June 2014 was crucial month for me. A 19 year old me, a small town boy who was doing his first semester in a Government Law College, had to take a major decision. He had somehow managed to make it to a National Law University; and had to decide whether to join that institution paying this huge a fee every year. (The annual fee at NUALS was more than ten-times my entire course fee at GLC).
It got me thinking about how the NLU experiment was shaping the democracy. The class of the society which was being given access to the so called ‘quality education’. The class whose interests those people would be representing. The way it would shape this country.
I spoke to people, did a lot of Googling, and that was how I came to know about Shamnad Basheer. About IDIA, and how it was trying to increase diversity in NLUs.
Finally I joined NUALS, but I found it really difficult to cope with the environment there, one of the reasons being my lack of fluency in English. In one of those days I remember Raghul Sudheesh suggesting me that I should write to Shamnad. I did seriously think about it, but I never did.
One thing I did was regularly following him and his writings, on SpicyIP, on Twitter, and on Law and Other Things. In ways I can’t explain, he has influenced me. And maybe, that was why hearing the news of his demise I was hurt like someone so close to me passed away.
“Nomad who founded a couple of initiatives, but still struggles to find himself.” – Read his twitter bio. I don’t know if he finally succeeded in his endeavor to find himself. But he helped me find myself. His life made me committed to giving back to the society I live in. And I am sure, I am not the only one.
You will be missed, sir. I wish I met you. Or the least, I wish I wrote that mail to you.
RIP Shamnad Basheer.