Whether Preamble of Indian Constitution needs any further modification
Preamble of Constitution of India:
In one word, we can term Preamble as Soul of Constitution. It is
the basic introduction to our Indian Constitution. If we define it in formal
language, then, it is an explanatory statement in a document which explains
document's purpose, and rudimentary ideologies. It states the basic objectives
which forms the basic structure of Constitution. If a person read Preamble, he
gets to know the basic of Constitution. The Preamble ensures the rights to be
provided to each citizen of country as well as duties of government.
Preamble of Indian Constitution is based on Objective Resolution, written
by our Hon'ble first PM, i.e. Pt. J.L. Nehru. Preamble was adopted on the same
date when our constitution was adopted, i.e. 26th November, 1949.
Constituents of Preamble
The starting words of Preamble are:
We the People of India……' declares it's source of authority vests in People of
India. It means that the ultimate power lies in the hands of citizens as they
elect their representatives (who make legislations) and had power to remove
them. It contains enacting clause which brings into force Indian Constitution.
It prescribes the main objectives of Constitution which are- Justice, Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity to citizens, to maintain the integrity and unity of nation.
It describes the nature of state, i.e. Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic
The original Preamble does not contain the words- Socialist, Secular and
Integrity. These words were added by 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
It is interesting to note that 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 is itself called as mini
constitution because it had amended majority part of Constitution.
Nature of State
It means that no external power can interfere in internal matters of India.
India is a sovereign country, meaning thereby, India is an independent nation
and is not controlled by any other foreign state. Indian legislature does not
require any permission or any guidelines from outside country to make laws to be
enforceable in India. Sovereignty is divided into two parts- External
Sovereignty (independence of India from the control of other nations) and
Internal Sovereignty (relationship between state and individuals, no other state
will interfere). Sovereignty symbolizes that equal status of India with other
foreign states in international community.
Added by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. It simply means achieving socialists goals
through use of democratic means, that's why India had adopted Democratic
Socialism concept. In this concept, both public and private sector co-exist side
by side. The ultimate motive of introducing socialism is 'welfare of society',
which facilitates people to live in a better way. It means equitable
distribution of wealth and resources to all people to reduce poverty status. We
can find socialistic approach in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, 38, 39, 46.
In D.S. Nakara v. Union of India (1983 AIR 130, 1983 SCR (2) 165), the
Apex Court held that the principal aim of the socialist State was to eliminate
inequality in income and status and standard of life.
It is again added by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. In one line, it refers to as 'no
state religion at all'. The most of the riots and violence is in the name of
religion. India is a diverse country where no particular religion is followed
within the whole territory. Majority of people follows Hinduism, then Islam,
some follow Christianity, some follows Sikhism, and also there are followers of
Jainism, Buddhism, Parsi, etc.
Where there are so many religions altogether live in one territory, there how
can we fix any one religion as its national religion?
Hence, India does not have any national religion as the state gives equal status
and protection to all the religions followed. Even people have right to convert
to the religion or can propagate or profess the religion of their choice. If the
people does not want desire to follow any religion or worship any god, then he
has full freedom to do so.
S.R. Bommai v. Union of India (AIR 1994 SC 1918) is one the famous case
under secularism as in this case, it was held that Secularism forms the basic
structure of Constitution.
It means 'people run government'. Here, the government is established derives
its power from the will of people. Abraham Lincoln rightly defined the word
democracy as- 'Government of the people, by the people and for the people'.
India is a democratic country where people have power to choose their
representatives and can remove them (if not working satisfactorily). Universal
Adult Franchise means every person above 18 years of age has one vote and each
vote has one value.
Democracy derived from two Greek words- Demos means People and Kratos
means Authority. Thus, means people's authority. India follows indirect form of
democracy, which means people's elected representatives administers the country.
It simply means head of the state is elected by the people directly or
indirectly. India is a republic state as President is the head of the state, who
is indirectly elected by the people of country. People elect their
representative in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies who elects President.
President is the executive head of India and supreme military commander.
President is the first citizen of country.
Objectives of Preamble:
Justice- Constitution ensures fair justice to all citizens. It is the primary
goal of welfare society. Justice is ensured in three fields- Social Justice
(create more equitable based society on equal social status), Economic Justice
(equitable distribution of wealth among members of society so that wealth cannot
be kept in the hands on few) and Political Justice (follows universal adult
franchise rule. Every citizen had right to political participation i.e. vote and
contest elections). Law is equal to all citizens. No one is discriminated on
grounds of religion, region, caste, sex, birth, creed, status etc.
means freedom provided to every citizen and no unnecessary restriction.
Under Art. 19, every citizen had right to freedom. Under cl. 1, there are
certain freedoms given to citizens i.e. freedom to speech, expression, form
unions, assembly, movement within territory of India, practice any profession or
carry out business. Moreover, citizens have freedom to faith, worship and
belief. But this does not mean that individual had absolute liberty without any
limitation. Art. 19 (2) to (6) provides 8 grounds which could restrict a
person's freedom under Art. 19 (1).
If a person has liberty to
speak, this does not means that he can abuse other which will be violation of
The very first Fundamental Right under Part III of Constitution (i.e.
Art. 14) talks about equality among citizens. It means all the citizens are
equal in the eyes of law and every citizen shall be provided with equal
protection of law. Under Art. 14, two expressions are given- 'equality before
law' derived from England and 'equal protection of law' derived from USA. The
basic objective of equality is that no one should be discriminated by the laws
of land. But the most important part is that it talks about equality among
equals and not equality among un-equals, which means that reasonable
classification is allowed based on intelligible differentia.
It deals with common feeling brotherhood among all and respecting
the dignity of each other. It indirectly talks about maintaining equality by
removing social barriers among individuals. It creates feeling of unity in our
diverse culture. That's why India is called as unity in diversity country also.
It symbolizes the emotional attachment between country and its citizens.
Fraternity helps in maintaining unity and integrity of nation.
Whether Preamble a part of Constitution and can be amended?
Earlier, it was a debatable issue that whether Preamble should be considered as
a part of Constitution and if it is a part of Constitution, then, whether it
could be amended or not? In early Supreme Court decision in case of In Re Berubari Union case (AIR 1960 SC 845), where SC held that Although Preamble is a
key to open the mind of makers but does not form the basic part of Constitution
of India. Later on, after 13 years Supreme Court over ruled its Berubari
Case decision in historical case of Keshavananda Bharati V. State of Kerala (AIR
1973 SC 1461), and held that Preamble is the part of constitution and can be
amended under Art. 368 of Constitution keeping in my mind that basic structure
cannot be amended and what constitutes the basic structure is to be decided by
the court time to time.
Thus, till today, Preamble has been amended only once i.e. in 1976 by Indira
Gandhi govt. though 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
Do Preamble needs further Modification
Preamble as we know is a summarized, systematic form our Constitution. It is
very well said that law is dynamic and changes with changing circumstances. May
be due to this reason, need felt to amend the preamble in 1976 (during
emergency) and add the words- Socialistic, Secular and Integrity. Preamble had
amended only once by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, when Indira govt. was in power.
Indira govt. brought several changes through this amendment Act during the time
of emergency. Then in Minerva Mills case, the amendments done in 42nd amendment
Act were challenged. Apart from 3 words in Preamble, Fundamental Duties,
attempts to reduce the powers of judiciary, increasing powers of PM, etc. was
added. If we see Preamble from broader perspective, it seems to contain all the
necessary things required for social welfare and development of India.
But if we go in depth, then we could find out the necessity for constitutional
reforms or modifications in Preamble. Actually Preamble is a carbon copy of
Government of India Act, 1935 as had included lots of provisions of Act, 1935.
Even Preamble does not reflect the political tradition of India, Interpretation
of Preamble made it too bulky as interpreting every word of Preamble is too long
and hectic task.
Moreover it is said as the paradise of lawyers being too
legalistic and complicated. We could see in practical life, India moved away
from socialism a long time ago. Today's economy is largely dominated by private
sector. Dismantling of socialism began in 1980 i.e. 4 years after the word
'Socialist' had been added to Preamble, when Mrs. Gandhi began liberalizing
economy. Thus, the word Socialist in Preamble is very pedantic.
Further on, the words- equality and justice had inconsistency. Justice in the
political field is not done as only earning more and more vote banks (through
legal/ illegal means) and political ends are there in the mind of leaders. This
result into increase in corruption. The Indian government runs on the principle
of utility thus keeping side individual interest in front of social interest. If
this is happening then where equality is, as this principle does not follows the
India although declared itself as a secular country, but still today, most of
the fights, riots or violence are in the name of religion. The historical and
cultural theme of India is based on the concept of Dharma, which is different
from the concept of religion and thus, communist theory of state cannot be
applied to the Indian context.
State grants aid to minority religious
institutions, enacts law related to pilgrimages in the country, has power to
make laws related to charitable and religious endowment and religious
institutions falling under item 28 of the Concurrent List (i.e. III List under
7th Schedule of Constitution of India) and exercised power under Article 25(2)
to make law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or
other secular activity associated with religious practices. This is in one sense
discrimination among religious groups.
These all problems (above discussed) and issues need some attention of
legislature and a little modification in the Preamble, as due to ambiguity in
some words, we face various problems in our daily life situations. So this needs
to be solved by our Law making body.
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