The Preamble of the Indian Constitution envisions a society based on justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.
The term ‘justice’ in the Preamble has three distinct forms- social, economic and political. Social justice denotes the equal treatment of all citizens without any social distinction based on caste, colour, race, religion, sex and so on. Economic justice denotes the non-discrimination between people on the basis of economic factors. Political justice implies that all citizens should have equal political rights, equal access to all political offices and equal voice in the government.
The term ‘liberty’ means the absence of restraints on the activities of individuals, and at the same time, providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities. The Preamble secures liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship to all the citizens of India.
The term ‘equality’ means the absence of special privileges to any section of the society, and the provision of adequate opportunities for all individuals without any discrimination. The Preamble secures equality of status and opportunity to all citizens of India.
Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood. The Preamble declares that fraternity has to assure two things—the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
The ideas of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity mentioned in the Constitution have significant educational implications. These ideas are found in the way the education system is carried out in our country.
The ideas of justice and equality say that there should not be any discrimination on the grounds of caste, sex, place of birth etc. and that every citizen should be provided equality of opportunity.
The constitutional provisions of providing free and compulsory education to all children and ensuring that there are no discrimination on grounds of caste, race, sex, place of birth etc. fulfil the ideas of justice and equality.
Today, education is a fundamental right. The Government provides special provisions for the education of minorities. There are special provisions for the education of weaker sections, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. All these are aimed at ensuring equality of educational opportunity.
Further, the ideas of liberty and fraternity have implications on the education. The aim of education is to make citizens become aware and free from various constraints. At the same time, through education, we are creating a sense of oneness and brotherhood. The lessons in the books include various stories and poems which aims to inculcate these feelings.
D. D. Basu, Introduction to the Constitution of India (22nd Edition, 2015).
M. Laxmikanth, Indian Polity (5th Edition, 2016).