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Preamble of the Indian Constitution – Facts for UPSC

Last Updated : 16 Jan, 2024
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The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is a brief introduction that sets down the fundamental goals and ideas of the document itself as well as identifying the people as the source of the document’s authority and meaning. The Indian Constituent Assembly enacted it on November 26, 1949, and it went into force on January 26, 1950. It is stated at the very beginning of the Constitution, prior to Part I, which is its primary body.

In this article, we will look into the Preamble, its definition, background, objectives, four main components, importance, and more.

Preamble to the Constitution of India

The word “Preamble” means a reference to the presentation of the document, in other words, we can say it is a prologue to the written Constitution. Usually, the Preamble places it on the opening page of any document. The preamble contains the essence embodiment and basic structure of the Constitution. A prominent jurist and constituent expert named N. A. Palkhivala describes the Preamble as the “Identity card of the Constitution”. According to K. M. Munshi, the Preamble reads “The Horoscope of our Sovereign Democratic Republic”. The United States of America was the first sovereign nation to have a Preamble to its Constitution. The Indian Constitution of the Preamble was drafted with reference to an “Objective Resolution” which was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru on December 13, 1946. later it was unanimously adopted by the Constitution Assembly. So far, the Preamble to the constitution of India has been amended only once by the 42nd Constitution of Amendment Act of 1976.  With the help of this Constitutional Amendment Act, three new words were added to the Preamble namely Socialist, Secular, and Integrity.

Preamble of Our Constitution

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution showcase the core values and goals of the nation. It defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic dedicated to ensuring justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for its citizens. It captures the essence of the Indian Constitution, guiding governance and upholding the foundational principles that shape the identity and governance of the nation.

Meaning of The Preamble

The Preamble to the Constitution of India expresses the guiding ideals and goals of the nation. It presents the shared vision of the framers, portraying India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic dedicated to justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. The Preamble reflects the foundational principles shaping the Indian state, highlighting the desire for a fair and inclusive society.

Also Check: Importance of Preamble of Indian Constitution

Constitution Day India

Constitution Day in India is observed every year on November 26th to honor the adoption of the Constitution in 1949. This important day pays tribute to the creators of the Constitution, recognizing their hard work in crafting India’s foundational legal document. It serves as a reminder of the nation’s dedication to democratic values, fundamental rights, and the rule of law. Different events, such as discussions, seminars, and educational programs, take place, promoting awareness of the Constitution and underscoring its lasting importance in upholding India’s values and principles.

Date of Adoption of the Constitution

The Indian Constitution was ratified by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, and it became operative on January 26, 1950. In an effort to encourage citizens to uphold the principles of the Constitution, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced on November 19, 2015, that the Government of India would start celebrating November 26 as “Samvidhan Divas or Constitution Day” each year.

Historical Background of the Preamble to the Constitution of India

The ideas outlined in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, which the Constituent Assembly adopted on January 22, 1947, became the basis for the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru proposed it to the Constituent Assembly, and Purushottam Das Tandon supported it. Most of the Objectives Resolution’s provisions were accepted in the Preamble after discussion in the Constituent Assembly.
  • The “Fundamentals” outlined in the Objectives Resolution were intended to act as a foundation for the legal structure that the Constituent Assembly had gathered to discuss.
  • One of the most important “fundamentals” for the future Indian constitution that the resolution highlighted was that India would become a “sovereign Indian republic.”
  • Also, the Constituent Assembly’s Objectives Resolution introduced the term “republic” as a “Fundamental” for the Indian political system.
  • But the Objectives Resolution made no mention of the word “democratic.”
  • Jawaharlal Nehru asserted that democracy is implied by the term “republic,” which is contained in the Objectives Resolution.
  • He went on to say that democratic and economic democracy were included in the “content” of the “Objectives Resolution.”

Also Check: What is the 1st Amendment of Indian Constitution?

Components of the Preamble to the Constitution of India

The four primary components of the Indian Preamble are the Indian Constitution’s source, the nature of the Indian State, its objectives, and date of adoption of the Indian State.

  1. Source of the authority of the constitution: Derives its authority (or source of power) from the people of India.
  2. Nature of Indian State: Declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialistic, Secular, Democratic, and Republic.
  3. Objectives of the constitution: To achieve Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
  4. Date of its adoption: 26 November 1949.

Source of Authority of Constitution of India

As the source of authority, ‘we the people of India’ represents the complete sovereignty of the Indian people. When a nation is sovereign, its territories and peoples are not ruled by another State or outside force, and its citizens are free to conduct all domestic and international affairs as they see fit.

Nature of the Indian State

India is declared to be a Sovereign, Secular, Socialist Democratic, and Republic in the preamble of the Indian Constitution:


According to the Preamble of the Constitution, India is “sovereign” in the sense that it is not subject to the influence of any other force and that it has its own independent authority. To put it simply, sovereignty is the ability of a state to exercise autonomous power.


In 1976, the 42nd Amendment was amended to include the term “secular.” The Preamble of the Indian Constitution defines secularism as the belief that all religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Jainism, and Christianity, are equal in this state. India is not a state where one religion predominates.


The preamble of the Indian Constitution has socialist substance in the form of several Directive Principles of State Policy. The term “socialist” was added later, in the 42nd Amendment of 1976. In this case, the word socialist refers to democratic socialism in the Preamble of the Constitution, which is understood to be the progressive, democratic, and nonviolent attainment of socialist objectives. It maintains its belief in the mixed economy, which incorporates both the public and private sectors.


The 42nd Amendment, which was enacted in 1976, clarifies that every Indian citizen has the right to vote and choose the governments that they like. All Indian nationals who are eighteen years of age or older are eligible to vote. This also includes social and economic democracy.


The term “Republic” is associated with democratic systems, where citizens have the right to participate in decision-making processes, either directly or through elected representatives. It’s meaning public power is not a proprietary right and that leaders are subject to change every five years through elections.

Also Check: Amendment in Indian Constitution

Keywords in the Preamble

Here are the key words in the Preamble:

  • Sovereign: Indicates India’s supreme and independent status, free from external control.
  • Socialist: Emphasizes the commitment to a socialistic pattern of society, striving for social and economic equality.
  • Secular: Signifies the state’s impartiality towards all religions, ensuring religious freedom and equality.
  • Democratic: Reflects the form of government, where power is derived from the people through free and fair elections.
  • Republic: Indicates that the head of the state is elected, and there is no hereditary monarchy.
  • Justice: Envisages social, economic, and political justice to ensure equality and fairness.
  • Liberty: Guarantees individual freedoms and liberties to citizens.
  • Equality: Ensures equal opportunities and status for all citizens.
  • Fraternity: Promotes a sense of brotherhood and unity among the diverse citizens of the country.

Objectives of the Preamble of the Constitution of India

It discusses the four fundamental principles of the Indian constitution – justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, which are regarded as the main objectives of the preamble.


The word “justice” in the Preamble refers to the social, economic, and political security that is guaranteed by a number of the Indian Constitutions’ Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP). Justice was established after the 1917 Russian Revolution.

The 1917 Russian Revolution gave rise to the word “justice.” Social justice is the equal treatment of all people without regard to factors such as gender, race, religion, or place of birth. The term “economic justice” refers to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of financial resources (property, income, and wealth). By fusing social and economic justice, the DPSP addresses distributive justice. Political justice means offering every person a voice in politics, equal access to political offices, and equal political rights.


Along with allowing for the growth of unique personalities, “liberty” is defined as the lack of constraints or domination over an individual’s activities, such as freedom from slavery, dictatorship, confinement, slavery, etc. The French Revolution served as an inspiration for the idea of liberty. Their fundamental rights, which can be enforced in court if violated, grant them the freedom of speech, opinion, belief, faith, and worship. However, liberty must be exercised within the bounds set down in the Constitution; it does not imply a “license” to do as one pleases. The idea of liberty, or essential rights, as stated in the Preamble is not absolute but rather restricted.


Equality” means that no group in society is given preferential treatment or is subjected to discrimination; it also means that everyone has equal access to opportunities in the political, civic, and economic domains.

The following guarantees of civic equality are found in Chapter 3 of the Indian Constitutions’ Fundamental Rights (Articles 14 to 18):

  • Equality before the law (Article 14)
  • Article 15 prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. Judicial equality in public employment matters (Article 16).
  • Abolition of untouchability (Article 17).
  • Abolition of titles (Article 18).
  • Two sections in the Constitution are intended to promote political equality.
  • Article 325 states that no one may be excluded from the voting rolls because of their gender, race, religion, or caste.
  • Adult suffrage will be used for elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies (Article 326).
  • The DPSP (Article 39), which guarantees men and women equal rights to sufficient subsistence and equal remuneration for equal work, provides citizens with economic equality.


A sense of brotherhood is referred to as fraternity. In order to protect human dignity as well as the unity and integrity of the nation, the Preamble aims to fortify national cohesion. This spirit of brotherhood is encouraged by the Constitution in two ways:

  • System of single citizenship.
  • Article 51-A, e of the Fundamental Duties states that every Indian citizen has an obligation to maintain the spirit of unity and fraternity among all Indians, irrespective of differences in language, religion, location, or sector.
  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 added the word “integrity” to the preamble.

Also Check: Fundamental Duties In Indian Constitution

Four Main Ingredients of the Indian Preamble

The Indian Constitution’s origin, the type of Indian government, the goals of the Indian Constitution, and the date when India became a nation are the four key elements of the Indian Preamble. You can find more details in the table provided below.

Preamble to the Indian Constitution Details
Source of the Indian Constitution The Indian Constitution draws its authority from the people of India, as indicated by the words, ‘We, the People of India’ in the Preamble.
Nature of the Indian State The Preamble describes India as a sovereign, socialist, republic, secular, and democratic nation.
Objective of the Indian Constitution The Preamble highlights the goals of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for India.
Adoption Date of the Constitution The Indian Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949.

Importance of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

Preamble to the Constitution of India is important because of the following reasons:

  • The Preamble to the Indian Constitution defines the essential thoughts, philosophy, and strategic goals and objectives worked out by the founding fathers of the constitution.
  • It addresses the origin of the Constitution of India. The words sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, and republic in the Preamble show the nature of the nation.
  • The Preamble characterizes the essential opportunities that the Indian public needs to safeguard for all residents, as well as the fundamental style of government and legislative issues to be constructed.
  • The Supreme court alluded to the Preamble, the word ‘We the people of India’, and the court observed that the Preamble derives the authority of the Constitution which comes from the citizens of India.
  • The ideals of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity reflect constitutional objectives. 
  • The Preamble reflects the philosophy of the Constitution of India.
  • It contains an essential principal value based on the political, moral, and religious constitution. 
  • According to Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, the Preamble to our Constitution expresses “what we had thought or dreamt so long”.

Facts about the Preamble of the Indian Constitution

The following are some of the important Facts for UPSC about the preamble of the Indian Constitution:

  • It was implemented following the adoption of the Indian Constitution in its entirety.
  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 introduced the word secular to the Indian Constitution’s Preamble.
  • The Preamble guarantees the freedom of belief, faith, and worship to every Indian citizen.
  • The Preambles’ ideals of social, economic, and political justice are taken from the Constitution of the Soviet Union (Russia).
  • The French Constitution is where the republic and the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity originate.
  • The American Constitution was the first to introduce the preamble on its own.

Also Check: Parts of the Indian Constitution


As India progresses, the importance of the Preamble is evident in creating the country’s identity and providing moral direction for governance. The Preambles’ emphasis on justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity serves as a constant reminder of the nation’s dedication to constructing a fair and harmonious society. The ideals of the Preamble ensures that India’s constitutional journey aligns with democratic principles, social welfare, and a diverse culture.

Related Resources:

Preamble of Indian Constitution – FAQs

Who made the Indian Preamble?

While Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution served as the foundation for the Preambles’ principles, the final draft was prepared by the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, with key contributions from B.R. Ambedkar.

What is the meaning of the Preamble?

The Preamble outlines the guiding principles and objectives of the Indian Constitution. It declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic and emphasizes securing justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for all citizens.

What is the first line of the Constitution of India?

The first line of the Constitution of India is: “We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC … “. This directly connects to the Preambles’ opening words.

Which country first made a preamble?

The concept of a preamble can be traced back to ancient documents, but the modern idea of a constitutional preamble originated in the United States Constitution.

Who is the father of the Constitution?

B.R. Ambedkar is often referred to as the “father of the Indian Constitution” due to his pivotal role in drafting and steering its adoption. He led the Drafting Committee and played a crucial role in shaping its content and structure.

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