Values of Indian constitution
Constitution let it be a written or unwritten, contains fundamental laws of the land. Constitution is the supreme and ultimate authority. Decisions or actions which are not in accordance with constitution will be unconstitutional and unlawful. Constitution restricts and limits the power of the government which helps to avoid abuse of authority.
Constitution is not a static but a living document, because it needs to be amended as and when required to keep it updated. The flexibility of constitution enables it to change according to changing aspirations of the people, the changes taking place in society and the needs of the time.
Constitutional Values of Indian constitution and the Preamble
The constitutional values are reflected in entire context of Constitution of India, but the Preamble of Indian constitution embodies the fundamental values and the philosophy on which the Constitution is based. Preamble of Constitution is a brief introductory statement which conveys the guiding principles of the document. Indian Constitution Preamble also convey the same.
Values which are expressed in Preamble of constitution are expressed as objectives of the constitution. These are:
- Republican character of Indian State
- Human dignity and
- The unity and integrity of the Nation.
Let us discuss these constitutional values:
Preamble of Indian Constitution declares India as a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic. Sovereign means having complete political freedom and being the supreme authority. It indicate that India is internally powerful and externally free. It is free from any external interference.
Feature of sovereignty gives the dignity of our existence as a nation in the international community. Indian Constitution does not specify where the sovereign authority lies but Preamble clearly indicates that sovereignty rests with the people of India as mentioned ‘We the People of India’ in preamble. It means that the organs of government and constitutional authorities derive their power only from the people of India.
Economic and Social inequalities have been inherent in the Indian traditional society. Due to which, socialism has been made a constitutional value aimed at transformation to end all forms of inequalities and promoting social change.
Indian Constitution directs and helps the governments and the people to ensure a coordinated and planned social development in all fields.
It helps to prevent concentration of power and wealth in few hands. Indian Constitution has specific provisions that deal with inequalities in the Chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy
India is a home to almost every religions of the world. In the context of this plurality, secularism is seen as a great constitutional value. Secularism means that our country is not having any one religion and not guided by any one particular religious considerations.
Indian constitution allows all citizens of India to profess, preach and practise their own religion. Also, it ensures that the state also does not have any religion of its own. Indian constitution strictly prohibits any discrimination on the ground of religion.
The Preamble reflects democracy as a value and it derives its authority from the will of the people. The people elect representatives and these elected representatives remain accountable to the people. The people of India elect them by a system of universal adult franchise to be a part of the government at different levels.
Democracy contributes to continuous progress and stability in the society and also it secures peaceful political change. It is based on the principles of rule of law, independence of judiciary, inalienable rights of citizens, fair and free elections and freedom of Press.
India is not only a democratic nation but also a republic nation. The most important symbol of republic nation is the office of the Head of the State, i.e. the President who is not selected on the basis of heredity, as is found in a system with monarchy. This constitutional value substantiates and strengthens democracy and every citizen of India is equally eligible to be elected as the Head of the State. The main message of this provision is the political equality.
Living in a democratic system alone does not ensure justice to citizens. We find a number of cases where not only the political justice but also the social and economic justice is denied. Being the reason, the constitution makers have included economic, social, and political justice in constitutional values.
By this, they have stressed that the political freedom granted to the people has to be instrumental in the creation of a new social order, based on socio-economic justice. Every citizen should get Justice. This ideal remains as one of the foremost values of the Constitution of India.
Preamble of Indian constitution prescribes liberty of expression, thought, faith, belief and worship as one of the core values. These have to be assured to every citizen of India. Presence of certain minimal rights are essential for a civilized and free existence of every individual.
Equality is as important constitutional value. The Constitution ensures equal opportunity to every citizen for the development of the best in him or her and equality of status. Inequality in any form present in our country and society has been prohibited to ensure a dignity of individual and its full enjoyment. Therefore equality held as an important value in the Preamble.
A commitment is made in the Preamble of constitution to promote the value of fraternity that stands for the spirit of common brotherhood among all citizens of India. A plural society like India stands divided in the absence of fraternity. Therefore, for giving meaning to all ideals like liberty, justice and equality, Preamble of Indian constitution lays emphasis on fraternity.
10. Dignity of the individual:
It is essential to secure the dignity of every individual without which democracy can not function. It ensures equal participation of every citizens in all processes of the democratic governance.
11. Unity and integrity of the Nation:
The unity and integrity of the nation is very essential to maintain the independence of the country intact. Therefore, the importance has been given on fostering unity amongst all the inhabitants of the country. Indian Constitution expects to uphold and protect the unity and integrity of India as a matter of duty from all the citizens of India .
12. International peace and a just international order:
Though the Preamble of Indian constitution does not include the value of international peace and a just international order, but it is reflected in other provisions of the Constitution.
The Indian Constitution instructs the state
- to promote international peace and security,
- maintain just and honourable relations between nations,
- foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and
- encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
To observe and uphold these values is in the interest of India. International peace and just international order will definitely contribute to the development of India.
13. Fundamental Duties:
Some duties to be performed by the citizens are prescribed in Indian Constitution. These duties these duties are to be performed by every citizens Indian though these are not enforceable in the court of law like the fundamental rights.
Fundamental duties reflect certain basic values like patriotism, nationalism, humanism, environmentalism, harmonious living, gender equality, scientific temper and inquiry, and individual and collective excellence and still have greater importance.