Prior to the framing of the constitution, Nehru moved an Objectives Resolution (the resolution that defined the aims of the Assembly) in 1946 imbibing the values and aspiration behind the making of the constitution. The fundamental commitments include sovereignty, democracy, liberty, equality and cosmopolitan identity.
The Constitution was summarised in the “Preamble” which says
“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 26th day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
Some of the spirit of Indian constitution is discussed below.
The secularism’s positive concept is embodied in Indian constitution, meaning all religions of India have equal support and status from the state. This has largely been upheld by successive Indian governments so far. India is considered to be one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Still there are some blotches such as Delhi riot in 1984, Mumbai riot in 1994, and Gujarat riot in 2002 that brings embarrassment to our state.
The preamble stipulates a democratic polity on the basis of the docrtine of “popular sovereignty”, meaning that position of supreme polity lies in the people’s hand. Unlike many other countries in the region, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh that set out as democratic nations, but could not carry on with it. This led to intermittent disruptions of democracy and rule of military junta from time to time. However, India can take pride in being the world’s biggest democracy throughout the time since independence.
A democratic polity as stipulated in the preamble is based on the docrtine of “popular sovereignty” it means the position of supreme power lies in the hands of people.
A democratic polity can be classified into 2 categories:-
1) Hereditary monarchy
2) Elected head of states
Being republic in the preamble of India is indicative of two things: Resting of political sovereignty in the people and the absence of any undue privileges to any particular class
In the respect, it has been an open secret that people with money and muscle power have set the stage to dominate Indian polity. The votes are bought, cajoled and even intimidated and the elections held in India are not as free and fair as in western nations. The leaders belonging to particular caste or religion gets upper hand considering the demographic dominance of his own attributes in a particular constituency.
Thus, albeit India’s constitution is honored to a large extent and better than many developing nations, it still fall short of being a nation that has been able to provide its people satisfactory sovereignty, liberty, equality and cosmopolitan identity.