Friday, January 08, 2010

Preamble to the constitution


Going through the recently issued US visa's onboard, I realized that the Preamble to the US constitution is written on the background of the newly issued US visa's.

The Declaration if Independence hogs so much attention that one often forgets that America actually has an Constitution. Actually it didn't have one for about 10 years after declaring themselves free, when there used to be something called the "Articles of Confederation".

The Preamble, as I understand basically states the objects, which the Constitution seeks to establish and promote.

The Preamble to the US Constitution, goes like so :

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The fact that Indians were "inspired" by other things than Hollywood movies is evident when you see the Indian Preamble,

"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. "

Actually the the words "socialist", "secular" and "integrity" and to promote among them all "Fraternity"; were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment. So the original preamble echoed the US preamble to a greater degree.

Now if only I had been as fascinated by these things when I was in school!

Fun Fact : The Indian Constitution is the longest in the World!


1 comment:

e.s.e.n. said...

thats not fair.. wouldn't all constitutions/preambles say basically the same thing in different ways? Isn't it the purpose of all constitutions to ensure justice, liberty, and equality, and the purpose of all preambles to "hereby adopt this constitution"?

But then, these are the only two I've ever read, so I may be wrong. :) Or I may be missing the whole point of this post! :/