One of the salient features of the Indian constitution is the effort to establish a welfare state. The Preamble and the Directive Principles of State Policy make it amply clear our goal is a welfare and socialist state through democratic means.
The Preamble promises to secure to the Indian people Justice-social, economic and political. The Directive Principles are non justifiable (cannot be enforced by a court of law); none the less they are regarded as fundamental in the governance of the country.
Article 38 of the Constitution reads: “The state shall strive to promote the welfare the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice-social economic and political-shall pervade all institutions of national life.” provides a broad framework for the establishment of the welfare state ideal.
While Article 39(a) spells that all citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate me of livelihood, Article 43 enjoins that the state shall endeavour to secure to all workers work, a living wage and conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of living.
Provision of employment opportunities which is yet another objective of the welfare state is emphasized by Article 41 which directs the state for securing the right to work.
Provision against insecurity is also incorporated in this Article which directs the state make effective provision for securing right to education, and to public assistance in ca of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.
Protection and special care of the weaker sections of the community is provided Article 46 which directs the state to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the scheduled castes a the scheduled tribes, and to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
The policy of reservation for the SC, ST and the other backward classes is being followed by the state to mete out social justice to them.
The directives spell out the philosophy of the welfare state. India is making a determined attempt to fulfill its ideal by economic planning. Successive Five Year Plans and progressive legislations have undertaken numerous social security and welfare measures which benefitted the common man. Many steps have been taken for public ownership and management economic enterprises and public utility services.
National and State governments have be undertaking many measures in sectors like agriculture, education, public health communication, transport, rural development and housing for the welfare of the people. However, a number of obstacles like low level of motivation for work, lack of self-discipline tax evasion, lopsided land reforms, increase of population, low degree of personal integrity have stood on the way for the realization of the ideal of welfare state in India.
In recent years most of states have tended to take up a number of welfare measure] mainly for the poor and weak. No doubt, as a result of this, the state has grown mo: intrusive and powerful, and the liberty of individual, to some extent, has been curtailed.
In spite of this risk, the acceptability of welfare state has increased. The ideal of welfare has won more of support even in capitalist countries.