Preamble of Indian Constitution
The ‘Preamble’ of the Constitution of India describes the objectives and philosophy of our Constitution. It is the basic ideology of Independent India. In a Preamble, it depicts the ideas that elected governments and the citizens of India must embrace. The Constitution of India defines the way our Country should be. India should be an inclusive, independent and equal state.
- The Preamble was first introduced in the American Constitution.
- For the first time, the Government of India Act 1919 (Montague Chelmsford Reforms) has a separate preamble. However, the Government of India Act 1935 had no Preamble.
- The Preamble to the Indian Constitution is based on the ‘Objective Resolution’, drafted and moved by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and adopted by The Constituent Assembly of India on November 26, 1949, and came into effect on January 26, 1950.
Components of the Preamble of Indian Constitution
The preamble Intends to give an idea about :
- Source of Authority of the Constitution
- Nature of the Indian State :
- Objectives of the Constitution of India
- Date of adoption of the Indian Constitution
Let us know about these components in detail -
1. Source of Authority of the Constitution
The Preamble states that ( ‘WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA’ ) the Constitution derives its authority from the People of India.
2. Nature of the Indian State
It declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic Polity.
- The Preamble declares that India is a Sovereign State. Sovereign State is governed without any forceful influence of foreign powers.
- India is neither a dependent state nor a domination of any other nation.
- India is an Independent state, People have a supreme right to make their opinions on internal as well as external matters. No external power can mandate the Government of India.
- India can either acquire a foreign land or cede( give up) a part of its land in favour of a foreign state.
- In 1949, India declared the continuation of full membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations. However, this extra- constitutional declaration does not affect India's Sovereignty in any manner.
- It's the idea of redistribution of wealth equally in the country.
- The Socialist government applies taxes on the people who have more money and distributes it to those who have less money.
- The term ‘Socialist’ was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
C ) Secular
- The Indian Constitution embodies the Positive concept of secularism, i.e., all the religions in the country have the same status and support from the state.
- Citizens must have complete freedom to follow any religion.
- The government can’t force citizens to follow a particular religion.
- No one is treated differently based on their religion.
- The Government is not supposed to provide any special treatment to the people entirely based on their religion.
- Article 25 to 28 (fundamental right to freedom of religion) has been made for the citizens.
- A Democratic state is one where the people of the country have the power to choose and elect their leaders.
- Anyone over the age of 18 years, a man or a woman, rich or poor, irrespective of their caste and creed, is allowed to give their vote to elect the leader they want, on their own. It can be termed as the Universal Adult Franchise.
- India is a Republic Country.
- The term ‘Republic’ states that India has an elected head, the President is elected. He/she is elected for a term of 5 years.
- This position isn’t hereditary. The president can’t pass on their positions to their childrens when the term period is over.
- The same rule also applies to Prime Ministers, MLAs, MPs, Chief Ministers, and Ministers.
- All have to win the elections to occupy these positions.
Objectives of the Constitution of India
It Specifies Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are known to be the main Objectives of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. Let's discuss these objectives in detail :
- The Constitution provides Social, Economical and Political Justice to all the citizens.
- The ideals of Justice ( Social, Economical, and Political Justice) have been taken from the Russian Revolution (1917).
- Social Justice - It denotes equal treatments to all citizens without any social discrimination like caste, colour, sex, religion, race, etc. It emphasises the improvement in the conditions of backward classes (SCs, STs and OBCs) and even women.
- Economical Justice - It refers to the situation, where the citizens have an equal opportunity to earn a decent living. There should be no discrimination among the citizens based on economic factors. It focuses on the elimination of inequalities in wealth, income and property.
- Political Justice - It refers to the situation, where all the citizens must have equal political rights, equal access to vote and equal voices in the government.
- Liberty is the state of being free within the society from the oppressive restrictions imposed by the government on one’s thought, expression, faith, worship and belief. Citizens have the Fundamental Right to decide for themselves.
- Liberty means providing opportunities for the individual's personality development.
- Liberty meant the absence of restrictions on the activities of individuals. But the citizens' liberty should not affect others in a wrong way. Having the liberty of the citizens does not mean that you have freedom to do whatever you want!
- The Preamble ensures that every citizen should get similar opportunities, rights and status in society. Every individual must have equal opportunities to achieve their dreams without any discrimination.
- All citizens must be treated equally and must have the same rights.
- The term ‘Equality’ embraces 3 dimensions - Political, Civic and Economic Equality.
- Political Equality - (Article 325) declares that no person is to be declared ineligible for inclusion in electoral rolls on grounds of religion, caste, race or sex.
- Civic Equality - (Article 14-18) Right to equality and equal Protection Laws.
- Economic Equality - (Article 39) secures the equal right for livelihood and equal pay for equal work to both men and women.
- Fraternity means a sense of Brotherhood among individuals. The Constitution of India promotes fraternity among all individuals.
- The Preamble states that Fraternity holds two things- First, is to protect the dignity of the individuals. Second, to Enhance the integrity of the nation and the feeling of unity among the citizens.
Date of adoption of the Constitution of India
The adoption was laid down on November 26, 1949.
Significance of Preamble of Indian Constitution
The significance of the Preamble are as follows :
- The Preamble holds the noble vision of the Constituent Assembly.
- The Preamble is referred to as ‘Horoscope of our sovereign democratic republic’ by K.M Munshi, ‘Soul of the Constitution’ by Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava and ‘Identity Card of The Constitution’ by N.A. Palkhivala.
- It reflects the dreams and aspirations of the Constitution for the Citizens.
- The preamble signifies the fundamental values and basic philosophy, such as, political, moral, and religious- on which the constitution is made.
- It also acts as a guide for successive governments to uphold the objectives of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
- It helps the Supreme Court in interpreting whether a particular legislation is in line with the spirit of the Constitution.