Question: Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the ‘Preamble’. Are they defendable in the present circumstances?
Answer: The preamble of Indian constitution mentions India as a ‘Republic’ country which is ‘sovereign’, ‘socialist’, ‘secular’ and ‘democratic’. The words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added to the constitution under the 42nd constitutional amendment act in 1976.
Words related to republic
Sovereign means that Indian state is an independent entity and not under the rule or control of any others. It has all the right to take decisions independently without having to worry about opinion of others.
Indian state has declared socialism as a state policy under which the government is obliged to take care of its poor and destitute people. Before addition of this feature India was already a socialist oriented state but the amendment made it official.
Secular means that Indian state will accept an equal treatment of religion policy wherein individuals or groups belonging to any religion will be treated equally without any discrimination. The secular concept of India is different from the west as our policy does not believe in strict ostracism of religious overtones. But exclusive favour to one particular religion is prohibited.
India is a democratic country where the nation is governed by individuals who are elected by people. In this sense India is an indirect democracy because people elect certain individuals to carry out governance and decision making is left to them without interference from people.
Relevance of these adjectives
- Sovereignty of India is always intact regardless of the situation. The government takes actions that are favourable to the country without worrying about international consequences.
Ex: Abrogation of Article 370 was a sovereign right of Indian state.
- Socialist policies are still relevant regardless of the changing political environment. The schemes for the welfare of the downtrodden is still being carried out.
Ex: PM Jan ArogyaYojana, PM GaribKalyanYojana.
- Secularism as a concept cannot be carried out strictly for a long time. Eventhough government policy clearly demarcates religious influence, certain sections aim to promote their religious agenda through government machinery.
Ex: AIMPLB influence in government, Hindu Mahasabha, Churches, Shiromani Akali Dal etc.
- Democracy is a concept that has stood the test of the time. Eventhough considered a fragile democracy, India has survived decades without transition to authoritarianism. This emphasises the relevance of democracy as a value in our country.
Thus, the preamble was created after thorough analysis of the constitution and thus considered soul of the constitution. It is still valid and relevant even after decades of its existence.