Preamble of Indian Constitution
The Preamble of India declares the country as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and republic. Its main goals are to ensure justice, liberty, equality for all citizens, and to foster a sense of brotherhood to uphold the unity and integrity of the nation. The Indian Constitution’s Preamble was first introduced on November 26, 1949, by the Constituent Assembly. It officially became effective on January 26, 1950, and this date is now celebrated every year as Republic Day in India.
Preamble of Constitution
The ‘Preamble’ of the Indian Constitution serves as a concise introduction, outlining the core purpose and principles of the document. It also signifies that the document derives its authority from the people. This essential preamble was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on November 26, 1949, and it officially came into effect on January 26, 1950.
The roots of this preamble can be traced back to 1946 when Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the Objective Resolution, which described the constitutional framework. On January 22, 1947, this resolution was adopted. It played a significant role in shaping the Indian Constitution, with its modified version reflected in the current Preamble.
Key Components of Preamble
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution reads as follows:
“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 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.”
What’s in Preamble
The Preamble begins with “We, the people of India,” which means that the Indian Constitution is made by and for the citizens of the country. It’s a way of saying that the power and authority in India come from its people.
Next, it says India is “sovereign,” which means it’s an independent country that makes its own decisions. No other country can tell India what to do.
The word “socialist” was added later and it means that India is committed to reducing economic inequalities and promoting fairness.
“Secular” means that the government in India is separate from religion. This ensures that people of all religions are treated equally.
“Democratic Republic” means that India is a democracy where people choose their leaders through elections, and there’s no king or queen.
“Justice, social, economic, and political” is about making sure that everyone in India is treated fairly in terms of laws, social opportunities, and economic benefits.
“Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship” means that in India, you’re free to think, speak, and believe what you want. You can practice any religion you choose.
“Equality of status and opportunity” means that in India, everyone should have an equal chance to succeed, no matter where they come from or who they are.
“Fraternity” means that people in India should treat each other like brothers and sisters. We should all get along and help each other.
Lastly, it mentions “Unity and Integrity of the Nation,” which means that India should always be one united country and protect itself from anything that tries to divide it.
History of Preamble of Indian Constitution
The Preamble of the Constitution sets out its goals, even though it’s not legally binding. It helps clarify parts of the Constitution when there’s uncertainty in the language used.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, passed by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947, laid the groundwork for India’s Constitution. It established the fundamental principles of equality, liberty, democracy, sovereignty, and cosmopolitanism.
This Resolution strengthened the moral commitment to create a government that would fulfill the promises made to the Indian people during the nationalist movement. It was unanimously approved on January 22, 1947, and served as the foundation for the Preamble to the Constitution.
The Preamble embodies the core values and philosophy of the Indian Constitution, outlining its fundamental ideals.
Objectives of Preamble of Indian Constitution
In 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru put forth the Objective Resolution, a key proposal that shaped India’s constitution. This resolution was officially adopted on January 22, 1947. It played a significant role in influencing the Indian Constitution, with its principles being reflected in the Constitution’s Preamble. The key ideas highlighted in the Objective Resolution were:
- Recognizing India as an independent, sovereign, and republic nation.
- Establishing a constitution for India.
- Transforming pre-independence Indian provinces into post-independence states.
- Creating a distinct authority separate from state governments.
- Granting states autonomy as per the Indian Constitution.
- Empowering the Indian people as the ultimate source of sovereignty and independence.
- Upholding justice, social, economic, and political equality, along with freedoms of expression, association, and action, within the bounds of the law and public morality.
- Providing protection to minorities, tribal, underdeveloped regions, and marginalized sections of society.
- Safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Indian Republic and its sovereign rights over land, sea, and air according to international law and justice.
- Promoting international harmony and prosperity.
Preamble of Indian Constitution Amendments
The inclusion of the Preamble in the Indian Constitution has been a subject of debate in the Supreme Court on various occasions. Understanding two important cases can shed light on this matter:
This case was invoked under Article 143(1) of the Constitution, relating to the implementation of the Berubari Union as per the Indo-Pakistan Agreement. During this case, a panel of eight judges considered whether the Preamble should be considered as part of the Constitution. The Court concluded that the Preamble is crucial for understanding the framers’ intentions but cannot be enforced in a court of law.
Kesavananda Bharati Case
In a significant development, a bench of 13 judges assembled to hear a writ petition. In this case, the Court ruled that:
The Constitution’s Preamble should be considered a component of the document.
While it is not the ultimate authority or the source of legal restrictions, the Preamble holds significance in interpreting laws and constitutional provisions.
Therefore, it can be regarded as an integral part of the Constitution’s introduction.
In a subsequent case in 1995, Union Government vs. LIC of India, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Preamble is an essential part of the Constitution. However, it clarified that it cannot be directly enforced in an Indian court of law.
In summary, the Indian Supreme Court has debated the status of the Preamble in the Constitution. While it is considered a significant part of the document, it is not immediately enforceable in Indian courts.
Following the Kesavananda Bharati case, it was established that the Preamble is indeed a part of the Indian Constitution. In response to this recognition, the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 was enacted. It’s important to note that while the Preamble can be altered, its fundamental structure remains unchanged. To date, the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 stands as the sole modification made to the Preamble.
This 1976 amendment introduced significant changes to the Preamble. It added the words “Socialist,” “Secular,” and “Integrity” to the original text. Specifically, these terms were inserted between “Sovereign” and “Democratic.” Additionally, the phrase “Unity and Integrity of the Nation” replaced the previous wording, “Unity of the Nation.”
Interesting Facts about Indian Constitution
- The Preamble to the Indian Constitution was added after the entire Constitution was enacted.
- In 1976, the term ‘secular’ was incorporated into the Preamble through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
- The Preamble guarantees all Indian citizens the freedom of belief, faith, and worship.
- The idea of justice (social, economic, and political) in the Preamble is inspired by the Soviet Union (Russia) Constitution.
- The concepts of Republic, liberty, equality, and fraternity in the Preamble were influenced by the French Constitution.
- The concept of a Preamble itself was initially introduced through the American Constitution.
Preamble of Constitution FAQs
Q1. What are the 5 preamble of the Indian Constitution?
Ans. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution defines the essence of the Indian state. It outlines five fundamental principles: Socialism, Sovereignty, Secularism, Democracy, and Republic. These principles reflect the core values and character of the Indian nation. Additionally, the Preamble highlights key objectives, such as Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, and Equality, which serve as guiding ideals for the country’s governance and development.
Q2. Who wrote the Preamble of India?
Ans. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru authored the initial version of the Preamble for the Indian Constitution. It’s important to note that the Constituent Assembly officially approved and adopted this draft as the Preamble on November 26, 1949.