Question – The Preamble is an expression of the overall objectives enshrined in the Constitution and the framers of the Indian Constitution. Throw light on the amendability of the Preamble along with its explanation. – 7 September 2021
The Preamble is an introductory document of the Indian Constitution, which expresses the sources of authority, the nature of the Indian state, the objectives of the Constitution and the date of adoption of the Constitution. It reflects the core philosophy and fundamental values, and includes the idealistic vision of the Constituent Assembly.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is based on the Objectives Resolution prepared by the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and adopted by the Constituent Assembly. Eminent jurist and constitutional expert NN Palkiwala has addressed the Preamble of the Constitution as the “Identity Card of the Constitution”. The great and ideal thinking of the Constituent Assembly is reflected in the Preamble. It reflects the aspirations of the framers of the constitution.
The Preamble is an important source of knowing the views of the framers of the constitution and shows that the main objective of its framers was to establish a sovereign democratic republic. Its objective was to achieve the goal of a just social and economic order based on justice, equality and liberty.
The Preamble expresses the general objectives enshrined in several provisions of the Constitution such as:
- Justice (Social, Economic and Political) – Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of Policy include various provisions aimed at removing inequalities, ending discrimination and securing equal rights for all.
- Freedom (of thought, expression, belief, religion and worship) – Freedom of speech and expression is provided under Article 19 and Article 25-28 provides the right to freedom of religion to all, including minorities.
- Equality (Equality of Dignity and Opportunity) – It promotes civil, political and economic equality. like – Article 14-18 provides for the absence of special privileges for any section of the society and providing adequate opportunities to all without any discrimination. Article 39 ensures the right to adequate means of livelihood and equal pay for equal work. Articles 325 and 326 provide for universal adult suffrage as well as the right to participate in elections without discrimination.
- Fraternity (dignity of all individuals and unity and integrity of the nation): Promotes a sense of fraternity through the mechanism of single citizenship. It is the fundamental duty of every citizen to develop the spirit of harmony and fraternity among all the people of India.
Since the Preamble is the key to our Constitution, questions have also been raised regarding amending it. This question was resolved in the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), in which the Supreme Court held that the Preamble was a part of the Constitution and could be amended only under Article 368, subject to the principle of basic structure.
Amendment to the Preamble:
In 1976, the preamble was amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act (so far only once) to which three new words- socialist, secular and integrity were added. The court upheld this amendment.
Earlier, in the Berubari Union Case 1960, the Court held that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution and, therefore, the basic structure cannot be amended under Article 368.
Thus the preamble of the constitution of independent India is composed of beautiful words. It contains the basic ideals, objectives and philosophical concept of the Constitution of India. They provide rationality or fairness to constitutional provisions.