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Report No. 46

16. Importance of Directive Principles in achieving socio-economic justice.-

But, in retrospect, for some time past, citizens genuinely concerned with the progress of Indian democracy in its destined task of achieving socio-economic justice in this country by a democratic process have often wondered how it would be possible to give effect to the more important declaration contained in Article 37 whereby duty was imposed on the State to apply the Directive Principles in making law. In appreciating how deep is the concern felt by many of us in this behalf, it is necessary to emphasize the part which the Directive Principles are expected to play in the achievement of socio-economic objectives.

The fundamental rights and the directive principles enshrined in Parts III and IV of the Constitution have been described by Granville Austin1 as "the conscience of the Indian Constitution." "The Indian Constitution", says Austin, "is first and foremost a social document. The majority of its provisions are either directly aimed at furthering the goals of the social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for its achievement. Yet despite the permeation of the entire constitution by the aim of national renaissance, the core of the commitment, to the social revolution lies in Parts III and IV, in the Fundamental Rights and in the Directive Principles of State Policy." According to Austin:-

"In the Directive Principles, however, one finds an even clearer statement of the social revolution. They aim at making the Indian masses free in the positive sense, free from the passivity engendered by centuries of coercion by society and by nature, free from the object physical conditions that had prevented them from fulfilling their best selves."

The Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971 Back

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