AS
Ashok Dhamija, Supreme Court Advocate, Ex-IPS, Founder of chAnQya.com
Answered 11 months ago

This website chAnQya.com is open to everybody. People from other countries can freely join it. There is no restriction at all. Everybody is welcome.

In fact, when websites of other countries (including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Quora, etc.) can whole-heartedly welcome Indians, why should Indian websites not welcome people from other countries?

There are no national boundaries on the Internet. Even if one tries to put a national barrier on a website (such as by restricting access to a site within a country), people can easily use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) services to bypass such barrier. So, such restriction is not possible.

In fact, we should not even think of restricting people from other countries joining chAnQya.com.

Let me tell you from my past experiences of running some websites. I had my first website way back in 1995, within a month of Internet arriving in India. It was a simple website, but was one of the first 50 websites in India at that time. Since then, I have made several websites from time to time.

Even at present, I run a law portal (though I have not been able to pay sufficient attention to it for quite some time). It gets a decent number of visitors. You’ll be surprised to know that about 5% to 10% of the visitors on that site are from Pakistan. Many of them have asked me law-related questions in the free Forum on that site; and I have replied to them. Reason? Both India and Pakistan have had a common legal structure and many of our laws are common. Many of our pre-independence laws are still continuing in India, and so do they in Pakistan too.

So, a few visitors to that website from Pakistan insisted and requested me to reply to their legal queries pointing out that almost similar law was applicable in Pakistan and that the local lawyers in Pakistan were not helpful and there was no free law portal of that nature in Pakistan.

Frankly speaking, I happily obliged them. There are good people and there are bad people in every country.

Let me narrate one very interesting incident. About 5-6 years back, when I was working as a Special Counsel for the Government of India in the Supreme Court, there was one particular case that involved interpretation of a Punjab State Law, that was passed sometime in the year 1900 or so. There was an amendment made to that Act in 1923 or so. Despite my best efforts, I could not get details of that amendment from anywhere in India (including from Punjab). It was a rarely used Act. But, I needed that desperately, as the fate of that case depended on that particular amendment. Our Indian (Punjab) law merely showed the amended text, but did not show original text and the text of the amendment.

And, here I was in for a pleasant surprise. When I searched the Internet, I found a Pakistan website that had the same Act along with its full amendment text of 1923!!! I realized that Punjab province of Pakistan (we may call it West Punjab, for all practical purposes) still followed that British law.

I used extracts from that website and it helped me win that case in the Supreme Court.

The point I am trying to make is that there are no boundaries on the Internet and we can take knowledge from anywhere, from a website of any country. So, I have had some Pakistanis taking help from my site, and here I was taking help from a Pakistan website.

I am also tempted to point out one of my books (Need to Amend a Constitution and Doctrine of Basic Features) was extensively and approvingly quoted in a 17-judges bench of Pakistan Supreme Court. Yes. 17-judges bench! As per my information, it happens to be largest strength of a bench of Pakistan Supreme Court so far. To give a proper context, the largest bench of the India’s Supreme Court had a bench of 13 judges (on which half of my above book is based). To be more correct, a bench of 15 judges was in fact once constituted in Supreme Court to review the aforesaid 13-judges judgment, but it was deconstituted within a day or so, without fully hearing the matter.

So, knowledge has no boundaries. In particular, knowledge that is on the Internet. It is a give and take.

Thus, why should chAnQya.com be not open to people from other countries?

If you take care to notice, most of the Topics on chAnQya.com are relevant to most countries, such as those relating to Science, for example. So, there can definitely be questions and answers on these topics from people belonging to all countries. We must welcome that.

If an American website can get 25% of its traffic from India, why can’t an Indian website get its 25% or more traffic from USA?

In fact, there was a time (some 15 years back), when about 65% of traffic on my two (tech-related) websites used to come from US alone, about 13% from India, about 8% from UK, and about 3% from Pakistan, and the remaining from other countries. These are approximate figures of a few years’ combined traffic as they are hardwired in my mind.

So, we whole-heartedly welcome people from other countries to join chAnQya.com and enrich us with their knowledge, while also learning from Indian users.

About the Author:
AS
Ashok Dhamija
Supreme Court Advocate, Ex-IPS, Founder of chAnQya.com