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Preamble of the Indian Constitution- An Elaborate Study (By- Yash Pandey & Sarthak Sisodia)

Preamble of the Indian Constitution- An Elaborate Study

Authored By- Yash Pandey

BBA LLB, 3rd Year, Shobhit University, Meerut.

Co-Authored By-Sarthak Sisodia

BA LLB, 3rd Year, Shobhit University, Meerut.


Preamble of the Constitution is astarting part of Constitution which enables the people to assess and evaluate the performance of Government in the light of objectives laid down into the Preamble. The opening mark of the Constitution is Preamble. It lays down the foundational principles of the constitution and key components of Constitutionwhich is evaluating directly and indirectly towards it. It’s worth noting that, despite the fact that the Constitution begins with it, the Preamble was not the first to be written. It was the last piece of drafting adopted by the Constituent Assembly at the end of the first reading of the Constitution before being seated at the start of the Constitution. Preambles are widely regarded as the quintessence or soul and spirit of a constitution, as they encapsulate the constitution's fundamentals and basic principles, as well as the vision and commitment of a newly liberated nation or people after they have experienced the inevitable birth pangs of national independence from an oppressive and colonial regime. The main moto of this paper is to discuss How the Preamble was amended and what was the purpose to amend it. It will also discuss How the Judiciary interpret the Principle and How the doctrine of basic structure comes into light.

Keywords: Constitution of India, Government, objectives, Constituent Assembly.


The Indian Constitution incorporates the best characteristics of other countries' Constitutionsand Preamble Indian constitution's is modeled after the United States Constitution.[1]The Constituent Assembly declared India a "Sovereign Democratic Republic" in Preamble, which was adopted in 1949.Butte words "Socialist" and "Secular" were put into the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment of 1976, which was enacted during the Emergency; the Preamble now reads "Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic."[2]

The Preamble was not the first to be written. It was the last piece of drafting adopted by the Constituent Assembly at the end of the first reading of the Constitution before being seated at the start of the Constitution. On October 17, 1949, a motion was introduced to adopt the Preamble. Several revisions to the Preamble were proposed, but they were all rejectedFinally, the President moved, "That the Preamble be made a part of the Constitution. “On November 2, 1946, the motion was passed. The Constitution's Preamble was inserted.[3]

Pundit Thakur Das Bhargav, a member of the Constituent Assembly, reached poetic heights when he said,“The Preamble is the most precious part of the Constitution. It is the soul of the Constitution. It is a key to the Constitution. It is a jewel set in the Constitution. “ThePreamble is an introductory phrase that states the constitution's goals and objectives.

Despite the fact The Preamble of this Constitution lays out the core concept that will be found in the body of thedocument.Reading the Preamble reveals its function, which is to declare (1) the constitution's source, (2) its aims, and (3) the date of its adoption.In a nutshell, the Preamble defines the Constitution's goals in two ways: one, regarding the governing system, and the other, regarding the ideals to be realized in an independent India.As a result, the Preamble is regarded as the Constitution's most important document.Preambles are widely regarded as the quintessence or soul and spirit of a constitution, as they encapsulate the constitution's fundamentals as well as the vision and commitment of a newly liberated nation or people after they have experienced the

inevitability of national independence from an oppressive and colonial regime.[4]




WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitution 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];



The words "We, the People of India..." denote the people of India's ultimate sovereignty. Sovereignty refers to the state's independent authority, which is unaffected by any other state or external power.It is the people's determination that India become a sovereign, democratic republic.The framers of the Constitution clearly valued the people's sovereignty, as seen by the Preamble.[5]The concepts reaffirm the people's sovereignty and supremacy over everything.The concept of republic denotes the sovereign democracy's representative nature.It means that the people of India would exercise the absolute power bestowed in them by the Constitution through legitimately elected representatives in the different Union and State legislatures.[6]


The Preamble declares India to be a sovereign nation. According to popular English Jurist John Austin’s theory of Sovereignty, “If a determinate human superior not in the habit of like superior obedience but receives habitual obedience from the bulk of given society, then that society is political and independent and that sovereign is the determinate human superior. “Without being sovereign, a country cannot have its own constitution. India is sovereign in the sense that it has its own independent authority and is not a dominion or dependent state of any external power. The Indian Legislature has the authority to enact legislation in the country, subject

to the Constitution's limits.[7]

In the Preamble, the word "Sovereign" comes as an epithet of the noun "Republic," conveying three notions.

The Republic of India is sovereign as a single entity. The first idea that the word Sovereign Republic tries to emphasize is one country, one nation, one will, one voice, and one state.
The term "sovereign" alludes to the Republic of India's sovereign power. India is a sovereign nation. India is an independent and equal member of the international community, with supreme legal authority to make laws for the country.
It aims to emphasis the Republic of India's sole and final power over its own affairs.[8]

The Supreme Court concluded in Synthetic & Chemicals Ltd. v. the State of Uttar Pradesh,[9] that the term "Sovereign" indicates that the State has jurisdiction over everything within the Constitution's limitations.


Socialism is defined as the pursuit of socialist goals using democratic means. 'Democratic Socialism' has been accepted by India. Democratic Socialism believes in a mixed economy, in which the private and public sectors coexist. Its goal is to eliminate poverty, ignorance, sickness, and opportunity disparities.[10]

The Preamble declared the state as a "sovereign democratic republic" when it was first enacted, but the adjectives "secular" and "socialist" were later added by a captive parliament during the Emergency in 1976.The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 inserted the word "socialist" to the Preamble.It states that the State is responsible for citizens' welfare, the eradication of discrimination, nationalization of the means of production, equitable wealth distribution, and justice for everyone.The 42nd Amendment Bill was signed into law on September 1, 1976, by

H.R.Gokhale got it through the Lok Sabha  November 4, 1976, the Rajya Sabha passed the measure.It was passed on November 11, 1976, allocated on December 18, 1976, and began on January 3, 1977, making it India's final constitutional amendment.The Directive Principles of State Policy, which were added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, have socialist content.The term socialist here refers to democratic socialism, or the pursuit of socialist objectives by democratic, evolutionary, and nonviolent means.Indira Gandhi defined socialism as "equality of opportunity" or "a better life for everybody. “He claimed that, like democracy, everyone has their own conceptions of socialism, but that in India, socialism is a means of improving people's lives.[11]

In Excel Wear v. Union of India[12],The influence of the word "socialist" in the Preamble was studied by the S.C. The insertion of the word "Socialist" to the statute could lead to courts leaning more in favor of nationalization and state ownership of a business.

In D.S. Nakara v. Union of India[13],The core structure of socialism, according to the S.C., is to offer a reasonable standard of living for working people, notably security from cradle to death. This includes, among other things, economic equality and an equitable distribution of income.


In 1976, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment added the word "secular" to the Preamble. In India's Constitution, the term secular refers to the state's equal regard, protection, and support for all religions. Part III of the Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion as a Fundamental Right in Articles 25 to 28.[14]

B.R Ambedkar has said that about secularism constitution is for function of the state and it is not regulating the mind of people. It depends on the citizen whether they want their state to be secular or not. B.R Ambedkar also said that Secularism cannot be laid down in the constitution, because that will destroy democracy altogether. [15]

Constitutional assembly also reject the word secular in many times. On November 15, 1948, Professor KT Shah had proposed adding the words “Secular, Federal and Socialist Nation”, but the Constituent Assembly (CA) had rejected it after a lengthy discussion.[16]

Again, on November 25, 1948, a second amendment was introduced and discussed on incorporating the word ‘secular’ in the draft Constitution. That, too, was rejected.[17]

On December 3 that same year, a third attempt was made to include ‘secular’ in the Article 18 of the Constitution, which was also dismissed by the CA.[18]
In St. Xavier College v. State of Gujarat[19], the Supreme Court has said, “Although the words ‘secular state’ is not expressly mentioned in the constitution but there can be no doubt that constitution-makers wanted to establish such a state” and articles 25 to 28 included in the Indian constitution.

In S. R. Bommai v. Union of India[20], the Supreme Court has held that “secularism is the basic feature of the constitution”.


The term Democratic refers to a system of governance established by the Constitution and based on the will of the people as expressed in an election.The Preamble declares India a democratic nation.This signifies that the people have ultimate power.The term democracy is used in the Preamble to refer to political, economic, and social democracy.The features of Indian democracy include a responsible representative government, universal adult franchise, one vote, one value, an independent judiciary, and so on.[21]

The name "democratic" comes from the Greek term’s "demos" and "Kratos," which mean "people"

and "authority," respectively.As a result, the people are the ones who build the government .India is a democratic country in which citizens elect their government at all levels, including the federal, state, and local or grassroots levels.Everyone, regardless of caste, creed, or gender, has the right to vote.As a result, in a democratic government, everyone has a direct or indirect role in the administration.[22]

The Court stated in the case of Mohan Lal v. District Magistrate of Rai Bareilly[23]that democracy is a philosophical issue relating to politics in which people elect representatives to establish a government, with the essential idea of treating the minority the same as the majority. In a democratic government, every individual is treated equally before the law.

The Supreme Court of India stated in the case of Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms[24]that the primary need of a functional democracy is public awareness. Fair elections are the soul of democracy, and a democratic form of government cannot exist without them. Democracy also protects human dignity, equality, and the rule of law, which improves people's quality of life.

The court held in R. C. Poudyal v. Union of India[25], that democracy means people's power and equal participation in the polity by all citizens.

“Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.”- Dr BR Ambedkar

“The constitution envisions to establish an egalitarian social rendering to every citizen social, economic and political justice in a social and economic democracy of the Bharat republic- Supreme Court observation in a case in 1997


In a republic, the head of state is directly or indirectly elected by the people. The President of India is the head of state. The people of India elect the President of India indirectly, through their representatives in the Parliament and State Assemblies. Furthermore, rather than a monarch, the people have political sovereignty in a republic.[26]


The term 'justice' has three components that make up its definition: social, economic, and political. In order to keep society in order, citizens must be treated fairly. The Indian Constitution guarantees justice through numerous clauses of Fundamental Rights and State Policy Directive Principles.[27]

Social Justice - Social justice refers to the Constitution's goal of establishing a society free of discrimination based on caste, creed, gender, religion, and other factors, in which all individuals have equal social position by assisting those who are less fortunate. The Constitution aims to eliminate all forms of exploitation that impair social equality.[28]

In Research Centre v. Union of India[29], the Hon'ble Court held that the State was obligated to provide facilities to workmen to achieve a minimum standard of health, economic, security, and civilized living by invoking the provisions of Art. 21 and 38 of the Indian Constitution, which envisions Social Justice as a device to ensure life is meaningful and livable with human dignity. Social justice is a way of ensuring that life has meaning and is bearable.

Economic Justice - Economic Justice indicates that no one can be discriminated against because of their money, income, or economic standing. It implies that income should be divided solely on the basis of their labor, and not for any other reason. Everyone should be compensated equally for equal work, and everyone should have opportunity to earn a living.[30]

Economic Justice entails that no one can be discriminated against on the basis of their wealth, income, or economic status. It means that income should be divided entirely on the basis of their labor, with no other considerations. Everyone should be paid equally for equal effort, and everyone should be able to support themselves.[31]


Liberty refers to the absence of restrictions or dominance on an individual's activities, such as freedom from slavery, serfdom, imprisonment, or despotism. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship.

The state of being free within society from harsh constraints imposed by authorities on one's manner of life, behavior, or political opinions, according to the Oxford Dictionary. Libertyentails a lack of limitations and the ability to act as one pleases.[32]

Personal liberty, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is the freedom of an individual to behave as he or she desires. Personal liberty refers to an individual's freedom to do as he pleases, subject only to the power of a democratically constituted society to restrict his actions in the interests of public health, safety, morals, or other recognized societal values.[33]

"Liberty denotes not only freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, engage in any of the common occupations of life, acquire useful knowledge, marry, establish a home and bring up children, worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men," according to Meyer v. Nebraska[34],.

The Supreme Court widened the limits of the phrase "personal liberty" in Maneka Gandhi v. Union

of India[35] to give it the broadest possible meaning. The Court held that "the expression "personal liberty" in Article 21 has the broadest scope and encompasses a wide range of rights that go to make up a man's personal liberty, some of which have been elevated to the status of distinct fundamental rights and given additional protection under Article 19."

“Some people have started saying that to combat terrorism, it is
necessary to curtail civil liberties and introduce draconian laws. To my
mind, this is a dangerous idea, and hence it is necessary to explain the
importance of liberty and democracy”- said by Justice Markandey


Equality refers to the lack of favors or discrimination against any group in society. The Preamble guarantees all citizens of the country equal status and opportunity. The country's Constitution aims to achieve social, economic, and political equality[36].


The emotion of brothers is defined as fraternity. The Preamble aims to promote human fraternity by ensuring individual dignity as well as the nation's unity and integrity.

The Court stated in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India[37], that the word fraternity is more than a word; it is an instrument for securing equality.

(a) the individual's dignity and

(b) the nation's unity and integrity.

"All of this could be feasible only if the people of India as a whole were joined together by a sense of brotherhood," says this concept of fraternity.

The Supreme Court stated in S. S. Bola v. B. D. Sardana[38], "Liberty, equality, and fraternity must be preserved and protected via social fairness, economic empowerment, and political equality under the rule of law."

In P.A. Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra[39], the Court stated that it is a well-established principle of the golden goals set out in the Preamble of the Constitution, namely, JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY, that the Indian polity must be educated and educated with excellence.


Unity and integrity should exist in a country so that people of different castes can live together, especially in a country like India, where people are heterogeneous, unity anintegrity are essential to the country's well-being.[40]


Berubari case[41], the court stated that ‘preamble is a key to open the mind of the makers’ In but it cannot be considered part of Indian constitution.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Kesavananda Bharati[42] (1973) case that the Preamble is a component of the Constitution. The court stated that its ruling in the Berubari Union (1960) case was incorrect, and that the Preamble can be altered under the proviso that no changes to the 'fundamental elements' are made. In other words, the Court decided that an amendment under Article 368 cannot change the core principles or fundamental aspects of the Constitution as stated in the Preamble.

The Preamble has only been changed once, in 1976, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which introduced three new terms to the Preamble: socialist, secular, and integrity. The validity of this amendment was determined.

In the words of Jagan Mohan Reddy, J.-
“The Preamble to the Constitution which our Founding Fathers have,
after the Constitution was framed, finally settled to conform to the ideals
and aspirations of the people embodied in that instrument, have in ringing
tone declared the purposes and objective which the Constitution was
intended no sub serve.”

Even Willoughby dealing with value and use of Preamble has started:
“Special significance has at various times been attached to several of the
expressions employed in the Preamble of the Constitution. The American
authors recognize the use of the Preamble to ascertain the essential
concepts underlying the Constitution.”

The Four Components of the Preamble are:

1. The Preamble states that the Constitution derives its power from the Indian people.

2. It designates India as a socialist, secular, democratic, and republican country.

3. Its goals are to ensure justice, liberty, and equality for all citizens, as well as to foster fraternity in order to protect the nation's unity and integrity.

4. It specifies the date on which the constitution was adopted (November 26, 1949).

Some Statements By Eminent Personalities Regarding The Preamble Of The Indian Constitution

‘Identity card of the constitution’- NA Palkhivala.
‘The preamble to our constitution expresses what we had thought or dreamt so long’- Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer.
‘The horoscope of our constitution’- Dr KM Munshi.
‘It is the soul of the constitution. It is a key to the constitution. It is a jewel set in the constitution. It is a proper yardstick with which one can measure the worth of the constitution’- Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava.
‘Key-note of the constitution’- Sir Ernest Baker.
‘Preamble is the soul of our constitution, which lays down the pattern of our political society. It contains a solemn resolve, which nothing but a revolution can alter’- Former Chief Justice of India, M Hidayatullah.


We can conclude now that the preamble is a vital part of the Constitution because it conveys the Constitution's spirit and ideology. The Constitution's essential values and guiding principles are highlighted in the preamble. The preamble claims that the citizens of India ratified the Constitution on November 26, 1949, yet the Constitution's start date was set for January 26, 1950.Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 367, 379, and 394 of the Constitution entered into force on November 26, 1949, and the rest of the provisions on January 26, 1950, according to Article 394 of the Constitution. The preamble of the Indian Constitution is one of the best preambles ever written, not just in terms of ideas but also in terms of form. It states the constitution's mission, which is to construct an independent nation that upholds the Constitution's goals of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.



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