Preamble to the Constitution of India

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indian-constitution facts

The Preamble

The preamble is derived from the Latin word, preambles, which means ‘walking before’The Preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that lays down the guiding principles of the Constitution. It is like a preface to the Constitution which spells out the hopes and aspirations of the people of the country. Though Preamble of the Constitution is part of the Constitution, it is not enforceable by courts. It can be amended like other provisions of the Constitution.

“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;

Preamble states source of authority as people of India

It mentions the nature of Indian state as Sovereign socialist, secular, democratic and republic

It mentions that justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as its objectives

Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949

The Preamble has been amended only once so far in 1976 by 42nd Amendment which inserted the words, ‘Socialism’, ‘Secularism’ and ‘Integrity’

Read More-Indian Constitution – All Facts

Critics on Preamble

  • The Preamble is termed as ‘Political Horoscope’ by K. M. Munshi
  • Key to the Constitution by Earnest Barker,
  • Soul of the Constitution by Thakurdas Bhargav.
  • Because of complexity of its provisions, the Indian Constitution is termed as ‘Paradise of Lawyers’ by M. V. Paylee.
  • Granville Austin says that Indian Constitution is basically a social document and it is an example of ‘co-operative federalism’..
  • D. Basu terms Indian Constitution as mixture of unitary and federal features.
  • According to k.c wheare, it is ‘quasi-federal’, it is less fedral and more unitary.
  • For prof. Alexandro wicx, India is a case ‘Sui Generis'(i.e., Unique in character)
  • For Sir Ivor Jennings, it is a federation with strong centralising tendency,

Key words in preamble and its meaning:

SOVEREIGN – No outside authority over India; India will conduct its own affairs both internal and external

SOCIALIST – This word was added in 1976 by 42nd Amendment Act. It aims to achieve socialistic patter through democratic means.

SECULAR – This means all regions to get equal treatment; This word was added in 1976 by 42nd Amendment Act.

DEMOCRATIC – It means supreme power is with people, which is exercised via regular elections.

REPUBLIC – It implies that head of the state is an elected representative for a fixed tenure; No hereditary rule

JUSTICE – Includes social, Economical and Political Justice.

LIBERTY – It means the absence of restraint on activities of individuals. It includes liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith

EQUALITY: It means absence of special privileges to any section of the society and treating citizens equally irrespective of caste, race, sex and religion

FRATERNITY: It means a sense of brotherhood among all citizens, which is promoted by constitution by giving single citizenship

  • In 1960, In Beruberi case, Supreme Court stated that “Preamble is not a part of the constitution”
  • In 1973, In Kesavananda Bharati Vs. Kerala Govt. case, Supreme Court said that “Preamble is a Part of the Constitution”; Following this ruling, the 42nd Amendment in 1976 inserted the words ‘Socialist‘, ‘Secular‘ & ‘Integrity
  • In 1993, In S.R.Bommai case, Supreme Court Said “Preamble is an Integral Part of Constitution”
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