Many critics have called these Directive Principles of State Policy as not better than ‘New Year Greetings’. Even the rationale of inserting such high sounding promises has been questioned. It has been asserted that Directives are in the form of holy wishes having no legal sanction behind them. Government is not bound to implement them. Critics point out that they are not formulated keeping the practical aspect these ideals in mind.
Despite all this, it cannot be said that these Principles are absolutely useless. They have their own utility and significance. The Directive Principles are just like a polestar that provides direction. Their basic aim is to persuade the government to provide social and economic justice in all spheres of life, keeping in view its limited material resources, at the earliest possible. Many of them have been implemented very successfully. Actually, no government can afford to ignore these instructions as they are the mirror of the public opinion and also reflect the basic spirit of the Preamble of our Constitution. Some of the steps taken in this direction are being listed below:
I. Land reforms have been introduced and Jagirdari and Zamindari systems have been abolished.
II. There has been rapid industrialisation and tremendous increase in the agricultural production through Green Revolution.
III. National Commission for the Welfare of Women has been established.
IV. Ceiling has been placed on land and property to fix the limit of person’s holdings.
V. The privy purses of ex-princes have been abolished
VI. Life Insurance, General Insurance and most of the banks have been nationalised.
VII. In order to reduce economic disparity, Right to Property has been deleted from the chapter on Fundamental Rights.
VIII. Subsidized public distribution schemes have been launched to help the poor people.
IX. The rules require that both men and women are paid equal wages for equal work.
X. Untouchability has been abolished. Sincere efforts have been made for the upliftment of the SCs, STs and of other Backward Classes.
XI. Through 73rd and 74thAmendments to the constitution, (1991 & 1992 respectively), Panchayati Raj has been given the constitutional status with more powers.
XII. Small scale and village industries and Khadi Gram Udyog have been encouraged to bring prosperity to the rural areas.
XIII. India has also been actively co-operating with the U.N. to promote international peace and security.
The above steps on the part of the central and state governments indicate that many Directive Principles of State Policy have been implemented to lay down the foundations of a secular, socialist and welfare state. However, still there is a long way to go to achieve all of them in full. There are many hindrances in the non-implementation of Directive Principles of State Policy. The main reasons are – (a) lack of political will on the part of the states, (b) lack of awareness and organized action on the part of the people and (c) limited material resources.