The Preamble is an introductory statement to the constitution. It is intended to state the subject, aims and objectives of the constitution. The Preamble to the Indian Constitution is based on the "Objective Resolution" of Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru introduced an objective resolution on December 13, 1947 and it was accepted by constituent assembly on 22nd January 1947. 

The Preamble derives its authority from the people of India. It declares India to be a sovereign, socialistic, secular, democratic and republic. It specifies justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as the objectives. It was adopted on November 26th, 1949.

The Preamble has been amended only once by the 42nd Constitutional amendment, 1976. With the help of this amendment three new words were added to the Preamble namely socialist, secular and integrity.


As Supreme Court has observed it is the key to unravel the minds of the makers of the Constitution. It is non-justifiable in nature, like the DPSPs and cannot be enforced in a court of law. The Preamble can neither provide definite or real power to the three organs of the state nor limit their powers under the provisions of the Constitution. Therefore, Preamble plays a limited and yet vital role in removing the doubt surrounding the provisions of the Constitution.


The words sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic in the Preamble show the nature of the nation. The ideals of justice, liberty, equality, fraternity reflect the constitutional objectives. Preamble reflects the philosophy of the Constitution.

A famous jurist and constituent expert named N.A Palkhivala describes the Preamble as the "Identity card of the Constitution"


We the people of India:
It means the people of India are the ultimate leaders and their power is exercised at the ballot box. The selected representatives through the elections will govern the nation on behalf of citizens of India and will be responsible for them.

The word sovereign means supreme power or authority. According to our Indian Constitution, India is a sovereign state. A sovereign state has its own independent authority and not being dominated by any other external force.

India has adopted "Democratic Socialism", which advocates a mixed economy, where the private and governmental sector co-exist. It seeks to eradicate poverty, ignorance, sickness and inequality in opportunity.

The term secular means all the religions in India gets equal respect, protection and support from the state.

The term democratic refers to the form of government in which the people have the authority in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or through the representatives elected by the people through elections.

The term republic means that the head of state is directly or indirectly elected by the people. For Example, In India, the President is the head of the State and he is indirectly elected by the people.


The main objective is to promote peace throughout the nation. The factors helping in achieving the objective are:

The term stands for system of equal rights, freedom and opportunities for all in a society. India seeks social, economic and political justice to ensure equality to its citizens.
     Social Justice - It means a society without discrimination on any grounds like caste, creed, gender, religion, etc.,
     Economic Justice - No discrimination on the basis of wealth, income and economic status of the people. Every person must be paid equally and equal opportunities should be provided for every people.
     Political Justice - All the people have an equal, free and fair right without any discrimination to participate in political opportunities.

The term "liberty" means freedom, it means that people can choose their way of life and no reasonable restrictions can be imposed in terms of thoughts, feelings and view. Liberty does not mean freedom to do anything, but there is a certain limit which is set by the law.

The term means all the people have given equal opportunities for everything without any discrimination. Everyone is equal before the law.

The term fraternity means a feeling of brotherhood. It helps to promote dignity and unity in the nation.


In Re Berubari Union case (1960), the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is not the part of the Constitution and because of this, Preamble has no substantive power.

In Keshavananda Bharati vs. State of Kerala (1973), the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is the part of the Constitution and it is of great importance. The court further held that the Preamble can be amended without altering the basic structure of the Constitution.

In S.R. Bommai v. Union of India (1994), the Supreme Court reiterated the view held in Keshavananda Bharati case and held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.

In K.K. Bhaskaran v. State (2011), the Supreme Court held that the Constitution should be interpreted in such manner so as to secure the goal of social, economic and political justice.