Caste in 'Class': a step towards reforming legal education in law schools in India


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Caste, Class, Legal education, Reforms


How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril! -Dr. B. R. Ambedkar The above warning by Dr. Ambedkar can’t be set aside and looked only from the lens of political or administrative arrangement. The warning arose from the fact that\ people in India couldn’t be welded into a Nation owing to the multiple divergences, differences and inequalities in almost all realms. Though 26th January 1950, promised Political Democracy what it lacked was Social democracy as well as selective Amnesia of the Haves visa-vis Have-nots acting as detrimental to the transformation of people of India to Indian citizens which Benedict Anderson spoke of ‘imagined communities’. Legal Education which has become the backbone of the Constitutional Democracies in the post-colonial world ought to be sensitive to the above mentioned dictums. It assumes importance in post- Independent India owing to the unveiling of the new indigenous era of ‘Rule of Law’ from the age of Colonial domination. Legal Education ought to be imparted to grasp the modus-operandi of Social Morality so that it serves to be a catalyst in instituting Social and Economic Democracy along with golden trio of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity with Justice as its Base. Therefore, socially just and relevant education rests on the edifice of modernization, interdisciplinary approach, and tangible representation of the broad socially relevant principles acting as guide for the students. The current legal education is influenced by the colonial legacy which can be deduced via the lexicon used in the laws framed during that time but what’s more paradoxical is that the same laws are carried till today with minor changes making them dogmatic rather than Principle based which makes it effectual in the changing contemporary scenario of time, space and place. What is more depressing is the fact that legal education and pedagogy of the same suffers from the same myopic vision even in the current times. With the changing socio-political scenario they need to be rescued from colonial hangover. Not just colonial hangover but Legal education and pedagogy is far distant from the grassroots development in the domain of Gender, Religion Caste and Class hierarchies which eventually leads to Industrial production of crass products which are epitome of static, biased and non-sensitive. The products that enter the state, civil society, community aren’t a value addition instead they are the agents of continued parochial societal morality which maintains its institutional hold in the realm of conscious and subconscious. This paper argues for inclusion of ground realities in Legal Education and Pedagogy both for teachers and Students so that it shall lead to a creation of an enlightened citizenry which shall produce a chain reaction for formation of a formidable force that shall act as an catalyst for bringing the petty societal morality in tandem with Constitutional Morality. It also explores the various strategies for doing the same to institute this ‘agents of change’ variable in tangible as well as intangible domain.