The words “socialist” and “secular” were added in the preamble of Constitution of India through 42nd constitutional amendment in 1976.
The petitioners – Balram Singh, Karunesh Kumar Shukla (advocate), Pravesh Kumar (social worker) – have challenged the validity of this law and have also sought ECI and the Central government to respond to their petition. The PIL demands the SC to direct the government of India to declare that the concept of ‘socialism’ and ‘secularism’ be ‘limited to the working of the sovereign function of the State. And that the same not apply to the citizen. In this case, the petitioners have said that ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ concepts are political thoughts and seen in the light of the right to practice religion (Article 25), right to free speech (Article 19(1)(a)), and these principles are against the principle of democracy.
The plea tries to examine the roots of secularism and socialism as a concept prevailing across the globe and dubs them as a “political thought” which has little relevance for the country. The supreme court will hear the matter in two weeks.