Indian Constitution and Preamble

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Drafting of the Constitution of India

The Constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was elected by the elected members of the provincial assemblies. On 29 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr. Ambedkar as the Chairman along with six other members. A Draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 450 articles in 24 parts, 12 schedules and 96 amendments.

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Drafting of the Constitution of India
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Adoption of the constitution - Republic Day

The Constitution declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity among them. The words "socialist" and "secular" were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment. The Constitution was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950. The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on 26 January each year as Republic Day.

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Adoption of the constitution - Republic Day
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Preamble of the Constitution of India

Preamble means : A introductory portion; an introduction or preface, as to a book, document, etc.; specifically, the introductory part of a statute, which states the reasons and intent of the law. The preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document.

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Preamble of the Constitution of India
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"WE, The people of INDIA"

The enacting words "We, the people of India" in our constituent assembly "do here by adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution". This signifies the democratic principle that power is ultimately rested in the hands of the people. It also emphasizes that the constitution is made by and for the Indian people and not given to them by any outside power.

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"WE, The people of INDIA"
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Sovereign

The word sovereign means supreme or independent. India is internally and externally sovereign - externally free from the control of any foreign power and internally, it has a free government which is directly elected by the people and makes laws that govern the people. Citizens of India also enjoy sovereign power to elect their representatives in elections held for parliament, state legislature and local bodies as well.

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Sovereign
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Socialist

The word socialist was added to the Preamble by the Forty-second Amendment. It implies social and economic equality. Social equality in this context means the absence of discrimination on the grounds only of caste, colour, creed, sex, religion, or language. Under social equality, everyone has equal status and opportunities. Economic equality means that the government will endeavor to make the distribution of wealth more equal and provide a decent standard of living for all. This is in effect emphasized a commitment towards the formation of a welfare state. India has adopted a socialistic and mixed economy and the government has framed many laws to achieve the aim.

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Socialist
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Democratic

The first part of the preamble act "We, the people of India" and, its last part "give to ourselves this Constitution" clearly indicate the democratic spirit involved even in the Constitution.India is a democracy. The people of India elect their governments at all levels (Union, State and local) by a system of universal adult suffrage; popularly known as "one man one vote". Every citizen of India, who is 18 years of age and above and not otherwise debarred by law, is entitled to vote. Every citizen enjoys this right without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion or education.

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Democratic
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Republic

A democratic republic is an entity in which the head of state is elected, directly or indirectly, for a fixed tenure. The President of India is elected by an electoral college for a term of five years. The post of the President Of India is not hereditary. Every citizen of India is eligible to become the President of the country.

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Republic
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Amendment of the constitution

On 18 December 1976, during the Emergency in India, the Indira Gandhi government pushed through several changes in the Forty-second Amendment of the constitution. A committee under the chairmanship of Sardar Swaran Singh recommended that this amendment be enacted after studying the question of amending the constitution in the light of past experience. Through this amendment the words "socialist" and "secular" were added between the words "sovereign" and "democratic" and the words "unity of the Nation" were changed to "unity and integrity of the Nation". The idea for the addition of 'socialist' was prompted by Indira Gandhi, as an ode to India's growing relationship with the USSR.

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Amendment of the constitution
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