Subhashree Dash is a Lawctopus College Manager.
She interviewed faculty, Prof. Mukesh Chouhan, ex faculty at Indore Law College. Mr. Chouhan is an alumnus of NLIU, Bhopal and dabbled in his fair share of mooting activities. Read on for his take on life as a student, professor and in many other capacities.
FaculTeas are a series of interviews (tea with faculty) that Lawctopus’ college managers are doing with their faculty members. We are doing this to capture what, how and why present legal faculty thinks and operates.
Hello Prof.Mukesh Chouhan. Tell us something about yourself?
Hello, I am Asst. Prof. Mukesh Chouhan. I was working in Indore Institute of Law and resigned in March 2013.
People usually recognize me as a very tough and serious person, but am not that tough. Some of my students refer to me as a COCONUT: hard outside but softer inside.
Describe your childhood in brief? Your sources of inspiration i.e. your driving forces?
I was a very innocent person in my childhood. Being the youngest one in my family, I am the dearest one of all. I was average in my studies, but yes, if I took a stand in my life, I used to keep it.
I was ranked 3rd in Madhya Pradesh in 5th Board Exams. I got 3 of my articles published; I held the post of SARGEANT in NCC Army Wing of my school and a lot more. Well, I was more into science field since I was a PCM student.
I was counseled and allotted computer science in one of the renowned engineering college, but the real driving force or my source of inspiration is my father, who inspired me to join NLIU. I prepared for the same and was placed 10th in the merit list of NLIU.
What made you choose this career line? Any particular people who inspired you to enter the revered teaching profession?
Well, as I said earlier, it was my father, who was my source of inspiration. I used to teach students when I was in 12th standard. Later on, when I started preparing for NLIU entrance in 2004-05, I didn’t find a good coaching that could guide me.
This is the time I decided to coach aspirants of law. I initially started at an English coaching class to teach legal terms and later on law subjects. Slowly, I joined different coaching centers for CLAT preparation that started in 2008.
I joined Indore Institute of Law basically as a Moot Court Coordinator, because I represented India in Washington DC, USA in March 2009 in the 50th Philips. C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition after we snatched the Runner’s Up title in India National Rounds.
Presently, I am guiding the CLAT and AIBE aspirants and coaching different mooting aspirants.
How was your college life like? What bent you towards Humanities?
My College life was unusual. I used to attend lectures and return back to home, as I was a day scholar. I participated in the college events, but very few.
Initially, it was sociology subject that made me bend towards liking humanities. Later on, subjects like constitutional law, juvenile justice and many more, made me understand that I can do something for the society.
I knew, it’s really very hard to make someone win inside a courtroom, but I also knew that I can impart such legal knowledge to them, so that I can make them win easily, because I believe, to make a person learn law and help others is better than making a client win for some money.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What incidents do you perceive as your failures?
Strengths: Optimistic, Patience, Hardworking, Honest
Weakness: Emotional, Can’t lie
I believe failure is delay, not defeat. I worked hard for getting into NLIU and I was placed in waiting list in my first attempt. Since, there was no guidance and even I couldn’t see any options anymore, I felt like, it was all over.
But I took this failure as my strength, worked hard and was placed in the merit. I must say, dream with open eyes and keep chasing them, they do come true and the real failure in life is failing to try.
What do you like best about teaching at Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth?
I like teaching criminal law-IPC. It’s one of my favorite laws. The best thing I like in IPC is that I can connect students with the present scenario of crimes and let them decide what’s right and wrong.
This is because they are the future of India, and Padhega India tabhi to Badega India.
What is the best thing about being a Professor of law subjects? And what’s the worst?
The best thing is that I am doing a job of a responsible citizen. I am making an attempt of transformation of a laymen into a lawmen. And yes, when students follow you, trust you, raise doubts and follow your answer, it’s the best part of teaching.
Worst I can say is not as such a part of teaching as there is no selfish motive (or any mala fide motive for that matter) behind being a teacher. As a teacher, no one can expect from students because when you expect and people won’t turn up, it’s the worst part.
What are your current research interests? Have you involved your students in your research?
As such I am more into International Law research things, but presently I have some other engagements, so the research work is paused for the moment.
I don’t involve students in my research rather I get involved in their research as a helping hand for them.
Do you think students should behave the professors like friends, or is it necessary to maintain a disciplined environment to create a good classroom environment?
I believe, students should be treated like friends, because you can make them understand the concepts easily as a friend whereas if you create a line in between, it will create a distance and the hesitation will not be removed.
But yes, the decency and the decorum should be maintained on both parts.