.
This case was used as a reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution of India which was on the implementation of the India-Pakistan Agreement relating to the Berubari Union and in changing the enclaves which were decided for consideration by the Supreme Court Bench consisting of eight judges.
In Berubari Case, it was also held that the Preamble of the Constitution of India serves as a guide to open the minds of its makers of law but it can not be considered as part of the Constitution of India. Therefore, it is not enforceable in a court of law.
The Kesavananda Bharati Case was decided by the Supreme Court Bench comprising 13 judges. In this case, the Supreme Court held that;
- The Preamble of the Constitution will be considered an introductory part of the Constitution.
- The Preamble is not the supreme power or source of any restriction or prohibition but it plays an important role in the interpretation of statutes and other provisions of the Constitution.
Amendment of the Preamble
- In Kesavananda Bharati Case, the Supreme Court of India considered the Preamble as an introductory part of the Constitution. And, as per Article 368 of the Constitution, the preamble can be amended but the basic structure of the preamble can not be amended.
- The term “Socialist”, “Secular” and “Integrity” were added to the Preamble of the Constitution through the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India, 1976.
- The Preamble of the Constitution is only amended once through the 42nd Amendment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the importance of the Indian Constitution Preamble?
It contains ideals that the Constitution seeks to achieve. It gives direction and purpose to the Constitution. It also enshrines the grand objectives and socio-economic goals which are to be achieved through constitutional processes.
How many words are in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution?
The Preamble of the Constitution of India has 73 words.
What are the 5 parts of the Preamble?
The following are the five major parts of the Preamble to the Constitution of India: Liberty, Justice, Sovereign, Secular, and Democratic Republic.
Who wrote the Preamble of India?
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is based on the “Objectives Resolution”, drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru and adopted by the Constituent Assembly.
The Preamble of the Constitution of India is based on the “Objectives Resolution”, drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru and adopted by the Constituent Assembly. The Preamble of the Constitution of India was first introduced on the 26th of November 1949.