The objective resolution was moved by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 13, 1946, which was adopted as the ‘Preamble to the Constitution’ on January 22, 1947. The idea of a Preamble is borrowed from the American constitution. The words ‘Socialist’, ‘Secular’ and ‘Integrity’ were added to the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment,1976.
TEXT OF THE PREAMBLE
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;
- In our constituent assembly, this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution.
The Four Components of the Preamble are:
- The Preamble indicates that the source of authority of the Constitution lies with the people of India.
- It declares India to be a socialist, secular, secular, democratic and a republic nation.
- It states its objectives to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation.
- It mentions the date (November 26, 1949) on which the constitution was adopted.
The keywords in the Preamble are explained below:
- Sovereign means: The Preamble proclaims that India is a Sovereign State. 'Sovereign' means that India has its own independent authority and it is not a dominion or dependent state of any other external power.
- Socialist means: The word 'Socialist' was added to the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976. Socialism means the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. India has adopted 'Democratic Socialism'.
- Secular means: The term secular in the Constitution of India means that all the religions in India get equal respect, protection and support from the state.
- Democratic means: The term Democratic indicates that the Constitution has established a form of government that gets its authority from the will of the people expressed in an election.
- Republic means: No room for hereditary ruler or monarch.
Amendability of the preamble
- The question whether the Preamble can be amended or not was resolved by the Supreme Court in the famous Keshavananda Bharati Case (1973). In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Preamble IS a part of the constitution and can be amended, subject to the condition that it does not violate the ‘Basic Features of The Constitution’ as propounded by it.
- The Preamble has been amended only once in 1976, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, which added three new words ‘socialist, secular and integrity’. It was held that these words are clarificatory in nature and did not make any substantial difference to the polity or the State in the sense that socialism, secularism and national integrity were already implicit in the Preamble and the rest of the Constitution as originally framed.
PARTS OF THE CONSTITUTION
- Part (i): Territory of India, admission, establishment or formation of new states (Article 1 to 4)
- Part (ii): Citizenship (Article 5 to 11)
- Part (iii): Fundamental Rights (Article 12 to 35)
- Part (iv): Directive Principles of State Policy (Article 36 to 51)
- Part (v): A Duties of a citizen of India. It was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976 (Article 51 A)
- Part (vi): Government at the Union Level (Article 52 – 151)
- Part (vii): Government at the State Level (Article 152 – 237)
- Part (viii): Deals with states in Part B of the First Schedule. It was repealed by 7 th Amendment in 1956. (Article 238)
- Part (ix): Administration of Union Territories (Article 239 – 241)
- Part (x): Territories in Part D of the First Schedule and other territories. It was repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956. (Article 242-243)
- Part (xi): Scheduled and tribal area (Article 244 to 244 A)
- Part (xii): Relations between the Union and State (Article 245 – 263)
- Part (xiii): Finance, Property, contracts and suits (Article 264-300)
- Part (xiv): Trade, commerce and travel within the territory of India (Article 301 – 307)
- Part (xv): Services under the Union and States (Article 308 – 323)
- Part (xvi): A Added by the 42 nd Amendment in 1976 and deals with Administrative tribunals to hear disputes and other complaints (Article 323 A to 323 B)
- Part (xvii): Election and Election Commission (Article 324 – 329)
- Part (xviii): Special provisions for certain classes i.e. ST/SCs and Anglo-Indians (Article 330–342)
- Part (xix): Official Languages (Article 343– 351)
- Part (xx): Emergency provisions (Article 352- 360)
- Part (xxi): Miscellaneous provision regarding exemption of the President and governors from criminal proceedings (Article 361)
- Part (xxii): Amendment of Constitution (368)
- Part (xxiii): Temporary, transitional and special provisions (369-392)
- Part (xxiv): Short title, commencement and repeal of the Constitution (393-395)
SCHEDULES TO THE CONSTITUTION
At the time of enactment of the constitution, there were eight schedules and Schedules 11 and 12 were added by 73rd and 74th amendments. At present, there are 12 schedules to the constitution.
1. First Schedule: It contains the list of States and Union Territories in the country.
- The State
- The Union Territories
2. Second Schedule: Contains provisions of the President, Governors of States, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of the People and the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Council of States and the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council of a State, the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India the list of states and union territories and their territories.
3. Third Schedule: Forms of Oaths or Affirmations
4. Fourth Schedule: Allocation of Seats in the Council of States
5. Fifth Schedule: Provisions as to the administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes.
- Part A: General
- Part B: Administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes.
- Part C: Scheduled Areas
- Part D: Amendment of the Schedule
6. Sixth Schedule: Provisions as to the administration of Tribal Areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
7. Seventh Schedule: This schedule gives us the legislative lists i.e.
- List I: Union List
- List II: State List
- List III: Concurrent List
8. Eighth Schedule: Official Languages
9. Ninth Schedule: Article 31 B (First Amendment)
10. Tenth Schedule: Provisions regarding disqualification due to defection (52 nd Amendment, 1985)
11. Eleventh Schedule: Article 243G - (Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature of a State - 73rd Amendment, 1992)
12. Twelfth Schedule: Article 243W – (Powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities, etc. – 74 th Amendment, 1992)
THE UNION AND ITS TERRITORY
At the time of the enactment of the constitution, India was divided into four types of States. Now, there are only States and Union Territories.
The name of the States and Union Territories and the territories covered by each of them is described in the first schedule. It also provides that no State can secede from the union nor can it suo moto vary its territory as given in the First Schedule.
Part 1 (Article 1 – 4): Article 1 of the Constitution says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. The expression Union of States means that the Union of India is NOT a result of an agreement by the states to join the federation and it not being the result of an agreement, no state has the right to get separated from it.
SPECIAL STATUS OF JAMMU & KASHMIR
The State of Jammu and Kashmir has been given special status under article 370, which became operative in 1952.
The separate Constitution of the State was drafted by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir and became effective on Jan 26, 1957. The state has a much greater autonomy than any other state and the centre’s jurisdiction is more limited. The laws passed by the Parliament DO NOT extend to it automatically unless their extension is approved by the state as well.
STATES AND UNION - THE TIMELINE
In 1956, there were fourteen states and six union territories. The first state to be created on a linguistic basis was Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
- In 1960, Bombay was bifurcated into Gujarat and Maharashtra
- In 1962, Nagaland was created as a separate state.
- In 1966, Haryana was carved out of Punjab and Chandigarh became a Union Territory.
- State of Punjab was re-organized and divided into Punjab and Haryana on the bases of Shah Commission recommendations.
- In 1970, the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh was elevated to a state.
- In 1971, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya were granted statehood.
- In 1974, Sikkim became an associate state of the Indian Union. By the 36 th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1975, Sikkim became a full fledged State of the Indian Union.
- In 1986, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh came into being.
- In 1987, Goa came into existence.
- In 2000, three more new states i.e. Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were created.
- In June 2014, the new state of Telangana came into existence on, thus becoming the 29 th state of India.
ADDITION OF STATES TO INDIA
(i) Manipur added as state in October 1949
(ii) Tripura September 9, 1949
(iii) Jammu and Kashmir – 1947
(iv) Sikkim on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became a state of the Indian Union and Lhendup Dorji became its Chief Minister. In 1975, its subjects voted by plebiscite to become a state of India.
- The power to carve out a new state vests with the Parliament only.
- The constitution does not provide for ‘secession’ of any part of the country.
CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA
Part II (Article 5-11)
A citizen is a person who enjoys full membership of the community in which he lives. Citizens are different from aliens who DO NOT enjoy CERTAIN Fundamental Rights.
Prior to the constitution, there was no concept of “Indian Citizenship”. All those who lived in British India were under the crown and as such British subjects governed by the British Nationality Acts and those who came from the princely States had the status for British protected persons.
Article 5 -11 merely identifies whether a person is citizen or not. If a person voluntarily gives up citizenship, his child also loses the citizenship of India.
Citizenship: Citizenship involves individual’s full political membership of the state and his integration into its political system. All public offices are open to a citizen and he is entitled to join all public services. The citizen has the obligation to pay taxes and defend the country. The Right to Vote and certain fundamental rights are available to citizens only.
Single Citizenship: The Indian constitution does not provide for Dual Citizenship.
Acquisition of Citizenship: Our constitution provides for single citizenship despite being a federal structure, unlike the USA. All citizens are entitled to the same rights all over the country without any discrimination, subject to some special protections in case of Jammu & Kashmir, tribal areas, etc.
Citizenship can be acquired by
- By Birth
- By Descent
- By Registration
- By Naturalization
- By Incorporation of Territory
- By Renunciation
The constitution does not provide for the mode of acquisition and termination of citizenship. The Parliament can, by law, could regulate the right of citizenship.
Loss of Citizenship
- By Termination / Deprivation: The citizenship can be lost by termination, renunciation or deprivation on certain grounds.
- The law regarding citizenship is governed by the Citizenship Act, 1955. The law was amended in 1986 to tackle large scale migration from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and some African countries.
- The Citizenship Act was amended in 2003, by which people of Indian origin, except in Pakistan and Bangladesh, will become eligible to be registered as the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).
- The OCIs are entitled to some benefits multiple entry, multipurpose lifelong visas, living and working in India or their country of naturalization.
- They are not entitled to hold constitutional posts and employment with the government BUT they can’t vote.