Sushant Sinha’s lonely crusade

A computer scientist at Michigan created a website to make the law accessible to every Indian. Over a decade later, he is still waging his one-man war.

It was the Mercedes parked outside his home that raised his suspicions. No one he knew well enough to invite home had a Mercedes. It was late one muggy monsoon evening in 2013, and he had just returned from work.

Climbing the stairs to his apartment, he tried to recall if he had scheduled any appointments. He couldn’t remember any. Who could it be? Why hadn’t they called? What was so pressing that they could not wait until the next morning? Why did they have to show up at his home?

To his relief, it was an unthreatening couple in their 50s. But let’s take a step back here. Two strangers had not only found his address, but they had also come home unannounced and were waiting for him in his living room.

For the work he does, Sushant Sinha gets threats by the bucketload. Sinha started Indian Kanoon in 2008, while he was pursuing his PhD at the University of Michigan, to make the law accessible to every Indian. In the last 12 years, his experimental project has become his career. And throughout all of this, it has just been him. Alone. Fighting the good fight. 

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Illustration by Swati Addanki.


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