Subjects >>Indian Polity >>Preamble Of The Indian Constitution

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08 Jul 2020

Preamble is the preface of the constitution it is also called as key of the Constitution. The aims and aspiration of the people of India are reflected in the Preamble.

In fact, Preamble is based on the historic objective resolution declared by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the constituent assembly on 22 June 1947.

Though the Indian constitution is a bag of “Beautiful Borrowings” from the western world. But it missed the concept of DHARMA which was gift of India to the western world.

And also, it missed the concept of TRUTH and NON-VIOLENCE in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

The Preamble

We the PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute Indian into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political

LIBERTY of thought, expressions, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of individual and the unity and the intergrity of Nation.

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November 1949, do hereby ADOPT, ENACT and GIVE to ourselves this Constitution.


Whether the preamble could be enforced by the law? Or a person could challenge any provision of the preamble not implemented by the government? These doubtful questions are cleared by the apex court through interpretation of the Preamble.

The Apex court reached its judgement after thorough analysis of the ideas and the aims of the Constituent Assembly while adopting the Preamble. Accordingly, it is held that:

  • Preamble is ‘Non-Justiciable’ i.e., not enforceable in the court of law.
  • It means what is mention in the preamble, if not implemented, it can’t be challenged in the court of law as why it is not implemented.
  • However, preamble supports in legal interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has rightly remarked that if there is any difficulty in the interpretation of any of the provisions of the constitution, it can be interpreted in the light of the preamble because Preamble reflects philosophy of the Constitution.

In the Berubari Case (1960), Apex Court held that preamble is not a part of Constitution, however later on in Keshav Bharti Case (1973), the Apex Court reversed its earlier standby saying that Preamble is a part of constitution and therefore it can be amended.

  • Subsequently Preamble was amended ‘once’ by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
  • The words ‘SOCIALIST, SECULAR and INTEGRITY’ were added into it.

Importance of Preamble

Preamble is preface of the Constitution; it is rightly called as philosophy of the constitution. In fact, following are the important philosophies of constitution as reflected in the Preamble.

a)  Sovereign – According to Preamble, sovereignty ties the people of India, that is India a Sovereign Country.

b) Socialist – Socialism here means democratic socialism and not communist socialism. A socialism based on mixed Economy in which both public sector and private sector run together as 2 wheels of economic level.

c)  Secular – It means India has no religion of its own and there shall be equal protection of all the religion by the state.

d) Democratic – The democratic principles are that the government of the people of the people, by the people and for the people provisions here.

e)  Republic – It means head of the states i.e., President, is not hereditary but elected.

f)  Justice – Preamble provide social, economic and political justice, social justice refers to absence of discrimination on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth etc. Economic justice means basic needs of the people must be fulfilled and there shall be equality of opportunity to get livelihood. Political justice refers to right to vote, to contest election, to hold public office etc.

g) Liberty – Preamble mentions wider liberty as an essential component of democracy such as liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.

h) Equality – Equality of status and opportunity, with protecting the dignity of individual is reflected in the preamble.

i)  Fraternity – On the principle of universal brotherhood, preamble ensures fraternity in the country.

j)  Unity and Integrity – These are challenging task before the national leadership as well as the people, which preamble give massive importance.

All the above mentioned, philosophies are reflected in the preamble are widely given in different parts of the Constitution.

Highlighting the important parts of the Preamble, Apex Court rightly remarked that if there is any difficulty in the interpretation of Constitution, it can be interpreted in the light of Preamble. In fact, Preamble is the searchlight to the Constitution.

The soul of the Constitution is mentioned in the preamble of the constitution.

Aspects of Sovereignty

The word Sovereignty means. “the authority of the state to govern itself or another state”. This means that the sovereign has independent authority to:

  • Acquire hold and cede territory (This is the external authority).
  • To make laws for regulating behavior of people (This is the internal authority).                                                                                                  

Thus, the sovereign has independent authority but it is legal in character. For example, the Britishers had paramount authority over the Indian territory before 1947 but it was illegal so India could not be called as sovereign.

A sovereign state must work for the welfare of the people and it must acct as Parent to its People.

Sovereignty and Indian Constitution

The term sovereign is not defined in the Constitution but one can infer it by reading Article 38, 39 and 39A collectively.

  • Article 38: Just social order
  • Article 39: Equitable economic order
  • Article 39A: Legal assistance.