What are the basic values enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution? How relevant are these values in the present time?

What are the basic values enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution? How relevant are these values in the present time?
  • In the Introduction part, write about the Preamble and the values enshrined in the Preamble.
  • Then briefly explain some of the important values mention in the Preamble
  • After that explain how  they are relevant in the present time
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :
The Preamble to the constitution embodies the essence of the entire constitution and is like an introduction and preface of a book. It embodies the fundamental values and the philosophy on which the Constitution is based. It embodies the ideals and aspirations of the people of India.
Values in the Preamble:
The values expressed in the Preamble are Sovereignty, Socialism, Secularism, Democracy, Republican character, Justice, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Human Dignity and the Unity and Integrity of the Nation. Some of them are explained below:
  • The term “Sovereignty” implies that India is internally supreme and externally free.
  • By the word “Socialism”, the Constitution means the achievement of Socialistic ends through democratic means i.e. democratic socialism.
  • By Secularism the Constitution means that India is neutral in religious matters and treats all religions impartially.
  • The terms Democratic Republic means that the government will be run by the method of discussion and persuasion. And the supreme power is held by the people and their elected representative.
  • To build up an ideal democracy, the preamble emphasizes justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as political ideals. These ideals listed in the preamble are, according to Prof. Barker, the quintessence of western democracy.
Relevance for today:
The basic values enshrined in our Preamble are co-terminus with the ideals and aspirations of the freedom struggle. These values are even more relevant today than the date of its adoption because of these following reasons:
  • In the present world order, the idea of sovereignty is more relevant because in the Globalized era several international organization forces small countries to do what large countries want.
  • In view of the persistent communal tensions and riots on the basis of religion, secular values are more relevant today.
  • Although we have achieved political democracy, we are yet to achieve social democracy (social justice, equality and dignity of person) and economic democracy (reducing economic inequalities).
On the other hand, the idea of Socialism, though it still exists in the preamble, has given way to a more modern concept of the “welfare state” (where government does not control all economic activity, but aims to provide benefits to all) after the 1991 reforms (coinciding with the fall of Soviet Union).
As seen above, the values enshrined in our Preamble are very relevant in today’s context. They also aid in the legal interpretation where the language of the Constitution is found to be ambiguous.

Subjects : Polity