Philosophy of Preamble of Constitution of India

Here is a step-by-step explanation of philosophy of the preamble of the constitution of India:

Philosophy behind different terms

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, have solemnly resolved to constitute India to constitute India into a

Note: Pakistan remained a British Dominion till 1956, but India declared itself Republic in 1949 and the Preamble enshrines the philosophy that the government is by the people and for the people.

SOCIALIST

Note: The term socialist was implicit in the original constitution but was made explicit by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. By inserting this word, it set a positive direction to the Government in formulating its policies.

SECULAR

Note: It signifies that India has respect for all religions. All religions have the same status. The word secular appeared at only one article that is Article 25 (2-a) before it was inserted into the Constitution’s Preamble. State will protect every religion equally but the state will not have any foundation on religion.

DEMOCRATIC

Vaishali was the first democratic of the world. However, India has borrowed its democracy from the western world. It means the Government is responsible to the people of India. Elections held every 5th year (or before) serve this purpose of the Preamble.

JUSTICE

Justice in the Preamble means social, political and economical justice

LIBERTY

Liberty is the essential requirement of democratic and free society.

EQUALITY

Equality implies to equality of opportunities. This objective is made more explicit by Article 15 which forbids the state to discriminate on any basis such as caste, creed, sex or place of birth.  Article 15(2) throws all public places to all citizens. Article 17 abolishes the untouchability

FRATERNITY

The term Fraternity is (perhaps) incorporated from the article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. Articles 1 and 2 are the foundation blocks of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, with their principles of dignity, liberty, equality and brotherhood.

Article 1 & 2 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights read as follows:

  • Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Outcome of the Berubari Case: 1960

A bench consisting of eight judges headed by B.P.Sinha, C.J. Justice Gajendragadkar delivered the unanimous opinion of the court.

“”The court held that the Preamble to the Constitution containing the declaration made by the people of India in exercise of their sovereign will, no doubt is “a key to open the minds of framers of the Constitution” which may show the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the Constitution but nevertheless the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.””

Outcome of Kesavanand Bharti Case:

Kesavanada Bharati Case has created a history. For the first time, a bench of 13 Judges assembled and sat in its original jurisdiction hearing the writ petition. 13 Judges placed on record 11 separate opinions. It held:

  • Preamble to the Constitution of India is a part of Constitution
  • Preamble is not a source of power nor a source of limitations
  • Preamble has a significant role to play in the interpretation of statues, also in the interpretation of provisions of the Constitution.
  • In SR Bommai Case the supreme court held that Preamble Indicates basic structure of the Constitution.

This case established that Preamble is part of the Constitution and is subject to the amending power of the parliament as any other provisions of the Constitution, provided the basic structure of the constitution is not destroyed.

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