Kolkata: Jadavpur University is all set to give the college goers of Kolkata the taste of the first ever Harry Potter event in the city. Alohomora: Unlock the Magic, a two-day event for the Potterheads of the city, has been designed to indulge in fun and soak in the Pottermania.
The students of the University have an agenda, very much like Harry Potter and his friends had in J. K. Rowling’s series.
Speaking to eNewsroom, Saranya Basu, one of the JU students, who has played a pivotal role in structuring the event said, “We at JU have tried to understand the significance of Harry Potter, in today’s world or rather India. We in university, are at an age where we are almost ready to enter the realm of adulthood, just like the trio from the book. Given the present situation, as we enter the space of higher education, we are realising that the autonomy of an educational institution is crucial to impact and influence its students. When this autonomy of the institution is at stake, is making us fight for it as we understand the message sent us in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – interference is never a policy.”
He then added, “This precisely is the inspiration behind our two-day event ALOHOMORA: Unlock the Magic.”
The event was born out of the need to analyse and express Harry Potter in the context of the endangered freedom of the educational institutions and of the people of India as a whole. They have even launched the Daily Scribe, the paper presentation event, which aims to highlight the issue of witch-burnings and witch-lynchings throughout history, and the intervention of government in the education system and its representation in the magical world as a reflection of our modern society.
Shutters, a photography competition, as part of the event aims to provide a platform to emerging photographers, as a means of expressing themselves, and what they perceive as magic. However, the event has been specifically designed to highlight the intervention of the authorities in the autonomy of an educational institution and destroying the hegemony of the political power that lies with the privileged few in the country today. Prisoner of the Azkaban will be screened to showcase the inspiration behind Alohomora.
Adding to that Shouvik Kumar Guha, assistant professor, National University of Juridical Sciences, who has recently introduced a law course based on Harry Potter said, “This is one of the biggest inject of high-quality creativity in the world of education. This out-of-the-box event will not just enthuse the students but will bring out the best of both the world.”
On being asked why now, he said, “This type of an event wouldn’t come from traditionalists. Creative thoughts can only come from youths. Given the fact that JU is a hub for such revolutionary concepts, it comes as no surprise that they have given a complete contemporary connect.”
On being asked about what type of events have been designed to engage the youth, Arup Mondal, from team Alohomora said, “At Jadavpur University, we believe that parley is the path to true democracy. Hence, we present two events, the W.A.S.P. – The Wizard’s Astonishingly Scintillating Parley and the Wizengamot—a simulation of a mock ministry, one that is poised to deal with the biggest threat they have faced in the recent past; the return of Voldemort. These two events take us straight to the heart of what is imperative to the ministry in the wake of the return of the Dark Lord; the absence of a consolidated leadership and how it affects a whole community.”
To add more vigour to the event, Quizzitch – quiz for the Potterheads, The Warlock’s Quest, a simulation of the eponymous Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a Quidditch match for the muggle players who have been disappointed at the lack of a Hogwarts acceptance letter and a way to play the best sport in the world.
So, if you are a Potterhead, dreaming of bringing about a change in the world around you, feel free to walk into the world of magic being recreated at JU on March 19 and 20. Just remember to say Alohomora, for the magic to unlock!