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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 and Republic.

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
Sovereign:
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.

Socialist:
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.

Secular:
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.

Democratic:
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.

Republic:
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.

Liberty:
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).

For example:
If a person has liberty to speak, this does not means that he can abuse other which will be violation of their rights.

Equality:
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.

Fraternity:
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 reasonable classification.

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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