Can Preamble be amended under Article 368, this issue was raised before the Supreme Court in the famous case of Keshavanand Bharti Vs. State of Kerala 1973, SC. (Fundamental rights case). The Supreme Court has held that Preamble is the part of the constitution and it can be amended but, Parliament cannot amend the basic features of the preamble. The court observed,
“The edifice of our constitution is based upon the basic element in the Preamble. If any of these elements are removed the structure will not survive and it will not be the same constitution and will not be able to maintain its identity.” Under the Preamble, India is declared as Sovereign, Democratic, Republic, Secular and Socialist nation. It is Sovereign, because constitution of India does not recognize legal supremacy of any other country. India is free to determine its internal and external policy.
Democratic, because the source of the constitution is people’s will. Constitution provides for a government which gets its authority from people of India, and is responsible for its act to the people of India. Liberty of thought and expression is very much present to nourish the democratic set up. Republic, because head of the state is not a hereditary monarch. The sovereignty lies in people of India, and the nominal head of the state is elected for a fixed term.
Socialist indicates the incorporation of philosophy of socialism in the constitution. Socialism implies the control of the state on the means of production. This word has been inserted by the 42nd amendment Act, 1976, to ensure the economic justice and elimination of inequality in income and standard of life.
It is worth while to mention here that India is more for democratic socialism than for defined communistic socialism in strict sense. This word does not profess the country to commit to any particular economic system. Directive principles of state policy and the objective of Preamble justice-social, economic-equality of status and opportunity are more to eradicate the inequality.