Adding the words “secular” and “socialist” to the Preamble of the Constitution in 1976 had narrowed the spiritual image of India, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal said on Sunday, reported The Indian Express.

The chief justice made the statement while delivering the keynote lecture on the topic “Dharma and the Constitution of India: The Interplay” at an event of an advocates’ body in Jammu.

Mithal said that adding the words was a “narrow-minded” approach and that the name of the country should have been the “Spiritual Republic of India”.

The chief justice said that that the addition of the words to the Preamble did not make much difference as India always was, and still remains, a secular country, reported Bar and Bench. Mithal said that India is capable of protecting its citizens belonging to all sections of society and so its socialist nature was also inherent.

“India was ruled by innumerable rulers – Pallavas, Chalukyas, Mauryas, Guptas, Kushans, later Mughals and Britishers as well – but in no period, was India defined on the basis of religion,” he said. “India was never a Muslim country, Christian country or Hindu country. Why? Because in every period it was believed that India is beyond being religious or a devbhoomi [the land of the Gods].”

Mithal argued that some of the amendments made to the Constitution are not in the country’s interest and are of no use. “Sometimes, we bring amendments due to our adamancy,” the chief justice said.

Mithal said that besides incorporating the words “socialist” and “secular” in the Preamble, including Fundamental Duties in the Constitution, was also an example of such amendments.

“Very good words, but we have to see whether these amendments were needed, or these have been added at the right place,” Mithal said.

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