Oct 11, 2017 #1
war of all against all
Growing up in a country with a delayed justice system, where lack of resources and inequality is a way of life, it was easy to get disillusioned at institutions and systems around me. It is hard to pinpoint a definitive moment which consolidated my drive to empower the un-empowered- it is instead a cinema reel of realisations and frustrations. Seeing extreme moral policing and police brutality; I have seen lives torn apart, futures broken because of a nepotistic, inefficient, and ineffectual jurisdiction- where justice is delayed 20 years in cases; where people are suffering at the hands of its 'own' country's soldiers, where the right to privacy is continually diminishing. These experiences, where I see the Hobbesian 'war of all against all' dystopia actualise has given me the motivation to study law.
Philosophy shaped my critical thinking and analytical skills- symbolic logic and applied ethics made me Socratically question the concepts of validity, punishment, and rights. Reading about the ideas of freedom, justice, democracy and equity that I learnt about in social and political philosophy, gave me a holistic understanding of concepts which facilitate optimal functioning in society. Philosophy of mind made me aware of the intent and psychological motivation governing actions, while political science empowered me with theories of globalisation and feminism which drives law to be ever-inclusive, and ready to deal with the structures of a constantly changing world.
I was able to use these ideas to further research projects which developed my ability to deal with large amounts of information, and draw patterns and conclusions. Through the authoring of 10 research papers, I have been able to cover topics ranging from behavioural economics, to the politics of caste and gender, to the envisioning of an education policy and ethics in governance. A common thread in these grounded, application based papers is the role of law in knitting together societies in a Durkheimian notion of social progress.
I was able to apply academic ideas I learnt in class to the field of debating and adjudicating. These extracurriculars help me with building cases, and playing the devil's advocate, both of which will be beneficial to my study of law. This was supplemented by rigorous internships with various social policy think tanks. In my fellowship with the Rakshak Foundation, I was able to author a research thesis on education and ethics in governance. Through the process of interviewing government officials, I was exposed to problems like corruption within governance, and realised the potential of stringent laws in reinforcing preventive measures. My internship with Swaniti Initiative enabled me to analyse government policies, and propose recommendations to alleviate poor conditions in the education, medical and skilling spheres of Bihar state. Through my experience with the Young Leaders for Active Citizenship program, I was able to build an advocacy campaign for the discriminated Northeastern minority community, which was implemented by the minister of the state. I noted the prejudice of lawyers who felt their troubles were inconsequential to take up, leading to a severe flaw in the redressal of problems, leading to increasing violence and discontent within the community. I realised that training in law would empower me to fight for their cause, and other causes like sexual harassment, hate crimes and environmental irresponsibility which are close to my heart.
Making a change in any capacity is of import to me, and a number of leadership roles have allowed me to do so. Being the head of operations of the debating society, as well as the first girl-president in a male dominated sphere of the computer club provided me with the skill of mediation, and envisioning a system which caters to varying perspectives. This is furthered in my interest in design thinking, which curates solutions to human problems. My approach to law is the use of empathy and interrogation to contribute towards a legal system which is both preventive and curative. Through law, I wish to address issues of great personal and human relevance, that will facilitate a better lived experience, and truly empower all those involved with the ideal of the Rawlsian theory of justice.