Objectives of Indian Constitution
By declaring us as a sovereign entity, Preamble emphasizes complete political freedom. It implies that our state is internally powerful and externally free. She is free to determine for herself without any external interference. There is none within her to challenge her authority. Only this attribute of sovereignty has made her a member in the comity of nations. Without sovereignty she has no essence. If a state can not freely determine what it wants and how to achieve it, it loses the rationale to exist. Further, sovereignty gives the state the dignity of existence. It would not receive respect from within as well from outside if it does not possess the sovereign status. This suggests that sovereignty is one of the most important values of a state. Therefore, the government is duty bound to defend its sovereignty by preventing any kind of threat to it coming from any entity and direction.
The word socialist was added to the Preamble by the 42nd amendment act of 1976 however, several articles of our Constitution were already there giving credence to the ideal. The fathers of our Constitution had a wider vision of social transformation. Despite all social, economic and political inequality present and inherent in Indian traditional society, our Constitution started a crusade against that order. The Constitution has deliberately imposed on us the ideal of socialist pattern of society a kind of Indian model of socialism to suit to our needs and temperament. It stands to end all forms of exploitation in all spheres of our existence. Our Constitution directs the state to ensure a planned and coordinated social advance in all fields while preventing concentration of wealth and power in few hands. Our Constitution supports land reforms, promotes the well-being of working class and advocates for social control of all important natural resources and means of production for the wellbeing of all sections.
India is a home to almost all major religions in the world. To keep the followers of all these religions together secularism has been found to be a convenient formula. The ideal of secularism in Indian context implies that our country is not guided by any religion or any religious considerations. However, our polity is not against religions. It allows all its citizens to profess, preach and practice any religion of their liking. Articles from 25 to 28 ensure freedom of religion to all its citizens. Constitution strictly prohibits any discrimination on the ground of religion. All minority communities are granted the right to conserve their distinctive culture and the right to administer their educational institutions. The Supreme Court in S.R Bommai v. Union of India held that secularism was an integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution. Secularism thus is a value in the sense that it supports to our plural society. It aims at promoting cohesion among different communities living in India. Despite the Constitutional provisions and safeguards it is unfortunate that we still remain insufficiently secular.
India is a democracy. We have adopted parliamentary democracy to ensure a responsible and stable government. As a form of government it derives its authority from the will of the people. The people elect the rulers of the country and the latter remain accountable to the people. The people of India elect their governments at all levels (Union, State and local) by a system of universal adult franchise; popularly known as One man one vote. Elections are held periodically to ensure the approval of the people to the governments at different levels. All the citizens without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion or education are allowed freedom of speech, thought and expression and also association. Democracy contributes to stability in the society and it secures peaceful change of rulers. It allows dissent and encourages tolerance. It rules by persuasion, not by coercion. It stands for a constitutional government, rule of law, inalienable rights of citizens, independence of judiciary, free and fair elections and freedom of press etc. Therefore, to develop a democratic political culture has been an important objective.
The blessings of freedom have been preserved and ensured to our citizens through a set of Fundamental Rights. It was well understood by the fathers of our Constitution that the ideal of democracy was unattainable without the presence of certain minimal rights which are essential for a free and civilized existence. Therefore, the Preamble mentions these essential individual rights such as freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship which are assured to every member of the community against all the authorities of States by Part-III of the Constitution. There are however less number of success stories. Unless all dissenting voice is heard and tolerated and their problems are addressed liberty will be a distant dream.
Dignity of the individual
Fraternity and dignity of the individuals have a close link. Fraternity is only achievable when the dignity of the individual will be secured and promoted. Therefore, the founding fathers of our Constitution attached supreme importance to it. Our Constitution therefore directs the state through the Directives enshrined in the Part-IV of our Constitution to ensure the development of the quality of life to all sections of people. Our Constitution acknowledges that all citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood (Art.-39 a) and just and humane conditions of work (Art.-42). Article-17 has abolished the practice of untouchability by declaring it as a punishable offence. Our Constitution too directs the state to take steps to put an end to exploitation and poverty.
Unity and integrity of the Nation
To maintain the independence of the country intact and enduring, unity and integrity of the nation is very essential. Therefore, the stress has been given on the ideal of fraternity which would foster unity amongst the inhabitants. Without a spirit of brotherhood amongst the people the ideals of unity and integration of people and nation seem unattainable.
Every citizen of India is entitled to equality before law and equal protection of law. As a human being everybody has a dignified self. To ensure its full enjoyment inequality in all forms present in our social structure has been prohibited. Our Constitution assures equality of status and opportunity to every citizen for the development of the best in him. Political equality though given in terms of vote but it is not found in all spheres of politics and power.