The Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution and the reflection of the Constitution can be seen in it. By the way, it is hardly eighty-six words, but the meaning of each word is so big that a book should be written on it!
In this article, we will review the preamble in a simple and easy way and try to understand the constitution with the help of that. For a better understanding of the constitution, read this article till the end –
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What is a preamble?
Preamble means introduction. That is, they are the introduction or role of the constitution. It contains the essence of the constitution. What is there in the whole constitution, preamble is one subtle form of it. Simply say, if the entire Constitution is a cinema, then the Preamble is its trailer.
Why was the preamble needed?
Preamble is necessary so that any person can understand without reading the whole constitution what is the philosophy of our entire constitution? What is its purpose? How do we want to establish the state? On what basis and on what values do we want to establish India? e.t.c.
Basics of the Preamble
Each and every word of it has been crafted into sentences with great care. Its whole essence is hidden in its words. Once we understand the deep meaning hidden in its main words, then it means understood the philosophy of the constitution, understood what is in the constitution, understood the basics of the constitution. Before understanding it, read the introduction once.
|WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a |
SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC and 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.
The Preamble tells us broadly three things, which also succeeds in explaining the essence of the Constitution;
1. Source of authority of the Constitution
2. Nature of India
3. Objectives of the Constitution
1. Source of Constitutional Rights
The Preamble says that the Constitution acquires power from the people of India. That is, the source of the power of the Constitution is the people of India. The people of India have been called ” we ” here.
The first few words of the preamble are – we the people of India , this line tells about the importance of the people living in India. It tells about the solidarity and collective thinking of the Indian people, we are Indians first despite all other identities; Reflects this.
One of the criterion for the success of a constitution is whether the people there have faith in that constitution or not. In this context, if we look at the last line of the Preamble (Adopting, Enacting and Surrendering this Constitution) , it is verified that we have made this constitution for ourselves, we have bound ourselves in the rules, we have He has accepted it on a spiritual level and has taken a vow to develop his life values accordingly.
Overall, we are at the center of this entire constitution and this constitution is from us. We have made it supreme and we want to be governed by it. That is why we have faith in the Constitution.
2. Nature of India
What type of country is India or what kind of country it aspires to become, it becomes completely clear from this sentence written in the constitution – that India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular. DEMOCRATIC and REPUBLIC
Every word of this has a very deep meaning. To understand this whole sentence, it is necessary that we understand its meaning as well as its meaning. Let us understand one by one.
The word sovereign means – to be the master of one’s own mind, to take one’s own decision, that is, to not depend on anyone else to govern oneself.
With respect to the country it means that, India is neither dependent on any other country nor is the dominion of any other country .
That is, India is not under the jurisdiction of any country, nor does any other country run the administration of India. It has no power over it and is completely free to conduct its internal or external affairs.
The basic meaning of socialism is to give importance to society more than the individual, that means that all individuals are equal as a society, and if it is not so, then with the help of the state, efforts will be made to establish equality.
Now there can be many ways of establishing this equality, one may be that the state acquires all the means of production and distribution and then establishes equality. That is, the state itself should run the industry, the state should also distribute the products and the people just keep their eyes on the state hoping for help. That is why this type of socialism is called communist socialism or state dependent socialism. Take China for example.
The second may be that the state as well as the private sector have rights over the means of production and distribution. That is, the public and private sectors should work together. This creates a mixed economy. And since the participation of the state as well as the people is ensured in this, that is why it is called democratic socialism.
Take India for example. Although capitalism has increased after liberalization, but even today, the state does many activities to bring equality, such as providing free LPG connections, arranging for housing and other types of subsidies.
It is worth remembering one thing here that the word Socialist was not there in the original preamble. It was added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of the year 1976.
the basic meaning of secular is that the state will have no religion and generally the state will stay away from religious matters. It also means that since the state has no religion, all religions are equal to it.
This is confirmed by many articles of the constitution. For example , under the Right to Religious Freedom Article 27, it has been told that the state cannot use the tax money of the public for the promotion of any particular religion.
The national religion of countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh is Islam, so it is not a secular country.
️Remember here that the word secular was also added to the preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976.
The preamble of the constitution envisages a democratic polity. That is, the rule of a government elected by the people. This system is based on the principle of prevailing sovereignty, that is, the supreme power should be in the hands of the people.
Democracy is of two types on the basis of the process of selection – direct and indirect.
The Indian constitution has a system of indirect and parliamentary democracy , in which the executive is accountable to the legislature for all its policies and actions.
A democratic polity can be divided into two classes – Monarchy and Republic. In the monarchical system, the head of the state occupies the position through the successor system. That is, the person holding the highest office of the state is not elected. as in the UK
Whereas in a republican system, the head of state is always elected directly or indirectly for a fixed period of time, as in America and India. India’s constitutional head of state ie the President is elected, that’s why we are a republic and give so much priority to Republic Day.
So according to the preamble it is the nature of India – what type of state India is or what type of state it claims to be. Now let’s talk about what is the purpose of the Constitution of India?
3. Objectives of the constitution
According to the Preamble, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are the objectives of the constitution. Let us look at these objectives one by one.
Justice is a basic concept of a democratic system. To ensure this, the preamble talks about justice in three forms – social, economic and political .
Social justice means – Establishment of a non-discriminatory society In other words, every person should be treated equally without any discrimination on the basis of caste, colour, religion, gender.
Economic justice means – No person shall be discriminated against on the basis of economic reasons. Efforts will be made to remove inequality based on income and wealth.
Political justice means- Every person will have equal political rights, whether it is to enter any public office or to become President…
Freedom means no restriction of any kind on the activities of the people. The Preamble talks about five types of freedoms – thought, expression, belief, religion and worship through fundamental rights for every person .
This means that every person has the freedom to think and dream .
There is freedom to express one’s thoughts, that is, to put their views in front of people . You have the freedom to believe anything you want . There is freedom to follow any religion and to adopt the system of worship as per your wish .
All these have been discussed in further detail in the article entitled ‘ Fundamental Rights ‘. Do visit it to understand in detail.
Equality means the absence of privileges for any section of the society and provisions for providing equal opportunities to every person without any discrimination. The preamble talks about equality of prestige and opportunity .
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution provides equality of status and opportunity to every citizen. There are many provisions in the constitution for this. Such as the Right to Equality under the Fundamental Right, which has been discussed from Article 14 to Article 18 of the Constitution.
Similarly article – 325 ; In which it has been said that no person shall be disqualified from being included in the voter list on the basis of religion, caste, sex or class.
Article – 326 ; In which provision has been made for adult voting for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. (Read the article on Election Commission to understand this in detail.)
To establish economic equality, it has been made the duty of the state to ensure equal pay for equal work for men and women under the Directive Principle of State Policy .
In the preamble, the matter of the dignity of the person has also been said.
Pride or dignity of the individual means that the Constitution not only secures the real goodness and existence of a democratic system but also recognizes that the personality of every individual is sacred. One last important word in the preamble is fraternity .
Fraternity means the feeling of brotherhood. The Constitution encourages the spirit of brotherhood through a single citizenship system.
Fundamental Duties or Article 51(a) It also says that it shall be the duty of every Indian citizen to rise above religious, linguistic, regional or class diversities and promote the spirit of harmony and mutual brotherhood.
The Preamble clearly states that in fraternity two things must be ensured. First, the respect of the individual and second, the unity and integrity of the country .
It is important to know one thing here that the word “integrity” was added to the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
In this way we saw that three words (Socialist, Secular and Integrity) were added to the Constitution through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment. That is, it was not written in the original preamble.
The importance of the preamble
The preamble mentions the basic philosophy and fundamental political, religious and moral values that are the basis of our constitution.
In this the great and ideal thinking of the Constituent Assembly is mentioned. Apart from this, it reflects the dreams and aspirations of those who lay the foundation of the Constitution.
Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer , the President of the Constituent Assembly, who played an important role in the making of the Constitution, has said- ‘The Preamble to the Constitution is the idea of our long-term dreams’.
Is the Preamble part of the Constitution?
Constitution is not just a book which has 22 parts and 12 schedules. Rather, all the amendments in the constitution are also the constitution, the interpretation of any provision of the constitution or any decision which is given by the Supreme Court is also a part of the constitution, the legal commentary to present the correct understanding or interpretation of the constitution is also the constitution, even the constitutional conventions which are not written anywhere are also considered as a part of the constitution. So in the same way is the Preamble also a part of the Constitution?
Yes, but remember that in the Berubari case 1960 , the Supreme Court said that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution. Actually the matter was that in 1958, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made an agreement with Pakistani Prime Minister Feroz Shah Noon to hand over the place named Berubari to Pakistan. Now Pandit Nehru has made a compromise, but under which law he will be handed over, a question arose. This dispute shifted to the Preamble on some matters.
As mentioned in the preamble that India is a sovereign nation, that is, India can take whatever decisions it wants, but the question was whether the piece of the country could be handed over to any other country on the basis of this.
The second question was about democratic which means that the people are supreme and the people have chosen the government. Then here also the question was whether those people who have elected the government can be handed over to other country along with their land. The Supreme Court shrugged off this and said that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution, so what does it matter what is written in it.
This is considered a wrong decision of the Supreme Court as the Constituent Assembly considered the Preamble as a part of the Constitution. This decision was rectified in the Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973 and now it is not only a part of the Constitution but an integral part.
Can the Preamble be amended?
So as we just understood above that in the Berubari case, the Supreme Court said that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution, that’s why there will be a constitutional amendment in the Preamble . But in the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court corrected it and said that since the Preamble is a part of the Constitution, it can also be amended. But along with it added a provision that the basic structure of the constitution cannot be modified through amendment.
Now that the Preamble could be amended, our then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi tried it too and in 1976, through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, added 3 words to the Preamble (Socialist, Secular and Integrity). Since these three words do not harm the basic structure of the Constitution, they are still part of the Preamble.
What is the basic structure in the Preamble?
Sovereignty, democracy, republic, secular, unity and integrity are the basic structure of the constitution as written in the preamble. That is, no government can remove it through constitutional amendment. Apart from this, other words can be amended until the Supreme Court considers it to be the basic structure of the Constitution.
Is the Preamble enforceable?
This means that just as the Fundamental Rights are enforceable, that is, the violation of these rights can be taken to the Supreme Court. Can in the same way go to court for violation of things written in the Preamble?
The answer is not in itself, that is, it can be enforceable on the basis of any other provision of the Constitution. As the Fundamental Right is enforceable and the right to liberty is a part of it, then under this the right to liberty which is mentioned in the Preamble will also become enforceable.
So overall the Preamble neither gives any power to the Parliament nor dilutes the power. However, the Supreme Court can take the Preamble as a reference while interpreting the Constitution.
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