The term ‘sovereign’ implies that India is internally supreme and externally free. State authority of India is supreme over all men and all associations within India’s territorial boundary. This is India’s internal sovereignty. Externally India is free from all external controls. India’s membership of the commonwealth or of the United Nations does not impose any external limit on her sovereignty. The Commonwealth is a free association of sovereign Nations. It is no longer British Commonwealth. India does not accept the British Queen as the head of state. As Nehru pointed out, India joined the commonwealth by her "free will." As for the U.N. it is not a super state but club of free nations. Membership of the U.N. in no way limits the authority of sovereign states. On the other hand, this membership is a mark of sovereignty of state, for only sovereign states are admitted to the membership of the United Nations.
Being a sovereign state, India can either acquire a foreign territory or cede a part of its territory in favour of a foreign state.
The term Socialist has been inserted in the Constitution of India by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. Even prior to this amendment the idea was implicit in the constitution, in the form of directive principles of state policy and in the words of Preamble, 'Justice social, economic and political' as well as 'Equality- of status and opportunity.' General meaning of socialism implies the control of state over the means of production.
In the context of Indian constitution, we can say our move is for democratic socialism and not for provided communistic socialism. Insertion of this word does not imply any commitment to a particular economic order.
Our constitution appears more committed to the object or outcome of socialism i.e. justice social economic and political, there may be different ways or means to realise these objectives. This way may be different or some time contrary to the classical and conventional concept and ideals of socialism. However all these means must nourish the guarantee for a system free from all kinds of exploitation.
The word secular was also inserted into the preamble by the Forty-second Amendment (1976). It implies equality of all religions and religious tolerance. India therefore does not have an official state religion. Every person has the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion they choose. The government must not favour or discriminate against any religion. It must treat all religions with equal respect. All citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs are equal in the eyes of law. Secularism is a glaring necessity in India’s socio-political context. Inhabited by people of all faiths, it is imperative that India does not accept any religion as the state-religion. India’s secularism ensures that religious minorities do not suffer from a sense of inferiority.
The first part of the preamble "We, the people of India" and, its last part "give to ourselves this Constitution" clearly indicate the democratic spirit involved even in the Constitution. India is a democracy.
The people of India elect their governments at all levels (Union, State and local) by a system of universal adult suffrage; popularly known as "one man one vote". Every citizen of India, who is 18 years of age and above and not otherwise debarred by law, is entitled to vote. Every citizen enjoys this right without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion or education. Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens are meant to participate equally – either directly or, through elected representatives, indirectly – in the proposal, development and establishment of the laws by which their society is run. The term originates from the Greek "rule of the people". Several variants of democracy exist, but there are two basic forms, both of which concern how the whole body of all eligible citizens executes its will. One form of democracy is direct democracy, in which all eligible citizens have direct and active participation in the political decision making. In most modern democracies, the whole body of eligible citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives; this is called a representative democracy or democratic republic.
As opposed to a monarchy, in which the head of state is appointed on hereditary basis for a lifetime or until he abdicates from the throne, a democratic republic is an entity in which the head of state is elected, directly or indirectly, for a fixed tenure. The President of India is elected by an electoral college for a term of five years. The post of the President of India is not hereditary. Every citizen of India is eligible to become the President of the country.
In modern times the definition of a republic is also commonly limited to a government which excludes a monarch. Currently, 135 of the world's 206 sovereign states use the word "republic" as part of their official names.
The ideal of justice implies a system where individuals can realize their full potentialities. In the view of our founding fathers it is not enough that there is political or legal justice. Political and legal justice is a myth unless accompanied by social and economic justice. Social justice implies that all social discriminations like caste or untouchability must be ended. Economic justice implies that economic exploitations should be ended. However, social and economic justice still remains unrealized dreams.
Economic justice denotes the non-discrimination between people on the basis of economic factors. It involves the elimination of glaring inequalities in wealth, income and property. A combination of social justice and economic justices denotes what is known as "distributive justice".
Political justice implies that all citizens should have equal political rights, equal access to all political office and equal voice in the government.
The term Liberty means the absence of restrains on the activities of individuals, and at the same time, providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities. The preamble secures to all citizens of India liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, through their fundamental right, enforceable in court of law, in case of violation.
Liberty as elaborated in the preamble is very essential for the successful functioning of the Indian democratic system. However, liberty does not mean ‘license’ to do what one likes, and has to be enjoyed within the limitations mentioned in the constitutions itself, in brief, the liberty conceived by the preamble or fundamental rights is not absolute but qualified.
The term Equality means the absence of special privileges to any section of the society, and provision adequate opportunities for all individuals without any discrimination. The preamble secures to all citizens of India equality of status and opportunity. This provision embraces three dimensions of equality – civic, political and economic.
The following provisions of the chapter on fundamental rights ensures civic equality :
a) Equality before the law
b) Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religions, race, caste, sex or place of birth
c) Equality of opportunities in matter of public employment
d) Abolition of untouchability
e) Abolition of titles
There are two provisions in the Constitution that seek to achieve political equality one, no person is to be declared in eligible for inclusion in electoral rolls on grounds of religion, caste, race, sex. Two elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
The directive principles of state policy secures to men and women equal right to an adequate means of livelihood and equal pay equal work.
Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood. The Constitution promotes this feeling of fraternity by the system of single citizenship. Also, the fundamental duties say that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities.
The preamble declares that fraternity has to assure two things- the dignity of individuals and the unity and integrity of the nation. The word ‘Integrity’ has been added to preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976.
According to K.M.Munshi, a member of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. The phrase "dignity of individual" signifies that the constitutions not only ensures material betterment and maintain a democratic set-up, but that it also recognises that the personality of every individual is sacred. This is highlighted through some of the provisions of the fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy, which ensures dignity of individuals. Further, the fundamental duties also protect the dignity of women by stating the it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women, and also make it the duty of every citizen of India to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.