“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”.
Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
The Preamble reveals five ingredients
1. Source of authority of the Constitution
2. Nature of Indian State
3. Objectives of the Constitution
4. Date of adoption of the Constitution
5. It is non-justifiable, that is, its provisions are not enforceable in courts of law.
What do key words in the preamble signify?
Sovereign – It means India is neither a dependent nor a dominion of any other nation, but an independent state.
Socialist – India is a democratic socialist country. It means the system holds faith in a ‘mixed economy’ where both public and private sectors can exist simultaneously. Indian brand of socialism aims to end poverty, ignorance, disease, inequality etc
Secular – This was added in the year 1976, Secular means all religions in the country (irrespective of their strength) have the same status and support from the state.
Democratic – The term ‘democratic’ is used in the Preamble in the broader sense embracing political, social and economic democracy.
Republic – The head of the state is always elected directly or indirectly for a fixed period. In the Indian context it indicates that it has an elected head called the president. He is elected indirectly for a fixed period of five years.
Justice - The term ‘justice’ in the Preamble embraces three distinct forms—social, economic and political, secured through various provisions of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles. The idea of justice has been taken from Russian revolution.
Liberty – It means the absence of restraints on the activities of individuals, and at the same time, providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities.
Equality - It means the absence of special privileges to any section of the society, and the provision of adequate opportunities for all individuals without any discrimination.
Fraternity- It means a sense of brotherhood. The Constitution promotes this feeling of fraternity by the system of single citizenship.
Amenability and Preamble as a part of the constitution
· Berubari union case in the year 1960, Supreme Court said that Preamble does not part of Indian constitution and cannot be amended.
· Keshavananda Bharthi case in the year 1973, Supreme Court said that Preamble forms part of Indian constitution and can be amended without disturbing the basic structure of the constitution.
· LIC of India case in the year 1995 also, the Supreme Court again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.