We will be discussing about the Preamble of the Indian Constitution here in a very crisp, precise way which will enable us to answer any question in any type of competitive examination.
The Preamble refers to the introduction or preface of the Constitution. It is the essence or summery 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;
EQUALLY 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 OURSELVESTHIS CONSTITUTION”.
This is our Preamble which is called the‘Soul of the Constitution’. It is also the ‘ identify card of the Constitution’.
The three new words socialist, secular & integrity are added to the Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976.
The Preamble is non-justiciable; i.e, it’s provisions are not enforceable in courts of law. Also it is to be keep in mind that the Preamble is neither a source nor a prohibition upon the power of legislature.
The Preamble is based on the ‘Objective Resolution’ which was drafted by Jawaharlal Nehru.
There are four components of the Preamble; these are –
- The Preamble States that the Constitution derives its authority from the people of India.
- It declares India to be of a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic and republican polity.
- It specifies justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as the objectives of the Constitution.
- It stipulates November 26, 1949 as the date of adoption of the Constitution.
There are certain key words which we need to understand in the Preamble. These are –
- Sovereign:It means India is an absolutely independent country, there is no authority above it &can either acquire a foreign territory or cede a part of its territory in favour of a foreign state.
- Socialist:means nationalisation of all means of production & distribution, abolition of private property.
- Secular: all religions in our country have the same status & support from the state.
- Democratic:means supreme power lies in the People of the country. Universal adult franchise, periodic election, rule of law, independence of judiciary& absence of discrimination on certain grounds are the democratic character of the Indian polity.
- Republic: means vesting of political sovereignty in the people & not in a single individual like a king & also absence of any privileged class.
- Justice: there are mention of three form of justice – social, economical & political.
- Liberty: means absence of restraints on the activities of individual & at the same time providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities.
- Equality: means the absence of special privilege to any section of the society.
- Fraternity: means a sense of brotherhood.
There was a controversy about the Preamble that whether it is a part of the Constitution or not. The Supreme Court opined that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution in the Berubari Union case 1960. But in Kesavananda Bharati case 1973, the Supreme Court rejected its earlier opinion & held that Preamble is the part of the Constitution.
Is the Preamble amendable? Yes, Preamble can be amended, subject to the condition that no amendment is done to the ‘basic features’. So far the Preamble has been amended only once in 1976 by the 42ndConstitutional Amendment Act.
The American Constitution is the first to use the Preamble.