The Directive Principles contain more economic ideals, which state should strive to achieve. The Directives are having economic content as well as help to establish social democracy which is pledged in the Preamble of the constitution.
Sir Ivor Jennings a noted commentator comments that philosophy of these provisions is “Fabian Socialism with-out the socialism, for, only the nationalization of the means of production, distribution and exchange are missing.”
The constitution did not adhere to any “ism” but tried to effect reconciliation between individualism and Socialism by eliminating the vices of “unbridled private enterprise and interest by social control and welfare measures as far as possible.”
The objective of socialistic pattern of society is not socialism. Pandit Nehru was not in favour of that breed of socialism which prescribed picking of pockets of the rich and distributing money as well as indiscriminate nationalisation. Nehru observed that would “weaken us”.
According to Nehru “socialism is greater wealth,” “there cannot be socialism of poverty” Pandit Nehru also holds that, it is dangerous merely to nationalise something without being prepared to work it properly. He said “My idea of socialism is that every individual in the state should have equal opportunity for progress”.
Indian economic experiments in its plan period have shown a massive nationalisation drive and a strong public sector presence. The all input supply agencies are within public sector. Moreover, during Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s Prime Minister Ship Banking, Insurance (non-life), Aviation, Coal Mines and many Private Organisations were nationalised.
These tendencies persisted for a long time and until 1991 the public sector remained in driver’s seat. The overall economic policy was dominated by high degree of bureaucratic control through license, permit and quota system.
These controlling measures were developed with a view to stop socially undesirable investment pattern and to meet consumption need of the people. (It was envisaged that this control regime also did not allow developing a solid and diversified industrial base of the country.)
The 42nd amendment of the constitution wanted to make the state a socialist state, but that socialism according to Mrs. Gandhi was to provide equal opportunities to everybody. The Article 39 A sought to render equal justice to all.
The Article 43 A was inserted to direct state to ensure participation of workers in management and industry as well as in other undertakings (this is known as profit sharing). This is a step ahead towards socialism, because it provides economic justice.
The Janata Government which came to power in 1977 inserted one paragraph under Article 38 (44th Amendment Act) of the constitution. “The state shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also among groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.” This clause was meant to ensure equal salary or wages irrespective of vocation.
According to Dr. D. Basu “Article 38 enjoins the state to strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting, as effectively as it may, the social order in which justice-social, economic and political shall, inform all the institutions of national life striving to minimise inequalities in income and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities, opportunities, among individuals and groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different avocations.”
The Directives are not enforceable by court of law where as Fundamental Rights are justifiable. Art. 37 states that though these Directives cannot be enforced by law but they are fundamental in governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.
The Directive Principles are more or less normative in nature they provide the necessary guidelines by which people’s interests would be mostly upheld in case of need. Directive principles have been guiding principle for proving the constitutional validity of many problems.
The laws relating to abolition of intermediary, legislations of nationalisation towards public interest clause, legislation compulsory for primary education, and various social work programmes like IRDP, NREP, PMRY, DDP, and NRY were launched to improve people’s living standard and to eradicate poverty. The Directive Principles thus have broad socio-economic significance to establish a moral and just society. A new addition in this list is economic content of Common Minimum Programme of the Government which came to power in 2004.