The Preamble to the Constitution of India is a short basic explanation that sets out rules, which guide the people of India and introduce the principles of the Constitution of India. It shows the source from which the document determines its position and meaning. It reflects the expectations and hopes of the people. The introduction can be referred to as the preface which highlights the whole Constitution. It was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly and became effective on 26 January 1950, celebrated as the Republic day in India. The original preamble of the Indian constitution was made in 1947 but adopted in 1949.
The preamble to the Constitution of India
The preamble to the Constitution of India is a presentation of the Constitution that gives the rules for the individuals, controls the individuals of India, gives the standards of the Constitution, and indicates the sources from which the document derives its powers, meaning, and authority. The Preamble can be referred to as the gist of the entire Constitution of India. The preamble of the Constitution is based on the Objectives which was first drafted and then moved to the Constituent Assembly and then came into effect on the 13th day of November 1946.
The Preamble meaning
The term preamble means the introduction to the Stature. The preamble of the Indian constitution is the introductory part of the constitution of India. The preamble of the constitution is the key to unlock the intention of the legislative of the statute. It is the best means to understand the statute.
In the case of Re Berubari Union case the Supreme court of India observed that the preamble of our constitution is “a key to open the mind of makers of the constitution. It shows the general purposes for which they had made the several provisions under the constitution of India.”
History of the preamble to the constitution of India
The preamble depends on the “Objectives Resolution” which was drafted and moved in the Constituent Assembly by Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 December 1946 which later became the preamble of the Indian constitution.
R. Ambedkar said about the preamble:- It was, surely, a lifestyle, which determines freedom, uniformity, and fraternity as the standards of life and which can’t be separated from one another: Liberty can’t be separated from equality, equality can’t be separated from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be separated from the fraternity. Without equality, freedom would create the matchless quality of a couple over the many. Equality without liberty would execute the singular activity. Without fraternity, equality and liberty couldn’t turn into a characteristic course of things.
India’s preamble was amended just a single time on 18 December 1976, with the majority of the opposition being imprisoned during the Emergency in India.
The Indira Gandhi government pushed through a few changes in the 42nd Amendment of the constitution. Through this amendment, the words “socialist” and “secular” were added between the words “Sovereign” and “democratic” and the words “unity of the Nation” were changed to “unity and integrity of the Nation”.
Key points of the Preamble of India
- It is considered as the key to unlocking the intention of the legislatures of the statute.
- The preamble of India declares Indian as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic country.
- The preamble of India was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent assembly.
- It became effective on 26 January 1950
- The preamble of India is amended only one time on 18 December 1976.
Is preamble part of the constitution?
It is the most important question related to the Indian preamble. Article 368 of the constitution gives the powers to the parliament to amend the constitution of India. In the case of the Re Berubari Union, The supreme court of India held that the parliament can amend any part of the constitution of India as per article 368. But the preamble of India is not part of the constitution of India, so the preamble cannot be amended.
The preamble of the constitution was also enacted and adopted as the other parts of the constitution and this point was observed in the case of Kesavananda Bharati vs the State of Kerala. In this case, the Supreme Court observed that the preamble is enacted and adopted with the same way as like the other parts of the constitution so the Preamble is the part of the constitution of India and parliament has the power to amend the preamble as per the article 368 of the constitution of India.
But as we read that the preamble is the bundle of basic features, so the parliament can amend the preamble with the use of article 368 but the parliament cannot change the basic features of the preamble to the constitution of India.
Keywords in the Preamble of India
The preamble to the constitution of India has words with their deep meaning. So let’s know about them:
We the people of India
We the people of India is the first word of the Indian preamble. It signifies that the powers rest in the hands of the people of India. The constitution of Indian is given by the people of India by themselves. The constituent assembly created the constitution of Indian on the behalf of the people of India.
Words defining the nature of the Indian constitution
India is a Sovereign Country. It means the authority of the State is independent. The State is not controlled by any other State or external power. The power to make the rules and regulations are in the hands of the Legislature of that State. No external power can interfere in the internal matters of India.
Sovereign meaning in the Indian constitution
Sovereign means the free authority of a State. It implies that it has the ability to administer regarding any matter; and that it isn’t dependent upon the control of some other State/outer force. As per the introduction, the constitution of India has been in pursuance of the serious goal of the individuals of India to comprise India into a ‘Sovereign, Democratic, Republic’, and to make sure about all around characterized objects set out in the preamble.
Sovereignty, in short, implies the independent authority of a state. It has two perspectives outer and inward. Outside power or sovereignty in international law implies the independence of a condition of the desire of different states, in her direction with different states in the advisory group of countries.
Socialist in preamble
Socialist was introduced in the preamble in the 42nd amendment. The socialist word used in the preamble is inspired by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The main objective of the socialists in the preamble is to establish the welfare State. It aims to remove poverty, ignorance inequality from society. It holds faith in the mixed economy where private and public sectors can work side by side.
Before the term was included by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the Constitution had communist substance as certain Directive Principles of State Policy. The term communist as utilized here alludes to majority rule communism, for example, an accomplishment of communist objectives through just, transformative and peaceful methods. It implies that (since riches is produced socially) riches ought to be shared similarly by society through distributive equity, not packed in the hands of not many and that the legislature ought to control the responsibility for and industry to decrease financial disparities.
It was also introduced in the 42nd amendment. The Secular in the preamble to the constitution of India means the country has no religion. The country is Neutral in the case of Religion. In India, everyone has the right to follow any religion. Secularism is also part of the basic structure of the Constitution of India and it means “equal respect and freedom for all the religions”. The country shall have no religion but its individuals are free to practice any religion.
Secular means that the connection between the government authority and religious groups are resolved by constitution and law. It isolates the intensity of the state and religion. By the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the term “Secular” was likewise consolidated in the Preamble. There is no distinction of religion for example Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity and Islam are similarly regarded and also, there is no state religion. All the citizens of India are permitted to claim, practice and propagate.
Democracy means the rule of people. The people of India elect their Government by Universal franchise, also known as “one person one vote”. Each citizen of India 18 years old or older and not in any case suspended by law is qualified for vote. The word vote based refers not exclusively to a political vote based system yet in addition to social and monetary majority rule government.
The word democratic refers not only to political democracy but also to social and economic democracy.
There are two types of democracy i.e. direct and indirect. We use the indirect democracy in India which is also known as the Representative form of democracy.
Republic in the preamble to the constitution of India indicates that the people of the State elect the Head of the State directly or indirectly. In India, the President of India is the head of the State and indirectly elected by us. The term of office of the President of India is 5 years.
In a republic type of government, the head of state is chosen and not an inherited ruler. Hence, this word means a government where nobody holds public force as a restrictive right. Rather than a government, in which the head of state is designated on a hereditary reason forever or if nothing else until abduction, a majority rule republic is a substance wherein the head of state is chosen, straightforwardly or by implication, for fixed citizenship. In this manner, India has a prime minister who is elected and has a fixed term of office. There’s an absence of any privileged class and thus all open offices are being opened to each citizen with no separation.
Words establishing the objectives of the Indian constitution
The main objective of the Indian constitution is to promote harmony throughout the country. let’s know about the words which are establishing the objectives of the Indian constitution.
India seeks social, economic, and political justice to ensure equality for its citizens.
(I) Social Justice:
Social Justice means no discrimination against any of the people on the basis of creed, caste, religion, and sex. Every person will be equal in the eye of the law.
(ii) Economic Justice:
There will be no discrimination between males and females on the basis of economic status.
(iii) Political Justice:
It stands for equal and fair opportunities to the people for participation in politics.
The idea behind Liberty is freedom in the activities of the citizen of India. It says that there are no unreasonable restrictions on the citizen’s expressions and thinking, etc.
This shows that every person is equal in front of the law. There will be no special provisions given to any person.
The fraternity refers to the feeling of brotherhood. The Preamble announces that fraternity gives guarantee two things—the nobility of the individual and the solidarity and uprightness of the nation.
FAQ related to the preamble
What is preamble?
The preamble is the introductory part of any statute that states the principles of that statute. In simple words, it is the presentation of the Constitution or statute that indicates the main purposes and objectives of the constitution.
Who drafted the preamble of India?
The preamble was as a draft in front of the constituent assembly at the time of the making of the constitution of India which was defining the objects and principles of the constitution. Initially, it was known as the objective resolution. It was adopted as the preamble of India on 26 January 1947.
Can parliament amend the preamble?
The parliament has the power to amend the preamble of India as per article 368 of the constitution of India but the parliament cannot amend the basic features of the constitution of India.
Conclusion of the preamble to the constitution of India
The Indian constitution is the key to unlock the intention of the legislatures of the statute. The preamble defines the objectives and nature of the constitution of India. It is the introduction to our Indian constitution. There are many cases that talk about the preamble and its amendment. As per the cases related to the preamble, Article 368 of the constitution of India gives the power to the parliament to amend the preamble as it is part of the constitution of India but, the parliament cannot change the basic features of the preamble to the constitution of India.