New Delhi: The original preamble of the Constitution did not have the words “socialist” and “secular”, said Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Wednesday.
The government has been criticised over a Republic Day advertisement, which showed the preamble without the two words.
The minister said a picture of the original preamble was used for the advertisement to “honour” it.
He also tweeted pictures of the preamble before and after the 42nd Amendment, which added the words “secular” and “socialist” to it. “This is the original preamble. The words ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ were added in 1976,” he added.
“Let me assure you, we are celebrating the 66th Republic Day, that is, we are celebrating an anniversary of the preamble that was made way back then,” Rathore told reporters.
“The photograph that we have put is of the first preamble that our great leaders had made at that point of time,” Rathore said.
He added that the two words were included after the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976.
Rathore’s comments came after row erupted when an advertisement issued by the I&B Ministry carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’.
Welcoming the move, Shiv Sena has demanded “permanent deletion” of the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ from the Constitution.
“We welcome the exclusion of the (secular and socialist) words from the Republic Day advertisement. Though it might have been done inadvertently, it is like honouring the feelings of the people of India. If these words were deleted by mistake this time, they should be deleted from the Constitution permanently,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.
Congress leader Manish Tewari attacked the Centre on the issue, claiming the government advertisement “deleted” the two words, which was only a prelude to their “substitution” with “communal” and “corporate”.
The advertisement showed a picture of the Preamble in the background with a quote from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pictures of some citizens in the foreground.