Preamble and the Salient Features of the Indian Constitution

The Preamble To The Constitution Of India is a detailed introductory statement of guidelines for guiding the people of the nation in the right direction. It is a presentation of the principles followed by the Constitution, which indicates the source of the document derived by authorities and its meaning. It reflects many aspirations and hopes of the countrymen and can be referred to as a face that highlights the entire Constitution Of India. The statements were adopted on 26th November in the year 1949 by the Constituent Assembly. However, it later came into effect on 26th January in the year 1950 when the country celebrated its Republic Day, which is why it is said that the Preamble was actually made in the year 1947 but was adopted in the year 1949. Preamble To The Indian Constitution


The Preamble To The Constitution was based on the objectives resolution drafted and moved in the assembly by the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946 on 13th December. It was later adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22nd January 1947; however, the Supreme Court Of India had stated at the Berubari case presidential reference about the Preamble not being an integral part of the country’s Constitution, as a result of which it was not enforceable in a court of law. But later, in the year 1973, the statement was overruled and led to the current recognition of the Preamble. It was set to be used to interpret ambiguous areas of the Constitution where differences in opinions presented themselves. Again, in the year 1995, in a case between the Union Government and LIC of India, the Supreme Court stated how the Preamble is an integral part of the country’s Constitution, pushing forward its current status. 

A famous artist of Jabalpur designed the original Preamble page during his stay at Shantiniketan. As such, the page still bears his name, which is Beohar Rammanohar Sinha. As for the calligraphy on the Preamble, it was written by Prem Behari Narain Raizada. 

It is to be noted that the Preamble had been amended on 18 December 1976 when half of the opposition party members were jailed during the Emergency, which led to several changes in the amendment by Indira Gandhi. There were changes in many words which included the words ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ being added between the words ‘Sovereign’ and ‘Democratic’ while the words ‘Unity of the Nation’ was changed to ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’. 

The Meaning Behind The Preamble To The Indian Constitution

  • Sovereign 

The word ‘Sovereign’ in the Preamble has been used for the independent authority of a state where it has the power to legislate on any subject that is not in control of the other state or any external power. 

The Constitution of India solemnly resolved to constitute the country into a sovereign democratic republic to secure proper objects set forth to the Preamble, of which sovereignty takes the ultimate power of holding an independent authority. This may include any real or normal, legal or political, individual or pluralistic idea. 

The basic idea behind the word defines the independent authority of a state which has two aspects – internal and external, where the external sovereignty or the international law depicts independence of a state to conduct with other states, while the internal sovereignty depicts the relationship of states and its individuals within their territory. It includes internal and domestic affairs, which are further divided into four organs: the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, and the administrator.  

  • Socialist 

The word ‘Socialist’ in the Preamble To The Constitution of India followed some directive principles of State Policy before its addition by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. The word is now used to depict the democratic socialism or achievement of socialist goals through the revolutionary non-violent ways where wealth is shared equally by the society through a distributive justice and not concentrated in the hands of a few people. It states that the government should regulate ownership of lands and industries to reduce the socioeconomic inequalities and end ignorance, poverty, and inequality from the country. 

  • Secular 

The word ‘Secular’ holds the meaning of the relationship between the government and its religious groups under the Constitution and its law. It regulates the separation of the power of the state and religion. It interprets that there should be no difference in religion; whether an individual is Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Christian, or Islam in the country, they should be equally respected. There should be no religion of the state. All the citizens are allowed to practice, propagate, and profess any religion of their choice. 

  • Democratic 

The citizens can elect their Government by a systematic process of selection where one person can give one vote. Citizens of India must be 18 years and above for the same. The word depicts the political democracy of the country along with its social and economic roots. 

  • Republic 

In the case of a Republican Government, the Head of the State will be elected instead of following a hereditary monarchy process. The word ‘Republic’ represents the state of a Government that does not let anyone person hold complete power over its citizens. Even the President of India is indirectly elected for a fixed term. It states that all public offices must be open to every citizen without any discrimination. 

  • Justice 

The word ‘Justice’ depicts the rule of law in the absence of a system of equal rights and opportunities in the society where the citizens will be provided Social Justice, Economic Justice, and Political Justice with the absence of discrimination between individuals based on wealth, gender, colour, religion, creed, caste, place of birth, and any other unequal treatment. They will be given equal and fair opportunities to participate and given the right to justice in all opportunities. 

  • Liberty 

The word ‘Liberty’ depicts the freedom of activities of the citizens of India where there are no unreasonable restrictions regarding their manner of expression, thoughts, opinions, or actions. However, it does not give an individual the freedom to do anything and asks it to be exercised within the constitutional limit. 

  • Equality 

The word ‘Equality’ stands for the absence of special privileges to any section of the society and provides adequate opportunities to all individuals. 

  • Fraternity

The word ‘Fraternity’ means accepting the feeling of brotherhood among the citizens of the country and allows them a sense of belonging in the nation. It refers to accepting all citizens without any differences in religion, caste, community, or any other factor. 


The Preamble To The Constitution holds a significant place in the Constitution of the country and is regarded as a presentation of the rights provided by the nation to its citizens. 

Although there have been a few changes in the Preamble before, it has been clarified by the Supreme Court of India that it holds a vital part in the Constitution even though it can be subjected to Constitutional Amendments under Article 368. However, the basic structure of the Preamble will never be changed further, and that is why it is considered ‘The Heart And Soul’ of the Constitution of the nation.  

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