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The Significance of the Preamble to the Indian Constitution


The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

Discuss the meaning and significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution?

The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution: – The objectives resolution drafted and moved by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the first session of the constituent assembly. The fundamental and philosophy of the constitution structure were laid by the objectives resolution.

On 22nd January 1947 the objective Resolution was adopted by the constituent Assembly ultimately became the Preamble. The objectives were to be the fundamental of the Constitution and guide the framers of the Constitution.

The idea of the preamble was borrowed from the Constitution of The U.S.A.

The preamble is the introduction of the Constitution.

The preamble is the key to open the mind of makers of the constitution.

It is the sole of the constitution and it’s a vision document.

The preamble does not grant any power but it gives a direction and purpose to the Constitution.

Prior 81 words were there in the Preamble but after the 42nd amendment act of 1976, four words enacted in the Preamble i.e. Socialist, Secular, and Integrity. It is also known as the mini Constitution.



Content of the Preamble: –

The Preamble begins with the words, ‘We the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into Sovereign Democratic and Republic’ and ends with the words, In our Constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution. These words clearly prove that people are the ultimate source of all authority. It may seem that the constitution is sovereign as it is the supreme law of the land.

The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

The Preamble throws light on the aims and the objects of Constitution. The objective is to secure Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for all citizens. Thus, the Preamble expresses the Political, moral and religious values which the Constitution is intended to promote.

The Preamble of the Constitution of India declares India as a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic Republic.

Sovereign: The term ‘Sovereign’ emphasis that India is no more dependent upon any outside authority. It means that both internally and externally India is Sovereign.

Socialist: The term ‘Socialist’ has been inserted into the preamble by the constitution 42nd amendment act, (1976) to ensure the goal of Indian Polity. The word “socialism” has no definite meaning, in general, the word means some form of ownership of the means of production and distribution by the state. It implies social and economic equality.

Secular:  The term secular has been added to the Preamble of the constitution by the 42nd Amendment act, 1976. The secularism word means a State which has no religion of its own as recognized religion of the State. It treats all religions equally.

Democratic: The word Democratic indicates that the Constitution has established a form of government that gets its authority from the will of the people. Equality and fraternity are essential characteristics of democracy are declared in the Preamble of the constitution as the very objectives of the constitution.

The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

Republic: A Republic means a form of government in which the head of the state is an elected Person not a hereditary monarch like the king or queen in Great Britain.

The Preamble sources to all citizens of India

Justice:  Social, Economic and Political

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

Equality: of status and of opportunity

The constitution of India profess to secure to the citizens social economic and political justice

Social Justice:  means the abolition of all sorts of inequalities.

Economic justice:  The main aim of enshrined in the Constitution is economic justice. It means that the national wealth should be increased and there must be an equitable distribution of the same.

Political Justice: In our country, Political justice has been promised by the Preamble to the Constitution. In order to ensure political justice, universal Adult suffrage has been adopted by the constitution. This means that every person irrespective of wealth, education, sex, caste, and religion has been allowed to participate in the political system of our Country.

Liberty and equality: the term liberty signifies not only the absence of any arbitrary restraint on the freedom of individual action but also the creation of conditions that are essential for the individual development of the personality.

The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian ConstitutionEquality and liberty are complementary. Equality does not mean that all human beings are equal mentally and physically. It signifies equality of status, the status of free individuals and availability of opportunity to everyone to develop his potential capacities. No welfare state in India can be established unless there is equality of status and opportunity and justice-social, economic and political.

Fraternity: It is the spirit of brotherhood that is emphasized by the term “Fraternity” in the Preamble.  It strives to promote fraternity among all citizens assuring the dignity of the individual and unity of the nation. India being a multilingual and multi-religious state can be preserved only through a spirit of brotherhood among all its citizens, irrespective of their differences.



In re Berubari case, 1960

The Supreme Court held that the Preamble is not a part of the constitution and therefore bit could never be regarded as a source of any substantive powers.

Golaknath vs. State of Punjab, 1967

In this case, the land tenure act was challenged. It was argued that citizens have a Fundamental Right to Property, under Article-19 and S.C said that amending power of the Parliament is not unlimited but limited and Parliament cannot amend the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.

The Significance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

Keshavnanda Bharti vs. State of Kerela, AIR (1970) 4 SCC 225.

In keshavananda Bharti case, The Supreme Court rejected the above view and held that Preamble is an integral part of the constitution. Parliament can amend the whole constitution Including Fundamental Rights but The Basic Structure of the Constitution cannot be amended. In this case, it was held that the basic element in the preamble can’t be amended under Article 368.

The First time Basic Structure was defined and specified in the Keshavnanda Bharti case. The apex court held that being a part of the constitution, the preamble was not outside the reach of the amending power of the parliament under Article 368. It was in the exercise of this amending power of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 amended the Preamble, inserting therein, the terms ‘Socialist’, ‘Secular’, and ‘Integrity’.

 Preamble how far useful in Interpreting the Constitution:-

In Keshavnanda Bharti case the Supreme Court observed that the Constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble. It has been said that the Preamble to the constitution is guiding those who find themselves in a grey area while dealing with its provisions.

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