Preamble to the Constitution of India

The Objective Resolution

Jawaharlal Nehru proposed the Objective Resolution in 1946, which outlined the constitutional framework. It became official on January 22, 1947.

It influenced the formation of the Indian Constitution, and the Preamble of the Indian Constitution incorporates its modified version. 

The objective resolution emphasised the following fundamental principles:

  • India's Constitutional Assembly's determination to maintain its republican, independent status.
  • The creation of an Indian Constitution.
  • To transform all pre-independence Indian territories into a unified post-independence Indian state.
  • As reflected in the Indian Constitution, residual powers and autonomy on such states must be realised..
  • In order to achieve union with power that will be distinct from that which will be granted to such states.
  • The Indian people are the country's source of strength, authority, sovereignty, and independence.
  • Support the rights to freedoms of expression, association, and association with others for any purpose, subject to the law and public morality before the law, as well as to justice, social, economic, and political equality of opportunity.
  • To give minorities, tribal areas, and other downtrodden and backward classes adequate protection
  • To protect the territorial integrity of the Indian Republic and its sovereign rights over land, sea, and air in accordance with international law and justice.
  • To advance international harmony and prosperity.

The Preamble of India

Four Main Ingredients of the Indian Preamble

The table below lists the four main components of the Indian Preamble, which are the Indian Constitution's source, the nature of the Indian State, the Constitution of India's objectives, and the date the Indian State was established.

Components of the Preamble

Source of the Indian Constitution

It is made clear that the Indian Constitution derives its authority from the Indian People. The phrase "We, the People of India" echoes this. 

The Indian State's Nature

India is referred to as a sovereign, secular, republican, secular, and democratic country in the Preamble of India.

The Indian Constitution's goals

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution lists Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity as its goals.

Date of the Indian Constitution's Adoption

The Indian Constitution was enacted on November 26, 1949.

Keywords in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

The Preamble of India contains a number of significant keywords, including


  • Sovereign refers to something that is supreme or independent. India has a free government that is directly elected by the people and creates laws that govern the people; it is both internally and externally sovereign, free from the influence of any foreign power.
  • The popular sovereignty doctrine is one of the fundamental tenets of the Indian Constitution. As a result, Indian citizens have the sovereign right to choose their representatives in elections for the Parliament, state legislatures, and local bodies.
  • A limitation on India's sovereignty is not at all implied by the country's membership in the UN and Commonwealth.


  • By way of the 42nd Amendment, the word "socialist" was added to the Preamble.

It implies social and economic equality which are as follows: - 

  • Social equality is the absence of discrimination based solely on caste, colour, creed, sex, religion, or language in this context. Everyone is afforded equal status and opportunities under social equality.
  • In this context, the term "economic equality" refers to the state's efforts to ensure a reasonable standard of living for all citizens and a more equitable distribution of wealth. This effectively highlights a commitment to the establishment of a welfare state. The state of India has enacted numerous laws to achieve the goal of having a socialistic and mixed economy.


  • The Preamble was amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976 to add the word secular. It suggests tolerance for all religions and equality between them.
  • In the West, secularism is defined differently than it is in India. In the West, secularism implies that the state and religion are wholly apart. Secularism in India refers to the principle that all religions should be treated equally by the state and that no particular protections should be given to any particular faith. The State will make clear to everyone that it supports their right to freedom of religion and worship. 
  • India consequently lacks a recognised state religion. Any religion may be preached, practised, and spread by anyone at any time. Any religion cannot be supported or discriminated against by the government. It must show equal respect to all religions. No matter what their religious affiliation, all citizens are treated equally by the law. Government-run schools do not teach any religion.


  • The first part of the Preamble We, the people of India and its last part give to ourselves this Constitution demonstrates the Constitution's commitment to democracy clearly.
  • A system of universal adult suffrage, also known as "one man, one vote," is used in India to elect all levels of government (Union, State, and Local). 
  • Voting is open to all Indian citizens who are at least 18 years old and are not otherwise prohibited by the law. 
  • This privilege is available to all citizens without distinction on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion, or language.
  • The term "democratic" refers to social, as well as political, and economic democracy.


  • This indicates that political sovereignty does not rest in a single hand like that of a king, but rather is shared by the people.
  • A democratic republic is an organisation in which the head of state is elected, directly or indirectly, for a fixed tenure as opposed to a monarchy, in which the head of state is appointed on a hereditary basis for life or until he or she abdicates from the throne.
  • An electoral college indirectly chooses the president of India for a five-year term.
  • The position of president of India is open to all citizens and is not hereditary.


  • The Constitution upholds an integrated and comprehensive view of justice. It envisions achieving political, social, and economic justice. Social justice is the equal treatment of all citizens without any social discrimination based on caste, colour, race, religion, or sex. Political justice is the equality of political rights and access to all political offices.
  • The absence of discrimination based on economic factors is economic justice. The elimination of income, wealth, and property disparities is another aspect of it. The distributive justice concept combines social and economic justice. if the state's policies, such as the granting of voting rights and other freedoms, are primarily geared towards promoting political democracy, this goal will be attained.
  • To achieve this, the state must direct the development of society through welfare policies that improve the lot of the poor and disadvantaged.


  • It refers to a person's freedom or the exercise of his or her free will to pursue their interests. It means that a person cannot be forcibly prevented from doing or professing something unless there are good reasons for doing so.
  • These rights and freedoms are guaranteed against arbitrary state interference, according to the Preamble, which also mentions freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship.


  • It refers to treating everyone equally under the law, regardless of their social status.
  • Constitution aims to secure these objects by prescribing the non-discrimination based on caste, creed, religion and sex etc.
  • Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Constitution's Fundamental Rights section are founded on the equality principle.


  • It alludes to the universal brotherhood of Indians.
  • It claims that social divisions ought to be eliminated and that Indian national identity should be fostered.  
  • The Constitution encourages fraternity through the System of Single Citizenship and Fundamental Duties.
  • According to the Preamble, fraternity must protect both the unity and integrity of the country as well as the dignity of each individual. The Preamble now includes the word integrity thanks to the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976.

Relevance of Preamble

  • The Preamble of the Indian Constitution serves as a guiding light for interpreting the Constitution's essence, particularly when its language is ambiguous. While it isn't an integral part of the Constitution's written text, it holds a significant role in articulating the foundational principles that underpin the nation's form of government and its intended policies.
  • In addition to its philosophical significance, the Preamble also serves a practical purpose. It designates the date of the Constitution's adoption and helps solidify its legal status. However, unlike the operational elements of legal political doctrine, the Preamble isn't typically considered an executive component; rather, it functions as an introductory framework that sets the tone for the subsequent doctrines.

  • The status of the Preamble within the Constitution has been a subject of debate. Initially, in the Berubari Union Advisory Opinion Case (1960), the Supreme Court asserted that the Preamble was distinct from the Constitution itself. However, a later reversal came in the Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala Case (1973), where the Court declared that the values enshrined in the Preamble are indeed fundamental guiding principles for governance. This view was reaffirmed in the LIC of India Case (1995), underlining the Preamble's intrinsic importance.

  • Interestingly, the Constituent Assembly formulated the Preamble after finalising the rest of the Constitution. This sequencing ensured that the Preamble's content aligned seamlessly with the broader Constitution as endorsed by the Assembly.

Amendment in the Preamble

Given that the Preamble is a part of the Constitution, as determined in the Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973).  If the fundamental framework of the Constitution, as stated in the Preamble, is not altered, it is subject to amendment by Parliament in the same way as any other provision of the Constitution.

  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which added the words socialist, secular, and integrity to the Preamble, was the only time the Preamble has been changed thus far.
  • The Swaran Singh Committee, an internal panel formed by the Indian National Congress, provided recommendations on which the amendment is based.

Interesting Facts about the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

  • It was implemented following the adoption of India's entire Constitution.
  • The Preamble borrows the Soviet Union (Russia) Constitution's notion of social, economic, and political justice.
  • The French Constitution serves as a model for the Republic and the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  • The American Constitution was the first to introduce the preamble.

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