A preamble is an introductory statement which states the purpose, objective, rules, regulation of the document. It gives the fundamental values of the document. The preamble is the beginning of the Constitution which gives the base of the constitution. The makers of the Constitution gave the preamble “the place of pride”. Preamble expresses “what we had thought or dreamt for so long “. The preamble is also known as the backbone of the Indian Constitution. The main purpose is to identify the idea behind the Constitution, i.e. what is the source, what is the ultimate goal, and it’s objective. Preamble can’t override the provision of the Constitution.
Table of Contents
- The purpose is to classify who made the constitution (source) i.e people of India.
- It declares the great rights and freedom which the people of India intended to secure to all citizens and the basic type of government and policy which has to be established. 
Drafting of the Preamble
The preamble was drafted and moved in the constituent assembly by Jawaharlal Nehru. He introduced this bill on 13th Dec 1946, which was accepted on 22nd January 1947. The drafting committee observed that the preamble should be narrow to define the characteristics of states and its objectives must be clear in the Constitution. The committee motto focused on three aspects: ‘Sovereign, Democratic, Republic’.
The preamble was adopted on 26th Nov 1949 but came into force on 26th January 1950.
We the People of India – The expression means the citizens are the source of the Constitution. It shows that the power vested to government is given by citizens only. It shows the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India. Sovereignty means the independent authority of the state and doesn’t have any external power control.
Sovereignty – Sovereign means the supreme and absolute power. A state is sovereign where there is no superior.
In Synthetics & Chemicals Ltd. v. State of UP  the Supreme court held that “sovereign” means that the State has the power to make laws within the constitutional limitations which is supreme in its sphere. Kinds of sovereign viz internally and externally sovereign. Internally sovereign means to have a free government that is directly elected by people of India. Externally sovereign means no control of any foreign power or compliances. A country cannot have its own Constitution if it is not sovereign.
Socialist – The Socialist was added in the 42nd Amendment,1976. Its aim at the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. If we adopt Democratic Socialism India should maintain a belief in a mixed economy where both individual and Government sectors co-exist side by side. Socialism helps in the removal of inequalities, provides necessities to all, and equal pay for equal work.
In D.S Nakara v. Union Of India  the Supreme Court held that socialism aims to provide a standard of living to every citizen and give security from cradle to grave. Further, in Air India Statutory Corporation v. United Labour Union , the court stated that the main purpose is to establish social order through rule of law.
Secular – It was added in the 42nd Amendment,1976. India is a secular State as there is no official religion and every citizen has the freedom to practise any religion of his own choice. Everyone should treat all religions equally and no one can discriminate on the basis of religion.
In S.R Bommai v. Union of India,  the nine-judge bench of Apex Court held that secularism is the basic features of the Constitution. In Bal Patil v. Union of India , the court held that all religious groups should be treated equally and with equal respect. India is a secular country where every person has the right to choose their own religion. But the state has no specific religion.
Democratic – ‘Democratic’ is a Greek word where ‘demos’ means people and Kratos means authority. India is a democratic country where the citizens elect or choose their government. Everyone has a right to vote without any discrimination.
In Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms , the court states that awareness among the citizens is the basic requirement of democracy. A democratic government can survive only when there will be fair elections as fair elections are the soul of democracy.
Republic – The term ‘republic’ is derived from ‘res publica’ which means public property. A republic means people of the state have the supreme power and they are appointed as the head of a state. President is the head of the state who is elected by the people through the voting system.
The main objective of the Indian Constitution is to promote harmony. The Constitution is the supreme law and maintains integrity and peace in society. These factors help them to achieve their objective.
JUSTICE – Justice is a necessary tool to balance order in society with the help of various fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy which was given by the Constitution. Justice has three elements i.e. social, economical, and political.
Social Justice – It means our society should create without any discrimination. The Constitution has tried to remove all the difficulties which harm the equality of society.
Economic Justice – No discrimination should be done on the basis of income, wealth, and economic status. There should be a balanced distribution of wealth among the citizens and ensure that wealth should not concentrate on one’s hands.
Political Justice- Every citizen has an equal and fair right to participate in political opportunities.
EQUALITY – Equality means no citizens have any special advantage and every citizen has to be given equal chance without any discrimination. Every citizen is equal before the law. The Constitution helps in removing differences and discriminations between a citizen of India on the ground of race, religion, caste, sex, etc.
LIBERTY – The Constitution of India provides the freedom of thoughts, expression, belief faith, and worship to every citizen. These freedoms are given by fundamental rights in Part III of the Constitution. Liberty means freedom to do what is allowed by law. Liberty does not mean a license to do what one likes. Anything which creates any public disorder cannot come in the category of liberty. There are some limits set by our Constitution to avoid public disorder.
In Deepak Bajaj v. State of Maharashtra , the Supreme court states that the judiciary is the guardian of the liberties of the people, protecting them against the executive, legislative arbitrariness.
FRATERNITY – It means every citizen has a brotherhood and emotional attachment with the country. The feeling of brotherhood is above the social norms or regulations, it’s a relationship that is above caste, age, or gender. It helps us to increase the dignity and unity in the country. This term was inserted by a drafting committee of the constituent assembly because of various ethical groups, religion, customs, and traditions in India.
Whether preamble a part of the constitution?
In the Berubari Case  court stated that the preamble is the key to open the mind of makers but it cannot be considered as a part of the Constitution and can never be regarded as a source of any substantive power. But later on, in Kesavananda Bharati’s case , the Supreme court rejected this and held that Preamble is the part of the Constitution and helps in the interpretation of statutes and provisions of the Constitution.
Amendment of preamble
After the Kesavananda Bharati case, it was held that the Preamble can be amended under Article 368 of the Indian Constitution but the basic features cannot be amended. If the basic features of the preamble are removed then its structure will not survive.
The preamble is a part of the Constitution. It shows the legislative intent of the makers. It helps in widening the provisions of the Constitution. Preamble helps in increasing the values, principles, and objectivity on which the Indian Constitution is based. The beliefs behind the Constitution is shown in its preamble and it forms a basis of our Constitution which is an ultimate law of India.
 Sir Alladi Krishnaswami, X Constituent Assembly Debates 417(1949).
 Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461.
 (1990) 1 SCC 109.
 AIR 1983 SC 130.
 Civil Appeal No. 15535 of 1996.
 AIR 1994 SC 1918.
 Civil Appeal 4730 of 1999.
 (2002) 5 SCC 294.
 (2008) 11 SC 609.
 Re Berubari, AIR 1960 SC 845.
 Supra note 2.
BY SHAMBHAVI SINHA | BANASTHALI VIDYAPITH