Preamble to constitution - Questions and Answers

1)   Which of the following emerges clearly from the Preamble?

1) Date of adoption of Constitution
2) Ideals that are to be achieved
3) Nature of Indian state
4) The source of authority of the Constitution

a. Only 1 and 2
b. Only 1, 2 and 4
c. Only 1 and 4
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above


  • American Constitution started with the concept of the Preamble.
  • Preamble means introduction or preface to the Constitution.
  • It has the summary or essence of the Constitution.
  • The Preamble to the Indian Constitution is based on the ‘Objectives Resolution’, drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru, and adopted by the Constituent Assembly.
  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976, amended it by adding three new words to it - socialist, secular and integrity.
  • The Preamble has 4 components within it.

  • They are -

    1. Source of authority of the Constitution : The source is people of India.
    2. Nature of Indian State : India is to be of a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic and republican polity.
    3. Ideals to be achieved or the objectives of the Constitution : It tells that we must achieve - justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
    4. Date of adoption of the Constitution : November 26, 1949. However, the constitution came into force on 26th January 1950.

  • Preamble is also known as Soul or Identity Card of the Constitution. It is also known as the key to the Indian Constitution.
  • It embodies the vision, noble ideas of the makers of the constitution and the basic philosophy on which the constitution is based.
  • It can be used to understand the ambit of Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy.
  • It also has the basic structure of the constitution.

2)   Which is the correct sequence of the following words in the preamble of the constitution?

a. Sovereign, Democratic, Socialist, Secular, Republic
b. Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic
c. Sovereign, Socialist, Democratic, Secular, Republic
d. None of these
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic

The Preamble says – “We, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC…”

  • Sovereign.

  • 1. India is neither a dependency (colony) nor a dominion of any other nation.
    2. It is free independent state and can conduct its internal and external affairs freely.
    3. There is no authority above it.
    4. Continuing membership of Commonwealth in 1949 does not affect sovereignty.
    5. India became member of UN in 1945.
    6. India can either acquire a foreign territory or cede a part of its territory to a foreign state.

  • Socialist - The word was added by 42nd Amendment, 1976.

  • 1. The Constitution had a socialist content in the form of certain Directive Principles of State Policy.
    2. The Indian brand of socialism is a ‘democratic socialism’ and not a ‘communistic socialism’.
    3. Communistic socialism is also known as ‘state socialism’ and involves the nationalization of all means of production and distribution and the abolition of private property.
    4. Democratic socialism, has faith in a ‘mixed economy’ i.e., faith in both public and private sector.
    5. Indian socialism is a blend of Marxism and Gandhism, leaning heavily towards Gandhian socialism.

  • Secular - India supports all religions equally.

  • 1. The term was added by 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
    2. Though the words ‘secular state’ were not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, the maker of the Constitution wanted to India to be secular state.
    3. So, only Articles 25 to 28 (fundamental right to freedom of religion) have been in the constitution.
    4. India has positive concept of secularism i.e., all religions in our country have the same status and support from the state

  • Democratic - Rule of people.

  • Republic - It means elected head of state.

3)   Which of the following sentences is/are true?

1) Plebiscite is when a proposed general legislation is referred to the electorate for acceptance through direct voting.
2) Republic means elected head of government.

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2

The Preamble says – “We, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC…”

  • Democratic-Rule of people.
    1. Doctrine of popular sovereignty means people possess supreme power
    2. Democracy is of two types - direct and indirect.
    3. In direct democracy, the people exercise their supreme power directly e.g., Switzerland.
  • 4. Direct democracy has 4 devices - Referendum, Initiative, Recall and Plebiscite

    Referendum - procedure in which a proposed legislation is referred to the electorate for acceptance through direct voting.
    Initiative - method by means of which the people can propose a bill to the legislature for enactment.
    Recall - way for voters to remove a representative or an officer before the expiry of his/her term, when he fails to discharge his duties properly.
    Plebiscite - method of obtaining the opinion of people on any issue of public importance. It is generally used to solve territorial disputes.
    5. In indirect democracy, the representatives elected by the people exercise the supreme power. This also called representative democracy.
    6. These are of two kinds - parliamentary and presidential.
    7. India has representative parliamentary democracy with universal adult franchise.
    8. The preamble envisions political, social and economic democracy.

  • Republic-It means elected head of state.

    1. It means head of state is not hereditary like in monarchy.
    2. Political sovereignty rests with people.
    3. All public offices are open to all without any discrimination.

4)   Which case/s emphasized that Preamble is part of the Constitution?

1) Kesavananda Bharati Case
2) LIC of India Case
3) Golakhnath Case
4) Berubari Union Case

a. 1
b. 1, 2
c. 1, 2, 4
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1, 2


  • While forwarding the Preamble for votes, the president of the Constituent Assembly said, ‘The question is that Preamble stands part of the Constitution’. The motion was then adopted.
  • In the Berubari Union case (1960), the Supreme Court said that the Preamble shows the general purposes behind the several provisions in the Constitution.
  • But Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.
  • In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Supreme Court said that Preamble is a part of the Constitution.
  • In the LIC of India case (1995) also, the Supreme Court again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.
  • Like any other part of the Constitution, the Preamble was also enacted by the Constituent Assembly.
  • But the Preamble is not a source of power for the legislature nor a prohibition on the legislature’s powers.
  • It is non-justiciable and cannot be enforced by any court of law.
  • Question of amending the Preamble first came up during Kesavananda Bharati case (1973).
  • SC allowed amending the preamble under article 368, as long as the basic structure of the constitution is not touched.

5)   Which of the following sentences is/are true?

1) Liberty provided by the preamble is qualified
2) Preamble says ‘Equality, Social, Economic and Political,…’
3) Integrity of the nation is a territorial concept
4) Justice in preamble is inspired from the Russian Revolution

a. Only 1, 3 and 4
b. Only 1, 2 and 3
c. Only 2, 3 and 4
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only 1, 3 and 4

The text of the Preamble reads as ‘…EQUALITY of status and of opportunity…’

  • Justice-The feature of Justice - social, economic and political has been taken from Russian Revolution, 1917.
    1. Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles provide justice.
    2. Social justice means equal treatment of all citizens without any social distinction.
    3. Economic justice means non-discrimination between people based on economic factors and elimination of in-equalities in wealth.
    4. Social justice plus economic justice is known as ‘distributive justice’.
    5. Political justice means that all citizens should have equal political rights, equal access to all political offices and equal voice in the government.
  • Liberty-It means providing individual freedom and opportunities to develop oneself.
    1. Liberty, equality and fraternity are taken from French Revolution (1789-1799).
    2. Liberty in preamble is qualified (having restrictions) and not absolute.
    3. Preamble denotes liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.
  • Equality-It means to treat all of them same with no privileges to any person or group.
    1. Civic (Article 14 to 18), political (Article 325 and 326) and economic equality (Articles 39, etc.) are guaranteed by Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
  • Fraternity-it is sense of brotherhood, family, oneness
    1. As per Fundamental Duties (Article 51-A) we all must promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood.
    2. Fraternity has two parts - dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
    3. The word ‘integrity’ has been added to the preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976.
    4. Dignity means material development of life as well as personality development.
    5. Unity is moral and psychological aspect and integrity is territorial aspect.
    6. Integrity aims at countering secessionism and separation.
    7. Unity is aimed at being united in spirit and having common brotherhood.