Travel begins and ends in Delhi. This ABA-approved program starts with a private tour of Parliament. Next, we travel from the Indian plains through majestic countryside up into the foothills of the Himalayas to the city of Shimla. There we settle into our classes and activities, against a backdrop of the Himalayas, rising high in the skies to the north. Our goal is to explore India by studying a rich panoply of legal, cultural and human rights issues.
Shimla, the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, is perched on a pine-covered ridge at an altitude of approximately seven thousand feet. During the middle of the nineteenth century, Shimla became the summer capital of India, chosen by the British Viceroy as a respite from the heat of Delhi. Its cool, clean mountain air and breathtaking scenery make it an enviable place to spend the summer. The location offers many opportunities for spectacular scenic and educational excursions, including the High Court of the State of Himachal Pradesh, only steps away from our hotel. Students have many opportunities to observe or participate in Indian social, cultural and law-related activities as we immerse ourselves in the kaleidoscope of Indian culture.
From Shimla we climb through spectacular mountain roads for two-and-a-half weeks of study in Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and the residence of the Dalai Lama. In Dharamsala we will have the opportunity to observe Tibetan culture, visit monasteries and temples and focus on issues of international human rights. A summer law program in India is very timely given the pressing need to study and understand cultures and legal systems in other parts of the world, particularly Asia. India, with close to one-sixth of the world’s population, is a singularly important country to study, offering a 5,000-year history alongside a modern, boisterous, vibrant democracy. Understanding its legal, political and cultural progress will also provide insight into the issues faced by other developing countries around the world.
India is a vast, majestic country and, to many western eyes, mysterious, ancient and exotic. Many Americans have only vague impressions of India, distorted by stereotypes and mythology. Within our law schools, the law of India has gone unstudied and unexplored. We would like to change that. We invite you to join us as we travel up into the foothills of the Himalayas and seek to discover India!