[Written by Akash Joshi (Class of 2015 – NALSAR) circa November, 2011.]
We are a bunch of first year freaks who’d like to help all the people upto the age of 20 qualify the CLAT and fill the corridors of the NLUs with people across the territory of India. Now, that’s precisely what we aren’t. Neither can we CLAIM to make you qualify the CLAT nor can we boast of 10/10 or 20/20 results in top national law schools. What we CAN possibly assure you of is a sincere and dedicated BAND (is that what you’d like to call it? Or leave it, call the group whatever you want) who have had a firsthand experience at the exam you’re about to take. We can arm you with the resources and facts (loads of it) and it is upto you how to utilize it because we are not going to stand on your heads and coerce you to take examinations and quizzes and tests. And mind you, when we aren’t doing all these things, the pressure to perform well is all the more!
As to the origins of this effort, let it be described in the most romantic manner. It was a day of heavy rains and shiny green leaves. The road was strewn with orangish-red maple leaves (the ‘Mohabbatein’ ones). Okay, it wasn’t. Just rain and leaves it was. But it was a pleasant day to go out and do things. But amidst all this, there was a man (and a board of directors) who cared not of the rains or the leaves but in elucidating his idea of what exists in front of you as www.clatgyan.com. What followed post his putting forth the idea was discussion and objections, but in the end what mattered was that someone actually had that zeal and enthusiasm and the idea of such an enormous enterprise and what poured in was encouragement and support from the audience. The man (who turned 17 this year) is a first year student (Roll no. 42) of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad – Mohammad Asadulla Shareef. (Asad)
The story of CLATGyan from an idea to a complete working website with such a large following is a long one. The working of a growing enterprise like CG itself requires a lot of people’s commitment and encouragement. CG got neither of it in the beginning. However, thankfully Asad’s batch mate friends (and also, now, colleagues) didn’t ignore the oft-ignored eccentric optimism inside each one of us. And it was this commitment alone that led to the designing, coding and pre-launch material. Considering it was the first semester for everyone, the pressure to waste time and be aimless was enormous. As in enormous in caps lock – ENORMOUS. But NALSAR has enough sign-boards and direction indicators, not necessarily on the roadside.
In the Ramadan of 2010 (significant for the reason the routine of Iftar-work-Saheri, [pre-dawn meal] routine non-stop), CG began taking shape. We’ve come a long way since then. From the time when there was a blog-like interface, from the time when each decision would be labelled “biased” and “prejudiced”, to now, when everything’s “all good”, we’ve indeed come a long way.
CG was launched amid unanimous support by the batch and active contributions by a dedicated set of contributors who’d take time out of their busy schedules (around the time when they had their project rough draft submissions going on, followed by Mid-Sems) to chip in something.
The idea behind CG was something of an enigma even to people working on it from the very beginning. But we guess, CG, as a concept wants to be that someone who we needed as Law School aspirants. Someone who would not care about the money in your pockets to be able to help you, someone who has no vested interests in your doing well, someone who’d be impartial, honest and encouraging – all at the same time. The idea was to give aspirants that “missing something” – constant guidance (both on the subjects and off it), extra information, that honest feedback that we missed on, and most importantly – that assurance of “having someone to talk to”. We wanted to give that sense of assurance that we didn’t have. That sense of belief.
Today, CG runs because there are committed individuals working behind it, constantly. Begging others to contribute, editing, researching, and reaching deadlines, even sacrificing weekends (and vacations). And it is because of them that CG today is CG. There are also people dealing purely with non-academic areas – design, counselling and news. Essentially, whatever CG today is, is because somewhere in the middle of nowhere (A.k.a Shamirpet, let your illusions be dispelled. That’s where NALSAR is, not Hyderabad city), a I semester student is working hard for that student somewhere in another part of the country who is confused, worried, or well, simply too hard working. Meet them:
Mohammad Asadulla Shareef (Founder and Chief Administrator)
Mohammad Asadulla Shareef (Asad) – (Managing Editor and Editor for Legal Reasoning Section)
Soumya Cheedi (Editor, General Knowledge)
Tanisha Pande (Editor, English)
Nishant Prasad, Yashashree Mahajan & Archit Bhatnagar (Editors, Logical Reasoning Section)
Pranav Agarwal (Editor for The Window Section)