On a day when the entire country is expected to honour and celebrate the enactment of India’s 66-year strong Constitution, the Modi government, in a print advertisement issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, made a glaring error in the Preamble of the Constitution removing the words socialist and secular.

A close up of the advertisment issued by the government

In its advertisement – DAVP22201/13/0048/1415, which was published on 26 January – the government quotes the preamble of India’s Constitution as “We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC….” as opposed to the genuine version (after the 42nd amendment) that states: WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens…”

While the error could well be an oversight by the designer of the advertisement, the fact that the word ‘secular’ has been omitted is significant. That this has happened on Republic Day, which celebrates the diversity of all Indian cultures, makes it all the more problematic.

The government would do well to issue a clarification, given that the last few months have seen continuous protests by the opposition as well as religious outfits after several Hindutva outfits including ruling BJP legislators have made controversial remarks against religious minorities, and a ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign, based on the premise that all citizens of India were originally Hindus has generated outrage across the country.

See the full advertisement below:

Link to original: 

Republic Day blunder: Modi govt ad omits ‘Socialist, Secular’ from Constitution preamble