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Existence and enactment of DPSPs

Directive Principles of State Policy - Novel feature of Indian constitution.- B.R. Ambedkar

The change in time demands change in needs and facilities as we upgrade with time we need ameliorate things for us whether it's a materialistic things and laws as well. As the society modernizes beliefs and thinking evolves for that it demands change in laws and constitution too (through amendments) by keeping this thing in mind a separate part i.e. part 4 (Directive principle of state policy) was added in the constitution that dispenses with future growth and challenges that we might face in the upcoming years.

To tackle such problems and challenges part 4 was formed if needed anytime, DPSP contains 15 articles which are broadly divided into 3 categories based on different ideologies i.e. Socialistic, Gandhian and Liberal, these three names suggest their agendas as well. The anatomy of DPSP was taken from the constitution of Ireland (almost after studying the constitution of 60 countries Indian constitution was framed).

During these 70 years some of the directive principles are amended and some articles being added and even some of them are implemented (like equal pay for equal work, maternity reliefs to women's, wildlife protection act) and few are in debate as well (like Uniform civil code). DPSPs are the non-guaranteed and non-justiciable rights while fundamental rights ( Part 3 of the constitution ) are guaranteed and secured rights of every citizen, one can approach the court if they are violated but not in case of Directive principles. Properties of Fundamental rights and DPSP are same as well as different.

The most debated article of DPSP is Uniform civil code which is in talks since the British rule but still not administered. When Hindu code bill 1952 was enacted it was made very clear in criticism that we need a secular bill/act which must not ignore any minority when got into political portrayal.

The BJP government made it very clear in their manifesto that they will implement it, by the time in 2019 this bill was discussed twice and it was decided that in next parliament session it will come into power. Drawbacks that stop DPSPs from execution are discussed in houses like ruling party having different agenda, circumstances not supporting, lack of financial resources, backwardness and diversities are major obstacles.[i]

Introduction to DPSPs:

In the year 1947 when our nation was declared free from external powers and force, the day when 340 million people got independence from the white rulers happens to be the memorable day in the memories of everyone. The day when Indian national congress has decided to frame its own constitution of independent India which will remain immortal persistently.

This historic task of constitution formation has taken almost 3 years (2 years, 11 months and 17 days) to form. The constituent assembly has conducted 11 sessions covering 165 days. Total 25 parts are available in the constitution with 103 amendments till date.

Directive principles of state policies are covered in the 4th part of its articles ranging from 36-51. They are the non-existent part of the constitution of India, they were framed with the aim that one day when we will become diverse and evolved we'll be needing these articles. They are the positive rights available to the people of India that can also be used to achieve justice, it existed because of public force. The framework of DPSPs was adopted from the Irish constitution (originally from Ireland).

In India they are based on three ideologies

As the name suggests socialistic principle focuses on promoting the dogma of socialism which mainly focuses on to strive the minimization of inequalities in income, endeavour to eliminate inequalities of status/facilities and opportunities not only among individuals but also group of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations (as per the 44th constitutional amendment act 1978) it also includes
  • Promotion of social welfare
  • Decreasing inequality in income, status, opportunities, and facilities
  • Adequate means of livelihood
  • Favourable distribution of wealth
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Free legal service to poor/necessitous
  • Country people should have various rights like right to work, right to education, assistance in getting employment, pension to aged for disease and other disabilities
  • Secured conditions to work in like maternity leaves etc.
  • Present and future of workers must be secured like a living wage, proper conditions to work in, and a decent living standard.
  • Participation of workers in the management of organisations and industries
  • A regular upgrade in the level of nutrition, standard of life and standard of public health.

Articles listed in the socialistic branch are 38, 42, 39, 43, 39A, 43A, 41 and 47.


These principles are based on the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi at the time of national movement, things in which Gandhi Ji believed to which he created the vision of the nation, mainly Gandhian principles are those which talks about upbringing the weaker section of the society. All the articles under this ideology talks about uplifting the society. Like
  • Seeking participation of people in the governance of the country.
  • Organise village panchayat.
  • A secured living wage and proper condition for workers with the decent standard of life.
  • Promotion of cooperative societies.
  • Uplifting the weaker section of the society through education and economic interest
  • Investment on standardised nutrition, improved quality of life and favourable public health.
  • Organisation of animal husbandry on modern and scientific basis and prohibition on slaughter of cows.
Articles listed in the Gandhian approach are 40, 47, 43, 48, 43B and 46.


This clause aims to promote the belief of liberalism in nation, mainly liberal democratic principles and they are important to establish socio-political system and to bring national integration like by introducing these above things:
  • Uniform civil code means every person should be treated equally irrespective of caste, religion and wealth.
  • Free and compulsory education to all children below 14 years of age
  • Modern and scientific techniques to be used for animal husbandry
  • Complete ban on cow slaughter
  • Preserve and upgrade environment
  • Protection of monuments, places which are subjected to national importance.
  • Separation of judiciary from executive
  • Promote international peace and security
  • Maintain good relations with different states
  • Respect International treaties
  • Settle disputes by arbitration
Articles listed in liberal branch are 44, 49, 45, 50, 48, 51 and 48A.[ii]

Amendments and Implementation of DPSP articles:

If we talk about the DPSPs of 2020 till date some articles are being added through amendments made like:
  • In 42nd amendment 1976 articles 39, 39A, 43A and 48A are added
  • In 44th amendment 1978 article 38 was amended.
  • In 86th amendment 2002 article 45 was added.
  • In the 97th amendment 2011 article 43B was added.

During these 70 years some of the principles are implemented like bank nationalization which was asked in article 39 (1), Introduction to land ceiling act in article 39 (2) and equal pay for equal work irrespective of caste, Gender and place of birth in article 39(3).

Maternity relief act was also demanded in article 40(2) which has now been implemented that demanded every woman should get relief from the work/ paid leaves during her pregnancy period.

All these changes/amendments were covered under socialistic principles to boost the concept of socialism.

When it comes to the implementation of Gandhian principles article 43(2) that asks for proper condition of work for workers has been implemented under upliftment of cottage industries and minimum wages act. In 48(2) we talked about a ban on slaughter of cows to some extent it was administered but not fully.

In the part of liberal principles article 44 i.e. uniform civil code is always a topic of debate/discussion since the landmark judgement of Shah Bano case (after independence) but still even after 70 years it's not administered . Article 48A (2) demands for improvement and safeguard of forest and wildlife of the country to enact this clause; the water pollution act and forest preservation act was introduced. Article 51 (1) that talks about international peace and security that India is already virtuous at maintaining.

The section of DPSP is the non-guaranteed and non-justiciable rights if they get violated in any of the order you cannot expect from the judiciary to get it right or to bring justice in your favour. While framing laws it is obligatory to keep directive principles of state policies into your mind otherwise that law would be considered unconstitutional. DPSPs can be available and unavailable both at the same time currently the majority of DPSPs are non-working and non-functional but still it needs to be considered.[iii]

Idea of DPSPs and why DPSP?

Directive principle set forth the humanitarian social precepts that were and are the aims of Indian social revolution.- Granville Austin

When our nation attained independence on 15th august 1947 the task of drafting Indian constitution was enacted undertaken by Constituent assembly of India under the presidency of Dr Rajendra Prasad at that time Indian national congress formed a majority, congress appointed people from diverse political backgrounds and given the responsibility of forming constitution and national laws.

On the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi to Dr Jawaharlal Nehru appointed Dr B.R. Ambedkar as the chairperson of the drafting committee while Mr Nehru and Sardar Vallabbhai Patel remained the chairpersons of the committee and subcommittee.

The idea of DPSP was adopted from Ireland inspired from the directive principle given in the constitution of Ireland which is in relation with social justice, economic welfare, foreign policy, legal and administrative matters. Directive principles of Indian constitution are greatly influenced by the directive principle of social policy when Irish nationalist movement aka Irish home revolution movement happened, when France got revolution and declared independent from American colonies.

On the day of 19th November when the part of DPSP was raised in Indian Constituent Assembly on which Dr Ambedkar said DPSP shall be the basis of future governance of the country aka the blueprint of what our country should look like in the upcoming future.

The fine words of Dr Ambedkar was:
It is the intention of the assembly that both legislative and the executive should not merely pay lip service to these principles enacted in this part, but they should be made the basis of all executive and legislative action that may be taken hereafter in the matter of governance of the country

These words clearly reflect the vision of Dr Ambedkar and what they wanted from our country to become mainly aimed at creating social and economic conditions under which people can live a good life. It is the duty of the state and also whenever the union government feels that DPSPs are no longer required by the state/ useful for the nation it can be easily deleted from the constitution by bringing an amendment into the force to remove ambiguity in policy making/decision.

Article 39A which was added after the constitutional amendment represents socio-economic justice by bringing the clause of equal justice and free legal aid which says that the legal system should promote justice on the basis of equal opportunities must get free legal guidance/service instead of any disability like finances, backwardness etc.

The year 1990-1991 was declared as the year of social justice in the memories of Dr Ambedkar when welfare schemes for poor's were introduced by both the central and state government like textbooks to students belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes pursuing medical and engineering courses, this also includes hostel facilities for boys and girls belonging to SC and ST categories. In the 86th constitutional amendment act, free and compulsory education was made for every child between 6-14 years of age. [iv]

DPSPs in relation to fundamental rights

It's not wrong to say that if today we are alive and living our lives accordingly it's because of the fundamental rights that are granted to us, those rights which allow us to live with freedom are the giving of constitution. The rights from article 13 till article 35 are almost every right that Indian citizens or even foreign/alien citizens have in India. It talks about every authority that is granted to us being a citizen of a country.

If we compare DPSPs with fundamental rights we have noticed that fundamental rights are those rights which we are enjoying now and DPSPs are those which we'll be having in upcoming times when our country will be ready for them. They are the futuristic and developing aspects that are provided to us in our constitution, Fundamental rights are justiciable rights and DPSPs are non-justiciable/non-guaranteed rights, public opinion is the major force on implementing directive principles.

Definition of part 3 of constitution that is article 12 is same as of part 4 that is article 36. Nature and properties of both must be same both are considered as the rights of citizens but when it comes to filing the petition you can file suit only if your fundamental rights are violated, petition would be unacceptable if you file it under violation of DPSPs as they are not guaranteed rights can only be acceptable if those DPSPs become permanent laws/ articles, only fundamental rights are enforceable against the state as they are considered as the Soul of Indian Constitution and supreme court is the custodian.

Fundamental rights are limited in scope, protect the rights of an individual and work at micro-level and if anyone feels their rights are being violated they can approach the court of law. When it comes to DPSP scope of them will be unlimited if implemented properly, protects the right of the citizen and works at a macro level and if DPSPs are violated you cannot approach court of law for justice they are non-enforceable laws reason being not enacted legally till now but politically active.

The topic of relation between the fundamental rights and DPSPs is always a controversial topic and many times conflict too happened in parliament regarding this topic. [v]

Most debated article of Directive principles

Part 4 of constitution i.e. Directive principles of state policies drafted with the aim that these articles will be implemented in future reason behind their appliance is to lead a future growth of the country and how are country should look like in future so it's very obvious that in these 68 years some of the articles are implemented in the forms of acts, some are debated in the parliament at a greater extent but couldn't reached to any conclusion, many of the political parties talk about these articles in their manifesto and make promises that they will implement it after they came into power like free education policy for children's, reducing inequalities of income and wealth and uniform civil code obviously.

Article 44 uniform civil code is the need of an hour listed in the liberal column of DPSP deals with the liberal democratic and socio-political principles that defines every person of the nation is equal irrespective of caste, creed, religion and wealth it's a long debated topic and still in debate. Discussion on UCC after independence started at the time of shah bano case when Muslim personal laws were interrupted by Supreme Court.

When Rajiv Gandhi spoke in favour of Muslims (to secure his vote bank) by passing a notification that declared Supreme Court judgement nil and every one criticised congress government for this decision. The demand of UCC started with the aim that our country should have uniform laws for every of the citizen as India is rich and diverse in cultural practices and many people have wrong perceptions regarding UCC that it will violate freedom of religion and others thought it would replace personal law and will only benefit to Hindu majority not speaking in favour of minorities.

Uniform civil code aims to introduce common personal laws of the country whenever any person in India (whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi ) commits a crime, punishment of everyone is same but when marriage happens in these communities the rules for divorce are different in every community like inheritance, adoption and maintenance. UCC focuses on bringing unique law aka personal laws same for every citizen. In 2019 this bill was introduced twice in parliament but opposition blocked it by approaching the chairman, it is expected to be introduced in next parliamentary session.

Why UCC is still not implemented?

It was first debated in 1885 in 2nd law commission report that focused on uniformity and codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidences and contracts but recommended that codification should not extend to matters like personal laws of Hindus and Muslims which means they are free to practice their personal laws, britishers actually never interrupted in personal laws all they want to make is surplus from the Indian economy.

If we talk about an independent India which is free from any external power, a sovereign state but still legitimacy, being government is elected by the people and sovereignty rests with the people, another reason behind non-implementation is criticism by minorities and even by Hindu majority, some sections of Hindus questioned will it end our customs and religious practices of different caste and communities and last reason is gender equality, it's not wrong to say that women's have faced discrimination under Hindu laws when it comes to inheritance, remarriage, divorce so a question arises from here that will it give greater equity and compassion to women in terms of money and social life? If yes then it will destroy males economic wealth said in favour of carping.

What happened when UCC got into political portrayal?

While criticising UCC fundamentalist/orthodox Hindus said in the debate that they need to protect hallowed traditions of Hindu Shastra's, Muslims laws are remain untouched at the time of criticising Hindu code bill of 1952 and it was said a secular bill should be introduced that talks about everyone then UCC gets into political eyes, a section also said grant of equal property rights to women will threatened economic rights of male in the society that section suggested that Hindu code bill is communal measure and instead of that a uniform civil code ( with male pragmatic) should be introduced that will take country towards secularism.

How does the UCC become a part of the constitution?

Nehru accepted that Hindu code bill is incomplete, UCC is essential element of the constitution but for that our country was not prepared back then especially if some communities are not ready to accept it he may not force them to adopt it and willing to parliament to consider civil code at some point of time and decided to put UCC into directive principles instead of fundamental rights, progressive women members like Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Hansa Mehta opposed UCC as non-justiciable right.

It's very sure that UCC will come into power but how and under what conditions and circumstances? Debate is still happening on them in contemporary development BJP party made very clear that they will bring UCC into power which they say is secular and equal for both sexes. UCC is much required now in terms of gender equality where women rights are often denied.[vi]

Challenges that stop DPSPs from getting enacted?

During the formation of this section reason behind it to implement these things in upcoming times, a structure is being made for the upcoming governments, agendas were given to them for their work to take country towards the growth, a boundation is being made for the future governance of country grounds were given to them upon which they can take charge of development that is required for the nation but still a major portion of Directive principles are still not implemented reasons are wide.

Sometimes circumstances don't support it from getting enacted like after independence there was a huge income disparity and inequalities on the basis of caste and creeds so at that time it was important to work on employment sector and also political parties works and rule according to their agendas through which they can repeatedly win elections (used to be a prime reason for delay of DPSP enactment). DPSPs were made non-justiciable because of insufficient financial resources, also backwardness and diversities being the major hindrance in the administration also other issues were at stake that made it a non-justiciable part, very few of the DPSPs are enacted till now that too are criticized whenever any such decision is taken in the parliament will lead to benefit of some and loss of others and these principles cannot be used against government. [vii]

After doing the thorough research on the topic of Directive principle of state policies at the end I would like to conclude that part 4 of constitution has its own importance in the lives of every citizen of the country, they are the auxiliary of the future self of the country, after going through all the aspects of it three question arises where, how and when.

Where we have to reach and where we have to take our nation is sort of clear since the day the constitution was enacted what steps will be actually required to make it to the mark is known by everyone. Founding fathers made the composition of DPSP very clear and bound that the upcoming/ future government will take care of all 15 articles available here and administer it whenever our commonwealth is ready for it. DPSPs were non-justiciable and non- enforceable only in terms of legality Dr Ambedkar made it very clear that they are politically enforceable, many of the political parties use it in their manifestos to come in power.

Now the second question arises i.e. how it will get implemented?

When the bill regarding any of the issue passed in assemblies there are many things that needed to be considered before making any bill an act, it very sure that not everyone will be in favour of any bill and not everyone will going to be happy.

At the time of presenting it opposition leaders criticise it by giving various other reasons and even if it is passed and become act people denounce it in the form of protests, damaging public properties, disturbing peace and harmony of the country for instance you can take example of CAB / NRC protest and in cases of coalition/ alliance government they take their support back from the party who wants to implement it (every political party wants their personal benefit), caste and minority based politics are must in India everyone wants their personal benefit here and corruption is the very obvious reason that stops them from getting fulfilled, but if this will happen every time how they will get carry through and at what closure we will reach? And the last question is when will all the remaining DPSPs be enacted even after about 70 years of it we are unsuccessful in sanctioning them UCC had a very long history since the British government and still even after a lot of parley we are unsuccessful in ratifying it.

Here in our parliament it takes too much time for executing different laws as it takes time to think about all the pros and cons of a particular bill and to analyse will it be good for people or not and sometimes even these predictions went wrong too in the eyes of some and some appreciates it. If we closely notice our constitution and laws related to it you'll find everything here is two faced it is must that every law will not give the benefit to everyone.

Every law that is being enacted will be degraded by some because every member has their own different ideology and belief, political party in power has different belief than the opposition and they both will never agree and understand each other side so denouncing becomes necessity and even if opposition agrees they will not support the party for their own political benefit this is very usual thing in Indian politics, Here actual agenda of political parties are not related to growth and development but to look for their own personal benefit not thinking about blooming things for public betterment.

While contriving constitution drafting committee never knew that such things will be happening they thought whichever party comes into power will going to work for the people of the country keeping constitution in their mind and will make laws related to it but that didn't happened. These are the only reasons due to which all the DPSPs are still not implemented and made nation's growth limited to a point.

Also once Dr Ambedkar said However good a constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a constitution may be, if those implementing are good, it will prove to be good. and this is what happened with us.[viii]

  1. Abstract on DPSP ( short summary )
  2. Formation, duration and idea behind Directive Principles. Ideologies upon which DPSPs are made in India i.e. Socialistic, Gandhian and Liberalistic ( Reference article )
  3. Constitutional Amendments made in DPSPs (42nd, 44th, 86th and 97th) 38, 39, 39A, 43A, 48A, 45 and 43B was added. UCC and Shah Bano case relation.
  4. Making of DPSP in the constituent assembly, motive of DPSP as per founding fathers, fine words of Dr Ambedkar and articles related to it.,can%20lead%20a%20good%20life.&text=Per%20Article%2037%2C%20state%20and,considering%20DPSPs%20as%20fundamental%20policy. (reference article)
  5. Relationship between DPSP and fundamental rights- Nature and properties are same as well as difference.
  6. Most discussed article of DPSP i.e. UCC- meaning, history, why not implemented till yet, what happened when discussed politically, how it was added into constitution and why it's in DPSP and not in fundamental rights. ( Study IQ video- reference )
  7. Setbacks that stop DPSPs from getting enacted and reason it takes so long for implementation of acts
  8. Closure of the journal! What we should learn from article and where we lacked.
  • [Constitution of India ( Bare act ), universal publishers]

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