The philosophy of our Constitution is embodied in the Preamble. The Preamble summarizes the aims and objectives of our Constitution. It reads:

“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 assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


The words “We, the people of India… adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution,” declares that it is the people of India on whom the ultimate sovereignty rests.


REPUBLIC – It means a State in which the people are supreme, there is no privileged class and all public offices are open to every citizen without any discrimination. There is no hereditary ruler and the head of the State is elected by the people for a fixed term.

SOCIALIST – The word ‘socialist’ was not in the preamble. It was introduced in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment Act. The term is not defined in the Constitution. It may be noted that the socialism visualized in India does not mean abolition of private property or governmental ownership and administration of all means of production and distribution of goods. Thus a mixed economy was visualized along with provision of equal opportunity, abolition of vested interests and elimination of inequality in income and status and standard of living.

SECULAR – The secular was inserted in 1977 along with with socialism. Secularism in India is based on the principle of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’ which means equal respect to all the religions. In its eyes all religions are equal  and there is no discrimination on the grounds of religion. In Vaishno Devi Shrine Case, it was evident that State could interfere in the secular activities of any religion.

Ours is a representative democracy where People of India exercise their sovereignty through a Parliament at the Centre and Legislature in each State. The ideal of a democratic republic enshrined in the Preamble is best explained with reference to the adoption of universal adult suffrage, i.e. every citizen of India above the age of 18 has  a right to vote. But, our Constitution envisages not only political democracy too infused with the spirit of ‘justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.’

In the words of Dr. Ambedkar, “Social democracy means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity which are not to be treated as separate  items in a trinity. They for a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy.”

Preamble speaks of social, economic and political justice.

SOCIAL JUSTICE – It implies that discrimination on the basis of birth, castes, race, sex, or religion only should cease. To that end all citizens should enjoy equal opportunities in the matter of public appointment. It is the good of all that the government must strive to achieve.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE – It implies exilement of poverty, not by expropriation of those who have, but by multiplication of the national wealth and resources and an equitable distribution amongst all who contribute towards its production.

POLITICAL JUSTICE – It implies that all citizens should have equal opportunity to participate in the political  system.

LIBERTY AND EQUALITY – These are two tenets of Democracy. Certain minimal rights must be enjoyed by every person in a society for free and civilized existence. These basic rights are spelt out by the preamble as freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Each individual is assured of equality of status and opportunity for the development of best in him. The object of equality is secured in the body of Constitution by making all discrimination by the State between its citizens illegal. The ‘RULE OF LAW’ is to prevail.


This question can only be answered by throwing the light on two cases:

In ‘Re Berubari’s Case’ (1960), it was held that Preamble was not a part of the Constitution and therefore it could never be regarded as a source of any substantive powers. Through this case, the court state that ‘Preamble is the key to mind of the  makers’ but it cannot be considered as the part of the Constitution.

But, in ‘Kesavananda Bharti vs. State of Kerala’(1973), this case created history for the first time, a bench of 13 judges was assembled to hear a writ petition. The Supreme Court rejected the above view and held that the Preamble is the part of the Constitution. It was held that the Preamble of our Constitution is of extreme importance and the Constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble. Like other parts of the Constitution, it could also be amended subject to the basic features of the Constitution.


In conclusion, we can say that  Preamble is an intrinsic part of the Constitution because it generates the spirit of brotherhood or fraternity amongst all sections of the society, – a feeling that they are children of the same soil, the same Motherland. But, the ultimate aim of our Constitution is to assure the dignity of the individuals. The date twenty-sixth day of November 1949 indicates that our Constitution is a legal document.

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