We all know about the Preamble of the Indian Constitution that states-
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November 1949 do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution states the philosophy and objectives of the constitution. But is there only one such document stating the philosophy and objectives? No. Before the Preamble, Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the ‘Objectives Resolution’ in the very first meeting of the Constituent Assembly in 1946, which is also considered the modern-day Preamble.
Before understanding the Objectives Resolution, read about the Constituent Assembly: Promulgation and Criticisms
The Objectives Resolution can be seen as the summary of the Principles that the Indian Constitution inherited from the Nationalist Movement. It laid down the fundamentals and philosophy of the constitutional structure. The Objectives Resolution defined the aims of the Constituent Assembly. It was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru in the very first meeting of the Constituent Assembly on 13th December 1946.
Through the Objectives Resolution, The Indian Constitution gave institutional expression to these fundamental commitments-
- Cosmopolitan Identity
The Objectives Resolution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22nd January 1947. The Objectives Resolution greatly influenced the Constitution and the Preamble of the Constitution.
The actual text of the Objectives Resolution
Source- Indian Polity by M Laxmikant
- “This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Sovereign Republic and to draw up for her future governance a Constitution:
- Wherein the territories that now comprise British India, the territories that now form the Indian States and such other parts of Indian as are outside India and the States as well as other territories as are willing to be constituted into the independent sovereign India, shall be a union of them all; and
- wherein the said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous units together with residuary powers and exercise all powers and functions of Government and administration save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the Union or as are inherent or implied in the Union or resulting therefrom; and
- wherein all power and authority of the sovereign independent India, its constituent parts and organs of Government are derived from the people; and
- wherein shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social, economic and political; equality of status of opportunity, and before the law, freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality; and
- wherein adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes; and
- whereby shall be maintained the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air according to justice and law of civilized nations; and
- This ancient land attains its rightful and honoured place in the world and makes its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.”
The Objectives Resolution in simplified terms
- India is an independent, sovereign, republic;
- India shall be a Union of erstwhile British Indian territories, Indian States, and other parts outside British India and Indian States that are willing to be a part of the Indian Union;
- Territories that are forming the Union shall be autonomous and exercise all the powers and functions of the Government and administration, except those powers that are assigned to or vested in the Union (This represents the Indian Quasi-Federal structure, which is Federal but with a strong Central Government)
- All the powers and authority of sovereign and independent India and its constitution shall flow from the people;
- All people of India shall be guaranteed and secured social, economic, and political justice; equality of status and opportunities and equality before the law; and fundamental freedoms – of speech, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association, and action – subject to the law and public morality;
- The minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other backward classes shall be provided adequate safeguards;
- The territorial integrity of the Republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air shall be maintained according to the justice and law of the civilized nations;
- The land would make full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and welfare of mankind.