The Directive Principles of State Policy mentioned in Part IV of the Constitution contain 15 Articles (36-51). They are one of the many novel elements of the Constitution which have been adopted from the Irish Constitution.
They are in the nature of certain ideals the state should strive for. They give certain directions to executive and the legislature.
They give certain enforceable rights which the state shall aim at securing-by its various policies. These features have undergone evolution and represent context and experience of India. They are a combination of socialist ideals, Gandhian perception, Western liberalism and the ideals of India’s freedom struggle.
1. Different Views:
According to B.R. Ambedkar “they are like the instruments of instruction to the government.”
According to Ivory Jennings “the philosophy underlying most of these provisions is ‘Fabian Socialism’ without the word ‘Socialism’, there is only nationalization of the means of production, distribution and exchange is missing.”
Grainier Austin considers it to be aimed at furthering the goals of the social revolution or to foster his revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for its advancement.
Constitution declares directives to be fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws. It spells out the norms of social and economic democracy in the country.
The various articles on Directive, Principles are as follows.
Article 38 instructs the state to promote the welfare of people by securing and protecting a social order in which justice (socio-economic and political) shall inform all the institutions of national life.
Article 39(a) it talks about state’s role in providing adequate means of livelihood to all its citizens.
Article 39(b) provides for state’s direction for equitable distribution of resources.
Article 39(c) provides for prevention of concentration of wealth in fewer hands.
Article 39(d) provides for equal pay for equal work, for both; men and women.
Article 39(A) provides for equal justice and free legal Aid.
Article 40 says that the state shall organize village Panchayat as units of self-government.
Article 41 provides for right to work, public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement keeping in view the limitations of economic resources.
Article 43 provides for living wages for worker and a decent standard of life, leisure and social and cultural opportunities for people.
Article 43(A) provides for participation of workers in the management of industry and other undertakings. It has been added by 42nd Amendment.
Article 44 provides for a Uniform Civil Code applicable to the entire country.
Article 45 provides free and compulsory education to children till 14 years of age. It has now been made a fundamental right under Article 21A.
Article 46 provides for protection of educational and economic interests of weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
Article 47 provides for prohibition of consumption of intoxicating liquor and to raise the level of nutrition and five improvement of public health.
Article 48 provides for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows, calves and other milks and draught catties.
Article 48A added by 42nd Amendment, provides for protection and improvement of the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.
Article 49 provides for protection of monuments of historical and national importance.
Article 50 provides for separation of judiciary from executive.
Article 51 provides for promotion of international peace and security.
1. Not enforceable in a court of law and dubbed as ‘Window dressing’ or as ‘pious superficies.’ According to K.C. Where “they represent manifesto of aims and aspirations.”
2. There remain theoretical ambiguity and logical inconsistency in provisions on Directive principles. Most of the ideals are vaguely combined to form a whole.
3. They are more in the nature of moral precepts than of practical utility.
However, it cannot be denied that the directives reflect the willingness to solve the contradictions of a multicultural diverse polity like India. Even the Courts have come to grasp its significance and come to interpret it in a more lenient way.
The leadership has also shown sensitiveness to the efficacy of directives. For, the time to come we can accept more directives to be made enforceable like fundamental rights in the part III of the Constitution.