Kush Kalra, a graduate of the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law in Patiala (RGNUL) is the author of six books already, with a seventh one due for publication in the near future. Starting with his first publication titled “Be Your Own Lawyer”, Kush has also published books on criminal law and intellectual property rights. In this e-mail interview with Bar & Bench, Kush talks about his learnings at RGNUL, academia and the problems of Indian law schools.
Bar & Bench: When did you graduate from RGNUL?
Kush Kalra: I graduated from RGNUL in May 2012. [This was the] golden period of my life during which I realized the true meaning of education.
B&B: Six books published already. Were you always interested in academia or did you develop this interest during your time at RGNUL?
KK: After my graduation I was lucky enough to be a part of Youth Delegation to China and I was also part of UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilization) Summer School in 2012. I developed a feeling to do something only after the foreign visit. I have been writing essays since I entered law school. In the 2008 Manupatra Essay competition, my essay was selected as the best entry from all law schools. So in a way I can say that writing essays and papers for seminars during law school made me realise that I can write books.
RGNUL is my learning temple where I learnt all things and I truly realized the purpose of education during my stay at RGNUL. So in a way RGNUL is the guiding force for all my books.
B&B: The topics covered in your books range from criminal law to IPR. Is there a particular field that you plan to focus on?
KK: It was conveyed to me by a learned person that if you wish to learn and practice law, do start to grasp every law subject. Because in law every subject is interrelated and interdependent.
B&B: How long did it take for you to publish your first book? What were some of the challenges you faced?
KK: I failed more than 90 times to get my first book published. The title of my first book was "Be Your Own Lawyer". I started to get the book published in October of 2012 [but it was] in March of 2013 I heard about the acceptance of the manuscript by Vij Law House in Delhi.
The challenge that I still face today is that I am not a Ph.D. and publishers generally ask about my qualification (an LL.B). But then I convince them that it is not degree it is idea that is to be accepted by publisher.
B&B: Do you think law school encourages academia?
KK: Law school just encourage a "Law Firm" culture. Students these days are just concerned about pay packages. They are not concerned about learning. No one is interested in Academics. From seniors to juniors, everyone just gives advice about pay packages.
Unfortunately, in our times we have down-graded the intellectual and have devalued the very word. Today an “intellectual” means a man who is intelligent enough to know on which side his bread is buttered.
It is essential that students acquire an understanding of and a feeling for values. Otherwise he - with his specialized knowledge - more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.