Shreeja Singh

Atmanirbhar  Bharat: The Indian Constitution and democracy are fundamental to the cause

This article has been written by Shreeja Singh, 12th Standard student at Delhi Public School, Varanasi.


In the light of this abysmal and vexatious aeon, our pursuit of an Atmanirbhar  Bharat is a reformist, progressive and precocious advance in the right direction. The concept of an Atmanirbhar  Bharat entails a collaboration of the goals of a robust economy, technological headway, innocuous environment, socioeconomic progression and manifold innovative ideals.

Accordingly, the meritorious commitment to an ‘Atmanirbhar  Bharat’ would be complemented if we intelligently integrate it with the broad framework of our Constitution and the remarkable democratic ideals.

The Indian Constitution’s role

Our Indian Constitution is de facto the most authentic and sacrosanct of all national legal documents. It also strengthens the role of democracy in India by upholding an abundance of fundamental democratic principles, exemplar being secularism, sovereignty and so forth. So, it is an indisputable fact that the Constitution shall play a pivotal role in our pursuit of an Atmanirbhar  Bharat. The constructiveness of the Constitution towards this aspiration has evidential value in its provisions.

For instance, the Constitutional provisions reflect an earnest effort to achieve a sustainable environment. The Fundamental Duties under (Part IV A) demonstrates our responsibility towards the environment under Article 51A (g) – To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.

The analogous provision among the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) with regards to our allegiance towards environmental protection is Article 48A – The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.

Other Articles which expressly or implied indicate their objective of environmental protection include-

  • Articles 14, 19, 21 (Right to clean environment is a Fundamental Right);
  • Articles 32 and 226 (Provide for enforcement of PIL related to environment);
  • Article 19(1) (g) (Prevention from health hazard is a reasonable restriction to this Article);
  • Article 47 (Emphasizes improvement of environment as necessary to ensure public health).

Moreover, the aspiration of reduction in socioeconomic imbalances is explicitly manifested in the Constitution in terms of the following Fundamental Rights:

  • Articles 14-18 (Right to equality);
  • Article 21A (Right to education);
  • Articles 25-28 (Right to freedom of religion);
  • Articles 29-30 (Cultural and educational rights).

Articles displaying equivalent and emphatic intentions in the Directive Principles of State Policy include:

  • Article 38 (The state shall secure a social order);
  • Article 39 (Lays down the principles to be followed by the state);
  • Article 39A ( Promotes equal justice and free legal aid);
  • Article 42 (Promotes just and humane conditions in work and maternity relief);
  • Article 44 (Promotes uniform civil code for citizens);
  • Article 45 (Promotes education of children);
  • Article 46 (Promotes interests of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes);
  • Article 47 (Promotes good nutrition and standard of living).
  • The Preamble also strives to dispense social, economic and political equality.

On the topic of technological advancement, the Fundamental Duty inclusive in Article 51A (h) which encourages us to develop a scientific temper.

As we are unequivocally ardent for a hard-wearing economy, we must recognize the rationale behind constitutionalizing the said inclination. The preamble as the introductory statement of the Constitution provides for economic justice as a rudimentary principle. The same goal is reflected under the underlined Constitutional articles of Article 19 (g) (Freedom to carry out any trade or occupation) and Article 38 (Promotion of economic justice).

Part XII of the Constitution provides for direction regarding matters of finance while Part XIII of the Constitution provides for the ground rules or protocols apropos trade, commerce and intercourse within the territory of India.

The aforementioned and supplementary enabling features of the Indian Constitution can be construed to endorse an Atmanirbhar  Bharat.

Democracy’s role

Now, visualizing such a legitimate legal document and consequential attainment of an Atmanirbhar  Bharat would have been a cold day in July as well as a cry for the moon if not for the hard and fast rule of democracy in India. The merits accompanying democracy can be best summarized in this description by Pericles, who defined democracy as a form of government where the people are powerful.

Democracy is beneficial to our target on account of the fact that it lends an iron hand to preserve our internal and external sovereignty. Had our nation not been democratized, our attempts at a sovereign India would have been thwarted within moments. Furthermore, the concept of democracy is chaperoned with outstanding doctrines, case in point, the doctrine of separation of powers or the doctrine of rule of law which form the crutch to an Atmanirbhar  Bharat.

Democracy is manifestly seminal to the empowerment of the hoi polloi. While the exact sequel of adopting democracy cannot be concretely determined, it is unequivocally a prerequisite to a self-sufficient India. The raison d’etre behind the existence of democracy is to arrive at a systemized society which is self-fulfilling in all the ways. 

Furthermore, one of the biggest plus points of democracy is the removal of intricacies in choosing who would govern the citizens of a nation.  A leader’s vitality to the nation can’t be contained within a piece of parchment, it is unquantifiable as well as undeniable. A leader who does not hold the vision of the welfare of the masses could be easily reduced to a summer cloud. We all must hold a per fervid appreciation of democracy when it comes to these factors. A sedate leadership, not defiled by solipsism, would ensure that the interests of the citizens are well- served.

Informed citizens would make for a progressive nation, there is no dissidence over that fact whatsoever, and one of the foremost objectives of democracy is to facilitate the proper dissemination of information to the citizenry.

There are prolific advantages to a non-perverted democracy and it is the crutch to a self-reliant India, not merely a meretricious idea encapsulated within an encomium.


Now, arriving at the coda, it has been substantiated time and again that democracy as well as the Constitution which is cardinal to democracy are both sine qua non to an Atmanirbhar  Bharat, and they are both fundamentally lucrative and determinate to an Atmanirbhar  Bharat.