The Preamble reveals four ingredients or components:
🔸Source of authority of the Constitution: The Preamble states 
that the Constitution derives its authority from the people of India. 

🔸Nature of Indian State: It declares India to be of a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic and republican polity.
🔸Objectives of the Constitution: It specifies justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as the objectives. 

🔸 Date of adoption of the Constitution: It stipulates November 26, 1949, as the date.


🔸The word ‘sovereign’ implies that India is neither a dependency nor a dominion of any other nation, but an independent state2 

🔸There is no authority above it, and it is free to conduct its own affairs (both internal and external). 

🔸Though in 1949, India declared the continuation of her full membership of the Commonwealth of Nations and accepted the British Crown as the head of the Commonwealth, this extra- constitutional declaration does not affect India’s sovereignty in any manner .


🔸Even before the term was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the Constitution had a socialist content in the form of certain Directive Principles of State Policy. In other words, what was hitherto implicit in the Constitution has now been made explicit. 

🔸Moreover, the Congress party itself adopted a resolution 5 to establish a ‘socialistic pattern of society’ in its Avadi session as early as in 1955 and took measures accordingly. 

🔸Notably, the Indian brand of socialism is a ‘democratic socialism’ and not a ‘communistic socialism’ (also known as ‘state socialism’) which involves the nationalisation of all means of production and distribution and the abolition of private property.


🔸The term ‘secular’ too was added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. 

🔸However, as the Supreme Court said in 1974, although the words ‘secular state’9 were not expressedly mentioned in the Constitution, there can be no doubt that Constitution makers wanted to establish such a state and accordingly Articles 25 to 28 (guaranteeing the fundamental right to freedom of religion) have been included in the constitution. 

🔸The Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism ie, all religions in our country (irrespective of their strength) have the same status and support from the state


🔸A democratic polity, as stipulated in the Preamble, is.based on the doctrine of popular sovereignty, that is, possession of supreme power by the people. Democracy is of two types–direct and indirect. In direct democracy, the people exercise their supreme power directly as is the case in Switzerland. There are four devices of direct democracy, namely, Referendum, Initiative, Recall and Plebiscite

🔸In indirect democracy, on the other hand, the representatives elected by the people exercise the supreme power and thus carry on the government and make the laws. This type of democracy, also known as representative democracy, is of two kinds–parliamentary and presidential. 

🔸The Indian Constitution provides for representative parliamentary democracy under which the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its policies and actions.

🔸A democratic polity can be classified into two categories– monarchy and republic. In a monarchy, the head of the state (usually king or queen) enjoys a hereditary position, that is, he comes into office through succession, e.g., Britain.

🔸 In a republic, on the other hand, the head of the state is always elected directly or indirectly for a fixed period, e.g., USA. 

🔸Therefore, the term ‘republic’ in our Preamble indicates that India has an elected head called the president. He is elected indirectly for a fixed period of five years.


The term Justice in the Preamble embraces three distinct forms social, economic and political, secured through various provisions of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.

🔸️ Social justice denotes the equal treatment of all citizens without any social distinction based on caste, colour, race, religion, sex and so on. It means absence of privileges being extended to any particular section of the society and improvement in the conditions of backward classes (SCS STB and CBCs) and women.

🔸️ Economic justice denotes the non-discrimination between people on the basis of economic factors. It involves the elimination of glaring inequalties in wealth, income and property. A combination of social justice and economic justice denotes what is known as distributive justice.

🔸️ Political justice implies that all citizens should have equal poitical rights, equal access to all political offices and equal voice in the government.


🔸The term liberty means the absence of restraints on the activities of individuals, and at the same time,providing opportunities for the development of individual personalties.

🔸The Preamble secures to all citizens of India liberty of thought, expression belief, faith and worship through their Fundamental Right enforceable in court of law, in case of violation. 

🔸The deals of liberty equality and fraternity in our Preamble have been taken from the French Revolution (1789-1799)


🔸The term equality means the absence of special prilleges to any section of the society, and the provision of adequate opportunities for all individuals without any discrimination.

The following provisions of the chapter on Fundamental Rights ensure civic equality:

🔸Equality before the law (Article 14).

🔸Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 15) 

🔸Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16)

🔸 Abolition of untouchability (Article 17).

🔸Abolition of titles (Article 18)

The Directive Principles of State Policy (Article 39) secures to men and women equal right to an adequate means of livelihood and equal pay for equal work.


🔸️In the Berubari Union case (1960), the Supreme Court said that the Preamble shows the general purposes behind the several provisions in the Constitution, and is thus a key to the minds of the makers of the Constitution.

🔸️Despite this recognition of the significance of the Preamble, the Supreme Court specifically opined that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.

🔸️In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Supreme Court rejected the earlier opinion and held that Preamble is a part of the Constitution.

🔸️In the LIC of India case (1995) also, the Supreme Court again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.

🔸️ However, two things should be noted :-
1. The Preamble is neither a source of power to legislature nor a prohibition upon the powers of legislature. 

2. It is non-justiciable, that is, its provisions are not enforceable in courts of law.


🔸️ The question as to whether the Preamble can be amended under  Article 368 of the Constitution arose for the first time in the historic  Kesavananda Bharati case (1973). It was urged that the Preamble cannot be amended as it is not a part of the Constitution.

🔸️ The Supreme Court, however, held that the Preamble is a part of the Constitution. The Court stated that the opinion tendered by it in the Berubari Union (1960) in this regard was wrong, and held that the Preamble can be amended, subject to the condition that 
no amendment is done to the ‘basic features’.

🔸️ The Preamble has been amended only once so far, in 1976, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which has added three new words–Socialist, Secular and Integrity–to the Preamble.