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Day 7 – Q 2.What purpose does the Preamble to the Constitution serve? Can it be called the philosophical key to the Constitution? Is it even a part of the Constitution? Examine.

2. What purpose does the Preamble to the Constitution serve? Can it be called the philosophical key to the Constitution? Is it even a part of the Constitution? Examine.  

प्रस्तावना संविधान के किस उद्देश्य की पूर्ति करती है? क्या इसे संविधान की दार्शनिक कुंजी कहा जा सकता है? क्या यह संविधान का हिस्सा भी है? जांच करें।


Preamble refers to the preface of the constitution. It embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values on which Indian Constitution is based i.e., moral, political and religious. As it reflects the dreams of the founding fathers of the constitution, SC has held that Preamble is the key to understanding the mind of constitution makers.


Purpose of the preamble:

The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives a direction and purpose to the Constitution. It outlines the objectives of the whole Constitution. The Preamble contains the fundamentals of the constitution. The preamble to an Act sets out the main objectives which the legislation is intended to achieve.

The Preamble to our Constitution serves the following purposes:

  • It indicates the source from which the constitution derives its authority.
  • It also states the objectives which the constitution seeks to establish and promote. 

Preamble emphasizes on the following:

  • REPUBLIC, as the head of the state is not a hereditary monarch.
  • DEMOCRATIC, because the constitution rests in the people’s will.
  • SOVEREIGN, because no country has supremacy over it.
  • SOCIALIST, aims at eliminating inequality in status and opportunity.
  • SECCULAR, being all religion equal.
  • JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY has its content according to Fundamental Rights and DPSP.

Philosophical key to constitution?

As Constituent Assembly member Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava observes ‘The Preamble is soul of the constitution. It is a key to the Constitution’. It acts a keystone with 

  • Guide for the state in its functioning whether it is the socialist nature or secular government functioning.
  • It instigates the state to take steps to realize the directive principles of state policy. E.g. the land ceiling policy was justified by the then government as in lines of socialist nature of state as mentioned in the preamble itself.
  • It helps the judiciary in deciding the cases based on the philosophical and ideological brainstorming behind the judgements. E.g. Supreme court in the recent Sabarimala and Triple talaq case mentioned secularism as well as equality as mentioned in the preamble is the basic Indian philosophy which needs to be adhered.
  • It acts as a guide for Indian citizens in their conduct. For instance, the philosophy of equality, fraternity as mentioned in the preamble requires citizens to stay secular, give up communal issues and so on.

As Justice Sikri observed, “It seems to me that the preamble of our Constitution is of extreme importance and the constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the preamble.” 

Part of Constitution?

The vexed question whether the Preamble is a part of the Constitution or not was dealt with in two leading cases on the subject:

  • Berubari Union case: the court ruled out that the Preamble to the Constitution is a key to open the mind of the makers of the Constitution, but nevertheless the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.
  •  Kesavananda Bharati case: the apex court rejecting the earlier opinion held that-  
    • The Preamble to the Constitution of India is a part of the Constitution;
    • That the Preamble is not a source of power or a source of limitations or prohibitions;
    • The Preamble has a significant role to play in the interpretation of statutes and also in the interpretation of provisions of the Constitution.
  • Union Government v. LIC of India: The Supreme Court once again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.

Thus, preamble is a part of the constitution and even amendable as any other provisions of the constitution subject to basic structure.


To conclude, it will not be wrong to say that the spirit or the ideology behind the Constitution is sufficiently crystallized in the preamble. The Preamble embodies the spirit of the constitution to build up an independent nation which will ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.

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