Saturday, September 2, 2023

preamble of the indian constitution | meaning of preamble

By:   Last Updated: in: ,

meaning of preamble
preamble to the indian constitution

Preamble of the Indian 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;



  • The preamble page along with other pages of the original Constitution  was designed and decorated by renowned painter Beohar Rammanohar Sinha belongs from Jabalpur(Madhya Pradesh).
  • Prem Behari Narain Raizada was the calligrapher who wrote the Constitution of India by his hand.

Debate Summary of Preamble -

The Constituent Assembly debated the Preamble on 17th October 1949. The debates around the Preamble revolved around the name of India and inclusion of 'God' and 'Gandhi'.

One member urged the Assembly to rename India as the ‘Union of Indian Socialistic Republics’, similar to the USSR. Members were not convinced with this suggestion as they felt that it would go against the already adopted constitutional scheme.

Another member sought to include ‘In the name of God’. Many were opposed to this suggestion – it was noted that it was unfortunate to put ‘God’ on vote. One member believed that inclusion of ‘God’ would amount to ‘compulsion of faith’ and violate the fundamental right to freedom of faith.

Another proposal was made to include Gandhi’s name in the Preamble. A member was discontent with the already adopted draft articles as he felt that the Indian constitution was based on the American Supreme Court cases and Government of India Act.  He opposed any association of Gandhi with the ‘rotten Constitution’.

The amendments moved by the members were negatived. However, this was one of the rare instances of the Assembly proceedings wherein the members voted on the proposal to include ‘God’ by a show of hands. The Assembly was divided with 41 voting in favour and 68 voting against it.

The Assembly adopted the Preamble as presented by the Drafting Committee.

Importance of Preamble-

  • In the history of the first time in the world USA has occupied preamble after that many other country of the world included the Preamble in their constitution.
  • Preamble is the essence of the constitution.
  • India's Preamble is based on objective resolution presented by the first prime minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Eminent jurist and constitutional expert N.A. Palkhivala has termed the Preamble as introduction to the Indian Constitution
  • Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava a member of the constituent assembly has termed the Preamble of India the most respected part of constitution. According to him Preamble is the soul of Indian Constitution. Preamble is the key to the Indian Constitution. it is also an ornament of the Indian Constitution. according to him this is the proper place from where any person can evaluate the constitution
  • According to Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar the Preamble of the Indian Constitution is the Idea of our long term dreams.
  • According to the K.M. Munshi the Preamble of the Indian Constitution is the result of our sovereign democratic republic.
  • Eminent English politics politicalist Ernest Baker has said political enlighted person who has written the Preamble of the constitution. he says Preamble is the keynote to constitution .he has mentioned this in his famous book principle of social and political Theory.
  •  Former Chief Justice of India M. Hidayatullah says the Preamble of India is equal to the declaration of independence of USA but it is more then the declaration. Preamble is the soul of our constitution in which it is mentioned that the manner of political society.
The Preamble to the Constitution of India introductory part in shorts that sets out the guiding purpose; principles and philosophy of the Indian constitution. The Preamble of India provides an idea about The Source of the constitution; Nature of the Indian states; its objectives as a guiding light to the constitution and the date of its adoption.

Source of the Constitution:-

The source of constitution is the We, The People of India

The phrase “We the people of India” gives importance to the Indian citizen that the constitution is made by the people, to the people and for the people.

It gives importance to the concept of popular sovereignty as laid down by Rousseau too; All the powers draws from the citizen of India and thus political system and political representatives will be accountable and responsible to the people of India.

Nature of Indian states:-

India is neither dependent on other countries nor is dominances of other countries. India is internally and externally sovereign means India is externally free from the control and power of any foreign country and internally; 

it has a free government that is directly elected by the people of India and responsible and accountable to Indian people. Govt. makes policy in wake of public welfare.

No external power or country can commandant the government of India. As an sovereign state India can adopt foreign territories and can give up his claim on any part of his boundary territory.

India was socialist in nature as in DPSP (directive principles of state policy) of Indian constitution the Characteristics of socialist was inherited. The term Socialism is meant for economic philosophy in which the production and distribution are owned by the States.

India has adopted Mixed Economy, where apart from the state, there will be private production too. consequently India's socialism is democratic socialism not communism socialism. this meant for india's socialism is based on states. 

Indian socialism is mixed up of both Marxism and Gandhism in which there is much inclination towards Gandhism. 
In 1991 the LPG reform  ( libralization, privatization and globalisation) has made the Socialism more flexible which gives compatible priorities to the Private sector/players. By 42nd amendment 1976 the word socialist added into the preamble.

Features of secularism as are mentioned in the Preamble. It means that the state will have no religion of its own. state will treat equally to all religion.

In S.R. Bommai and Others v Union of India case Supreme court stated that all persons will be equally entitled to the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate the religion of their choice.

although the word secular is not mentioned in Indian constitution yet the characteristics of secularism can be see. Article 25 to Article 28 is added in this reference.

By 42nd amendment 1976 the word secularism added into the preamble. In the wake of this SC has also emphasized for secularism in 1976.

Democratic meant for the power of authority which draw the power rom the peoples will. The head of govt. and all the representatives are elected by the people and are responsible to them.

democracy is not meant for only political but also for both the social and his speech given in constituent assembly B. R. Ambedkar emphasized that political democracy can not exists until  social democracy in his essence.

in this regarding SC in 1997 verdict for establishment of social, political and economical justice in the wake of democracy. 

In a monarch state the head of state is appointed on the hereditary basis for a lifetime or until he abdicates from the throne; for example in the Britain.

 whereas in a democratic republic the head of state is elected directly or indirectly for a fixed tenure. The President of India is elected indirectly by an electoral system for five years tenure. 

there is two essence in republic regarding India; first is political sovereignty is not centralized in hand of head of state but is decentralized in people of India. 
second is the absence of privilege class i.e. all the public office is opened for all without any discrimination.

Objectives of Indian State-

Justice:- Political, Social and Economic  

Equality:- of status and opportunity

Liberty:- of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

Fraternity:- assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation(brotherhood)

Date of adoption-

The date of adoption of the Constitution is 26th November 1949;Those articles which came into existence on 26th November 1949 is given by Article 394.

26th January was decided for this purpose because of in 1930 ; the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress in Lahore session.

Important cases on preamble of Indian Constitution-

A)  Berubari vs. Union of state 1960

In this landmark judgement Supreme Court said that Preamble is not a part of constitution so Preamble has no any substantive power . In this case Supreme Court said that Preamble is not a part of Indian Constitution.

B) Golaknath vs. State of Punjab 1967

In this case land tenure Act was challenged in the supreme court it was asserted that citizens have a fundamental rights under rights to property under article 19 of the the constitution of India.

C) Keshvanand Bharti vs. state of Kerala 1973

 In this very famous landmark judgement of Supreme Court; court asserted that Preamble is a part of Indian Constitution.

D)Minerva Mills vs. Union of India 1980

 with the help of preamble relationship between fundamental rights and directive principle of State Policy has been established. basically

  this case was related to the Supremacy  between the fundamental rights and directive principle of State Policy. Court has asserted that there is no superiority between the fundamental rights and DPSP. Court has said that both are complement to each other.

E) LIC of India vs. Union of India 1995

 In this case Supreme Court has again verdict that Preamble is internal part of Indian Constitution.

Preamble as a part of constitution

Like other parts of the Constitution, the Constituent Assembly also made the Preamble, but while other parts had already been made. 
The Preamble was lastly included in the Indian Constitution. Judgment given by the Supreme Court;

 the Preamble is an integral part of the Indian Constitution; Equivalent to the opinion of the father of the constitution.

The following two facts are important in this context-
  • The Preamble is neither a source of power of the legislature nor a restriction on its powers.

  •  Preamble is non-judicial i.e. Preamble cannot be enforced by court.

Amendment to the preamble-

The matter of amending the Preamble was first raised in Keswananda Bharati case 1973 later, through which it was told that the Preamble can be amended by Article 368 provided that there is no change in its basic structure

Under this the 42nd Constitutional Amendment 1976 was implemented, under which three additional words were added which was socialist, secular and integrity into the preamble.
hence there is only one amendment in preamble till yet.

No comments:
Write comment