Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dumbledore’s Army & Rang De Basanti

As I was watching the latest Harry Potter flick, I couldn’t help but draw similarities a few key scenes in the movie had that with the current scenario we are facing in our education system. The movie opens with the resent day scenario that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry is facing. The Ministry of Magic – more of a governing body, is influencing & trying to make inroads into the way Hogwarts had been running so far. Intentional ignorance displayed by Ministry of Magic headed by Cornelius Fudge takes over reasoning of Albus Dumbledore. The Ministry’s growing influence can be seen as they manage to appoint a new teacher - Dolores Umbridge in Hogwarts. Parroting what Ministry has always believed in (that Lord Voldemort has not returned) she starts influencing the student community much to their discomfort. Though appointed as a defense against the dark arts teacher, she rather believes in giving theoretical lessons rather than practical as like her ministry, she believes that the text book curriculum would be sufficient for the students who are made to live in a make believe world sans Lord Voldermort. However Harry Potter, the rebel amongst the students is not happy and when he protests, he gets punished. But to practically prepare students against the dark lord, he starts an underground organization called as Dumbledore’s Army. This organization prepares the students, secretly to tackle against the evil forces.

Compare this with the times in which we live today. The growing ‘controversial’ intervention of Ministry of Magic – which in our case is the HRD Ministry, can be seen in all spheres of education these days. Right from conflicting views on sex education in books to different interpretations of religious scriptures, the list goes on. The Ministry’s plan to ‘plant’ their own directors in IIMs by releasing a recruitment ad in leading new dailies for the post is so Hogwarts like scenario. Imagine if the Ministry succeeds in their latest plan to have a controlling say in IIMs. The directors appointed by Ministry would obviously come with a predefined propaganda which would besides other things include a say on the implementation of increased quota system – a pet ‘project’ of HRD Ministry. Already the Ministry’s plan is getting stiff resistance from our modern day Dumbledore’s Army – the students, who have united to make themselves heard. But sadly, unlike Harry & his band, they don’t have much of ‘magical’ powers to resist against the dark forces of the Ministry. Whatever resistances the students have tried to put have got crushed down by the powerful forces controlled by the Ministry alliances (read police). It wouldn’t be too long when a few from these Dumbledore’s Army would go underground and do a ‘Rang De Basanti’ on the dark forces from the Ministry. Will it solve the purpose? Probably no, but it would rattle the Ministry enough to think twice before venturing out with their vicious plans.

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