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The Preamble

 The Preamble

The preamble of the Indian Constitution sets the tone and tenor for the constitution itself. It was signed on 26/November/1949. Read on for more information.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution sets the tone to indicate that India is a sovereign nation willing to secure its citizens guaranteeing certain tenets for the Indian Citizens. It is a declaration on behalf of all the citizens of India. 

What is the Preamble to the constitution of India?

The text of the Preamble is as below:

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute 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;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.” 

This is quoted as is from the constitution of India. 

What is the meaning of preamble?

The preamble is written in simple language to ensure it is uniformly understood by all the people reading it. However, it is important to understand some of the terms that are used in the preamble. What is the meaning of the preamble, including a few important terms that are contained in it?  The same are explained below:

Sovereign

 This means the independent authority of the state. It means that the country is not controlled by any other external force or state. It also means that we have the power to legislate on any subject. It denotes supreme and absolute power.

Socialist

This term was added to the preamble by the 42nd Amendment to the constitution. Prior to that, the socialist angle was covered by the Directive Principles of State Policy. The socialism referred to here is democratic socialism. Democratic socialism essentially means that socialistic goals are achieved by evolutionary, democratic, and non-violent means.

Secular

This governs the relationship between the government and the various religious groups within the country. This also means that the relationship is governed by the constitution. It is an effort to separate the state from the religion. It also is an indication of a lack of favor for any religion. This term was also included in the preamble by the 42nd Amendment. 

Democratic

The government in the country is elected by the people on the principle of “one person, one vote.” This is a representative form of the government. This is suitable for the country because of the immense diversity. This is the principle of adult franchise, where anyone over the age of 18 years is eligible to vote in the elections.

Republic

This is an indication that the Head of the Government is elected by its people and that it is not hereditary. This means that it is a government where no one has proprietary power. This has ensured the absence of a privileged class in the country. 

Justice

Justice is the rule of law, without any form of arbitrariness, with a system of equal rights, freedom, and opportunity for everyone in society. India has a system of social, economic, and political justice for all its citizens.

Social Justice: This is an absence of a privileged class in the society with equality for all under the law. 

Economic Justice: This guarantees equal treatment for all men and women and no preference on any basis including wealth, income, and economic status.

Political Justice: This is to ensure equal and fair participation to all in the political process. It is granting equal political rights to all people, without any form of discrimination. 

Liberty

This essentially bestows the freedom to do activities to all Indian nationals. This implies there is no undue restriction on the citizens about their thoughts, expression, and follow-up of thoughts in action. Liberty does not guarantee to do anything that one wishes to do, it must however be within the framework of the constitution.

Equality

Equality means the total absence of privileges to anyone or any section of society. This guarantees equal opportunity without any form of discrimination.

Fraternity

This is the feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood among the citizens. The preamble assures through fraternity dignity for all as well as ensures integrity and unity among the citizens of the nation.

Conclusion

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution sets the tone for the entire constitution itself. It was signed on behalf of all the citizens of the country on the 26th of November 1949. It sets out certain basic tenets for itself while declaring itself a sovereign republic indicating it is not subjugated to any external force or nation and is headed by a duly elected head of the state which is not hereditary. The Preamble guarantees certain liberties, equality, and freedom to all its citizens.