Sunday, September 6, 2009

We, the people of India (Part I)

The preamble of Indian Constitution: Students recite it everyday in schools and we too have heard it and read it for several times, but did we ever try to realize its meaning? Do we really understand the importance of those golden words that proclaim our supremacy above all? Do we ever care to remember our resolution to constitute our country as our great heroes had dreamt? Very rarely do we care to understand the dreams of those great sons of this land, who burnt all their lives to confer us such a noble framework. Let us take this opportunity to read, think over, and work as per the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Here is the exact draft of the preamble. Let us read it once again by heart.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


Have you learnt it by heart? Did you get the feeling of it? If yes, let’s move towards the discussion.

You may have noticed the preamble has only a single, but comprehensive sentence. It is drafted so, because the legal language has to be very exact and accurate. The beauty of legal language lies in its bareness and straight-forwardness.

The preamble starts with “We, the people of India.” It implies that it is being proclaimed by the people of India, by you and me! And why are we proclaiming? Because we have resolved solemnly to achieve two objects: The first one is to constitute India as a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic state; and second is to secure all its citizens justice, liberty, equality, and promote fraternity among all of them. Having this resolved solemnly in our constituent assembly on 26/11/1949, we adopt, enact, and give this constitution to ourselves.

This is the first-hand meaning of the preamble. We will discuss the detailed description of the specific terms used in this draft in our next sessions.

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