DMPQ- Explain why Directive principles of State policy are important and relevant in 21st century.

. In spite of the above criticisms and shortcomings, the Directive Principles are not an unnecessary appendage to the Constitution. The Constitution itself declares that they are fundamental to the governance of the country. According to L M Singhvi, an eminent jurist and diplomat, ‘the Directives are the life giving provisions of the Constitution. They constitute the stuff of the Constitution and its philosophy of social justice’. M C Chagla, former Chief Justice of India, is of the opinion that, ‘if all these principles are fully carried out, our country would indeed be a heaven on earth. India would then be not only democracy in the political sense, but also a welfare state looking after the welfare of its citizens’. Dr B R Ambedkar had pointed out that the Directives have great value because they lay down that the goal of Indian polity is ‘economic democracy’ as distinguished from ‘political democracy’. Granville Austin opined that the Directive Principles are ‘aimed at furthering the goals of the social revolution or to foster this revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for its achivement’. Sir B N Rau, the constitutional advisor to the Constituent Assembly, stated that the Directive Principles are intended as ‘moral precepts for the authorities of the state. They have at least an educative value.’

According to M C Setalvad, the former Attorney General of India, the Directive Principles, although confer no legal rights and creates no legal remedies, are significant and useful in the following ways:

  • They are like an ‘Instrument of Instructions’ or general recommendations addressed to all authorities in the Indian Union. They remind them of the basic principles of the new social and economic order, which the Constitution aims at building.
  • They have served as useful beacon-lights to the courts. They have helped the courts in exercising their power of judicial review, that is, the power to determine the constitutional validity of a law.

They form the dominating background to all State action, legislative or executive and also a guide to the courts in some respects.

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