This article was written by Samarpit Gupta of Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat. If you want to share your law school story, mail it to [email protected]. This article is being republished from A First Taste of Law archives.
Law used to sound like a boring system of the society to me.
I didn’t have much understanding of it, nor did I care about understanding it. All I knew about law was that if I got caught by a traffic policeman, I would have to pay him either over the table or under the table. It was all good till the time I stayed away from it, until the year 2010, when I committed a crime of drinking underage. My father saved me from police that day, they were discussing the ‘dhara’ under which the case was supposed to be filed against me. That was a happy realization period for me which diverted me towards law. I came to realize that the power of the law and from the law is immense and beautiful. I decided it to be my second career option if I don’t get in hotel management.
My dad never wanted me to do hotel management. In fact, he furiously shouted at me once and said that ‘bera banna he kya’ (do you want to be a waiter). Those lines struck me like an arrow, and his words pierced through my heart. Later when I was in my 12th standard, exploring some other career options, when I started reading about the history of India in the British period. Some of the most influential and biggest Indian leaders in the freedom movement were, in fact, lawyers. Then I gave it a thought and came to realize that studying law doesn’t mean that I had to become a lawyer or join the legal profession only. Law will open new horizons for me, it will change my whole perception towards the society and the legal system that runs it. At that moment, I decided to learn more about the law. That was the first time I visited the High Court of Rajasthan, watching lawyers running around from one courtroom to another, tensed clients talking to their lawyers about what his arguments will be against the other party, the temperature was rising (it was summers apparently), clients in the courtroom sitting quietly, ‘there comes the judge, stand up stand up’ everyone mumbling, ‘All Rise’ someone shouted, I saw someone coming out of a door, it was a judge, wearing his shiny black coat, he sat on his chair and then we were allowed to sit. I questioned myself, ‘what is happening around me, is that person sitting behind the files really so powerful?’
The lawyers stood up on the podium, started presenting their arguments and the Judge didn’t pay heed to them and gave them another date, and someone near me mumbled that he is not in good mood today. I went out of the courtroom, thinking about the amount of power vested in a judge. I started googling about powers of the judge and was startled and numb to find that he has a right to take a person’s Right to Live. I laughed at myself and decided to do law, the more I searched and talked about it, the more I learned about the ‘LAW’.
I started searching about the university in which I can get admitted to learning the law. Stumbling upon a various website which rated top universities in India, NLU, NLS, NUJS, they all had a single admission test known as CLAT. I thought about it, I searched more for it, it was winters when the dates and forms were released for CLAT, I was supposed to fill one, didn’t take any kind of coaching and went in to write the exam. There came an OMR sheet, I opened the question booklet, saw the question and laughed at myself. I started playing the game of guess, made some sort of pattern on the answer sheet, slept for 20 minutes during the exam and came out laughing. I knew that this time I’m not leaving my home city and my new girlfriend but yes I am dropping a year to prepare for CLAT and here the actual journey of searching for other law colleges and devoting myself towards the law began.
I joined a tutorial center for CLAT, learned more about other various universities in India which offer courses in law. From somewhere I heard people talking about the most expensive law school in India, I searched for it, had a dinner table conversation about it with my father, he said he will search about it himself, next day when I woke up, he gave me give forms to fill, one of the forms were for Jindal Global Law School.
Here it was, I was already very impressed just by seeing the pictures of this law school, I asked my father about the fees and if he will be able to afford it. He said if it’s in my destiny then, he will surely be able to afford it. I filled up all the forms and forgot about it. The calendar was changing the dates, here comes the day for CLAT, all ambitions to crack it came in, chanting the name of almighty, and I entered the examination hall. Everyone was tensed and were discussing the latest current affairs, few of the people were my classmates, but today they all reacted differently, prior to this exam we discussed about cheating, but they all seemed to ignore me today. I gave it a second thought and started to read the paper and fill up the OMR sheet on which, last year I drew some patterns. This time it was a serious affair. CLAT went good, after that I went for various other examinations. Here comes the day of results. So, CLAT was definitely a big no. I was shattered, was depressed and tensed, after spending a whole year in the tutorial, I had nothing in my hands.
I waited for another result, that was the score for LSAT, ‘BOOM’ I shouted, ‘I cracked it’, next day came to an e-mail from the most awaited O.P. Jindal Global University. Everything was like a movie now, running around the market to buy stuff for college, new clothes, deodorants, hair gels etc. I was delighted, I left my hometown for a never ending journey for JGLS, my heart was beating fast, with my parents, we a took a cab from old Delhi station to Sonepat, finding the way to JGLS, in between the trees, somewhere far I saw a huge flag of our nation. It was Hogwarts, but better. I shouted ‘there it is, my new college’ like a dumb kid.
We reached there in front of a huge metal gate with a board inscribed with O.P. Jindal Global University.
It was such a joyous day, after all the formalities, my parents went back to my hometown. My mother was in a bad mood (for obvious reasons). ‘Stay in touch, take care and study properly’, were the lines while she sat in the car. I was very delighted, meeting so many new people from such diverse background, it was altogether a different experience. Next day we started with orientation and college tour, ‘do I really deserve this place’ a thought came in mind. On the third day of orientation, we met the Vice Chancellor of our university, Prof. C. Raj Kumar, a wonderful personality. The way he spoke was really impressive, it was amazing to be in such a global university. New friends, new life, everything was a treat to my eyes, and you know what I mean.
Days passed by, it was our first semester.
Then came our amazing fresher’s party. Oh that night, it was intense. We celebrated our new college life, getting to know people and much more. Calendar and time changed, few of us started identifying the problems which were there in our college, JGU was a new university, and the very first batch hadn’t graduated yet. We started questioning things on campus, initially we didn’t have a good campus life. The administration got pissed off because of our questions and demand. We didn’t have a student body in place, we started rebelling against each and every action. Soon there were more restrictions and the students of our university were complaining about almost everything.
We found the answer. There was supposed to be student council in place, so we decided to have a proper student body election. The outcomes of pre-election was amazing, the people who never used be bothered about university went on discussing agendas. Yes, we did it – a whole new political culture took birth in JGU. Everyone was up and alive, discussing the future goals and cheap political tactics, while trying to save the semester. People from all batches turned up for electing their president who will be fair with the whole student body.
We had a new president, a vice president, general secretary, cultural secretary and a treasurer, after the student body was formed, I don’t know what happened. Suddenly I could see the winds of change. We were working together as a team, for the betterment of university and its students. In fact, not only we organized an event every semester, we were now having an on campus events and parties every 15 days. From discussing problems like sexual harassment on campus to managing cultural events on campus, everything was dealt perfectly.
In my third year, my colleagues organized the first cultural festival of campus, following it I organized the biggest and craziest electronic dance music festival on campus.
I had no experience of organizing such huge event such as EDM night. It was very new to me, from getting permissions to setting up the stage, everything was in my hands. Obviously, some minor things went wrong during the event, but we managed to throw an amazing event. I had some really supportive seniors to help me out. Be it organizing events to making me understand the twisted laws, everything was explained to me by my seniors.
JGLS, oh my, this college has given me a makeover (I gained a lot of weight apparently) and it actually gave me a new perspective about life, something that we as kids in plus two, in school, never use to even think about.
The culture and its norms used to be everything to us, but after getting in law school such as JGLS, it has broadened my view about almost everything. I never used to think about what important role education plays in a person’s life.
JGLS gave a place where I can identify very vast differences, such as societal difference between India and say Europe, the critical concept of Karl Marx. Some of my seniors drew my attention towards community work and the importance of it, they taught me the class system and why is it so harmful for society.
One of the major problems I faced was littering on the campus.
It was a huge issue for me during the 2nd semester, there were many reasons identified by me and my friend who created the environment protection society of JGLS. The problem persisted in the mentality of people, I noticed that people who were littering around were not well educated about the consequences of littering, I decided to step in and make it a visible issue. I started making sarcastic Youtube videos which made people think about this problem, soon people started to change, everyone started to think about how to make the campus clean and environment friendly, our group procured more than 100 new dustbins. We as part of environment society take it as a huge achievement that we made people think about and reduced littering in a very significant way. That was one of my very first big personal achievement.
JGLS has given me a whole new perspective to think not just about this society I live in but myself too.
During my second semester, I developed a kind of hatred towards this college but soon when I started working for the students here and devoted myself towards making a better campus life, my hatred was gone. Now I am in immense love with this college. JGLS is my life, my pride and in all the literal sense, this college is my home. It’s a feeling which many disagree on but when I share my experience of this college, people do agree with me. JGLS has changed me and many of others on this campus, this college is immensely beautiful. I now do believe that my decision of choosing law was the best decision I ever took in my life.
B.A. LLB Class of 2017
Jindal Global Law School|
O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat (Haryana)