Preamble of Indian Constitution: The preamble to the Indian Constitution serves as a brief introduction to the document, outlining the constitution’s guiding purpose, principles, and philosophy.  

The preamble to the Indian Constitution is an introduction to the Constitution, which contains a set of rules and regulations to guide the country’s citizens. It explains the citizens’ inspiration as well as their motto. The preamble can be thought of as the beginning of the Constitution, highlighting the foundations of the document.

Preamble of Indian Constitution: What is the Preamble?

A preamble is an introductory section of the document that explains the document’s purpose, rules, regulations, and philosophy. A preamble is a brief introduction to a document that highlights the document’s principles and fundamental values. It identifies the document’s authority source.

It was amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976, which declared India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic. It ensures justice, liberty, and equality for all Indian citizens, as well as promoting national unity. The Preamble can give you an idea of what the following things are:

  1. Source of the Constitution
  2. Nature of Indian State
  3. A statement of its objectives
  4. Date of its adoption
Preamble of 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; In Our Constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do Hereby Adopt, Enact And Give To Ourselves This Constitution.

Historical Background of Preamble:

  • Before 1947, India was divided into two parts: British-ruled provinces and princely states ruled by Indian princes under British command.
  • The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is largely based on Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Objective Resolution.’
  • On December 13, 1946, he introduced his objective resolution, which was later approved by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.
  • The preamble should be limited in defining the important features of the new state and its socio-political objectives, according to the drafting committee, and other important matters should be refined further in the Constitution.
  • As stated in the ‘Objective Resolution,’ the committee changed the motto from ‘Sovereign Independent Republic’ to ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic.’
  • The preamble, which contains everything about the constitution, is also known as the constitution’s soul. It was adopted on November 26, 1949, and it began on January 26, 1950, also known as Republic Day.

Need for Preamble in Indian Constitution:

  • The Union of India was formed by combining these two units. The preamble is based on the Constituent Assembly’s principles.
  • It offers a way of life that emphasises fraternity, liberty, and equality as essential elements of a happy life that cannot be taken away from one another.
  • Liberty, equality, and fraternity are inextricably linked and cannot be separated, which means that without equality, liberty would result in minority dominance over the majority.
  • Individual perception would be killed by equality without liberty. Fraternity also aids liberty and equality in their progress.

Components of Preamble

  • The Preamble states that the Constitution’s source of authority is the Indian people.
  • India is declared a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic in the preamble.
  • The Preamble’s goals are to ensure justice, liberty, and equality for all citizens, as well as to promote fraternity in order to maintain the nation’s unity and integrity.
  • The date it was adopted, November 26, 1949, is mentioned in the preamble.

KeyWords In The Preamble

  • Sovereign:
    • India is a sovereign state, according to the Constitution’s preamble. The term “sovereign” refers to the state’s independent authority.
    • It means that no other authority or external power has control over any subject except the state.
    • As a result, the legislature of our country has the authority to enact laws in the country, subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution.
    • In general, there are two types of sovereignty: external and internal. External sovereignty refers to a state’s independence from other states in international law, whereas internal sovereignty refers to the relationship between the state and the people who live there.
  • Socialist:
    • During the emergency, the term “socialist” was added after the 42nd Amendment was passed in 1976.
    • Democratic socialism is denoted by the term socialist. It refers to a political-economic system that is socially, economically, and politically just.
    • Socialism is defined as “equality of opportunity” or “improvement of people’s lives.” Socialism is similar to democracy in that everyone has their own interpretations, but in India, socialism is a means to improve people’s lives.
  • Secular:
    • During the emergency, the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added the term “secular.”
    • India is a secular state, according to the Constitution, because it has no official religion.
    • Citizens have their own perspectives on life and are free to choose their religion. The state gives people complete freedom to practise any religion they want.
    • The state must treat all religions equally, with equal respect, and without discrimination.
    • The state has no right to interfere with people’s religious, faith, or idol worship choices.
  • Democratic:
    • The term “democratic” comes from the Greek words “demos” and “Kratos,” which mean “people” and “authority,” respectively.
    • This leads to the conclusion that the people build the government.
    • India is a democratic country in which citizens elect their government at all levels, including the federal, state, and local or grassroots levels.
    • Everyone, regardless of caste, creed, or gender, has the right to vote. As a result, in a democratic government, everyone has a direct or indirect role in the administration.
  • Republic:
    • India has a republican government, which means that the president is elected rather than a hereditary monarch like a king or queen.
    • The word “republic” comes from the Latin word “res publica,” which means “public property” or “commonwealth.” It means that the people have the power to elect the state’s leader for a set period of time.
    • To summarise, the word “republic” denotes a government in which the head of state is elected by the people rather than inheriting power.

Is Preamble a part of the Constitution?

  • Berubari Case:
    • The Berubari Case was used as a reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution for the implementation of the Indo-Pakistan Agreement concerning the Berubari Union and the exchanging of enclaves, which was decided for consideration by an eight-judge bench.
    • The Court stated in this case that while the “Preamble is the key to opening the minds of the makers,” it cannot be considered part of the Constitution.
  • Kesavananda Bharati Case:
    • For the first time, a bench of 13 judges was assembled to hear a writ petition in this case.
    • According to the Court:
      • The Constitution’s Preamble will now be considered part of the document.
      • The Preamble does not have supreme power or impose any restrictions or prohibitions, but it does play an important role in the interpretation of the Constitution’s statutes and provisions.
    • As a result, the preamble can be considered part of the Constitution’s introductory section.

Amendment of the Preamble

  • The preamble was accepted as part of the Constitution after the Kesavanand Bharati case was decided.
  • As such, it can be amended as part of the Constitution under Article 368, but the basic structure of the preamble cannot be changed.
  • Because the Preamble provides the foundation for the Constitution’s structure. The preamble has only been changed once, thanks to the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
  • 42nd Amendment Act, 1976
    • The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 was the first act to amend the Constitution’s preamble.
    • To protect economic justice and eliminate all forms of discrimination, the words “socialist,” “secular,” and “integrity” were added to the preamble on December 18th, 1976.
    • Between ‘sovereign’ and ‘democratic, “socialist’ and’secular’ were added, and ‘Unity of the Nation’ was changed to ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation.’
  • Interpretation by the Supreme Court
    • After the Constitution was enacted, the preamble was added. The Supreme Court ruled in the Berubari Union Case that the preamble is not a part of the Constitution, but rather serves as a guiding principle for the rest of the document.
    • The Supreme Court reversed its previous decision in the Kesavananda Bharati case, accepting the preamble as part of the Constitution, allowing it to be amended under Article 368 of the Constitution.
    • The Supreme Court upheld its decision in the LIC of India case, declaring the preamble to be part of the Constitution.
    • Finally, the Constitution’s preamble is regarded as a lovely preface to the document because it contains all of the essential information, such as the Constitution’s objective and philosophy.

Constitution Day

  • On 26th November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, which came into effect from 26th January 1950.
  • Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas’, is celebrated in our country on 26th November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 19th November 2015 notified the decision of Government of India to celebrate the 26th day of November every year as ‘Constitution Day’ to promote Constitution values among citizens.

Important Facts about the Preamble for UPSC

  • Our Preamble takes its inspiration from the French Revolutionary Motto of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
  • Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 367, 379, and 394 of the Constitution came into force on November 26, 1949, and the rest of the provisions on January 26, 1950, according to Article 394 of the Constitution.
  • Prem Bihari Narain Raizada wrote the original Indian Constitution in calligraphy with a flowing italic style.
  • The Constitution of the United States of America begins with the words “We the People.”

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