Internship @ Assam Human Rights Commission, Guwahati : 2 Big Lessons from a Sarkari Office + The Brutality of AFSPA

Name. College. Year of Study

Manan Mipun, NLSIU Bangalore, 1st year.

Name of the organisation. City

Assam Human Rights Commission, Guwahati.

How big was the office? Team strength?

Cannot say precisely, renovations were going on at the  time of my internship, but its a standard office with cubicles and a small library of sorts.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

I applied through by sending my C.V to the commission, I was contacted by an official and then we sorted the rest of the procedures out.

I sent the request to the Secretary of the Commission at

Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings

Interned for a month (4 weeks) 6 days a week from 9 am-2 pm.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

I am a localite, but for those off-station the Commission is near the Guwahati Medical College and therefore there are a lot of Paying guests accommodation available.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

My first impression was, neutral, I already had in mind that I would be working in a Governmental setting, so I did not expect any flashy stuff shown by sitcoms and overused imagination.

The building is somber  bureaucratic types, when I arrived at the office, the Officer in charge, Mr. Tarpan Barooah was extremely helpful and precise, at no time he made me feel a part of a team.

There were no “suit and boot” formalities, although I had to sit for an interview with the Director of the commission. So from day one, the work started.

Main tasks 

The main task for me was to analyse the cases for the past 5 years and make a report on it, mind you not Manupatra, but actual dusty files. The reason for such work allocated to me was that, keeping in mind the infrastructural problems of a government institution.

I classified cases, keeping in mind the provisions of the Assam Human rights provisions, flagged certain cases which were not according to procedure, also I had to prepare statistics with parameters of case admittance and disposal and the reasons for disposal.

Work environment, people

Work environment was somber (remember a govt. office) I worked with 3 other interns and the work load was made lighter through interaction. People went about their work, they were quite and occupied.

Best things?

The atmosphere, it was simple spartan and say clear cut? the office functioned smoothly, your work was given to you and you had to do your part, and at times sat through client counselling sessions.

Bad things?

During my time of internship, it was during the monsoons and the building was being renovated, so there were a fair amount of flooding at the lower floors, (the office is near the top floor). the work, at least to me became monotonous at areas, but some interesting case did manage to remove such boredom.

What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues 

Usually I passed time with the Co-interns swapping stories of law schools, the omni-diabolical nature of professors- the pathetic conditions of our respective colleges.

As there were lots of eateries and shopping centers nearby we went out for meals. Also as the high way was close by, and given the magable traffic, we went for idle rides.

Stipend/ month No stipend.

{Chai wallah at the Govt. Of India}

Anything else you’d like to tell

So this internship was a mine of information, remember the papers you wrote about “social justice?” ‘” equality?” and what ever you got your hands on for a fast buck and a pointer in a CV.

This internship was Ground Zero; it had the data on how the dear Government of India  and the Patronizing mob behind it, imposed AFSPA had a severe backlash across the region. The cases which I read was filled to the brim of such events, and the cherry?

Half of the cases was due to the mismanagement of the armed/police forces and bureaucratic corruption.

Further, apart from the grimdark, Guwahati as a city is nice, and those mainstream looking for something “exotic”are welcome to see this city. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

Biggest lessons

Lesson 1: law is not about things such as Boston Legal, you are no agent of change , no fancy high profile stuff, you are a mercenary, who would fight for those with gold. ( The statute of justice, why does she carry a scale, which is a mercantile instrument?)

Lesson 2: Law=lots of reading. reading and reading, perhaps to make a single comprehensible argument in a court of law you would need to spend hours and hours reading through texts.


Disclaimer: Internship experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus official views on the internship.

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