A new route to the truth?

A new route to the truth?
Ila Sudame, Centre Coordinator, Centre for Shastric Studies and Research in Law, MNLU Nagpur Abhay Anand | Jan 17, 2020 - 11:45 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra National Law University will now teach those interested the “Shastric Method of Argumentation”. Launched in February, the new Centre for Shastric Studies and Research in Law (CSSRL) will work on applying ‘Indian logic’ to the country’s legal discourse. Ila Sudame, the centre’s coordinator, spoke to Careers360 about the centre and its objectives.

Q. What was the idea behind starting such a centre? How is it relevant?
Legal education lays the foundation for all the professional pursuits in the field of law. A sound educational system rests on the study and analysis of the various parallel knowledge systems and the appropriate application thereof in the contemporary scenario. The centre was conceptualized two years ago by the present Chief Justice of India, S. A. Bobde, who is the Chancellor of the Maharashtra National Law University.
The centre finally became operational with efforts of the Vice-Chancellor in February this year. Today, CSSRL is pioneering innovations in legal education and is dedicated to exploring Indian jurisprudence as a parallel study, to examine and analyse its various legal concepts.
The time-tested techniques described in the Shastras continue to be relevant even today. This plethora of theories bears great potential to enable the understanding, examination and reformation of the dynamics of contemporary laws. We propose to demonstrate their applicability in the resolution of present-day issues.

Q. How is this ‘ancient logic’ different from what is being applied now?
I must say that the indigenous knowledge system of logic has to offer some exceptionally structured processes designed to arrive at the truth. This logic is particularly suited to our legal system as it is relatively more compatible with the requirements of the doctrine of precedents or ‘stare decisis’, amongst other such touchstones. The correct application of principles of Indian logic has the potential to enhance reasonability in argumentation and reduce arbitrariness in decision-making.

Q. How will the new course be taught? What will be the topics and pedagogical strategies for teaching them?
Pedagogy is one of the major challenges when it comes to such uniquely designed courses. The centre is in the process of networking among a rich pool of intellectuals who are well-versed in the Shastric sciences and legal studies. Students admitted to the undergraduate program in this academic session will be the first batch to learn the principles of Indian Jurisprudence.

Q. Have you recruited teachers for this or will the existing teachers be trained to teach this course?
Teachers in this specialized knowledge area have been one of the major concerns of CSSRL. So, the centre has been established in association with Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek. The collaboration of academics from the field of law with scholars from the shastric sciences has come a long way to secure CSSRL’s objectives and has proven to be quite fruitful in starting this centre.

Q. What are your plans for the course?
The ultimate aim is to have ongoing research into various concepts of constitutional and administrative law with special emphasis on the problems of a modern democracy. Research in this area will develop new concepts in the context of a welfare state that will help us deal with the rights, liabilities and duties of citizens and their relationship with the State.

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