The Harry Potter series has always been an amazing conversation starter among lovers of books and movies. Many fans often say that they would make sure their kids also read and watch the series when they come of age.
I was, like a few other people, an exception. I wasn’t someone who loved the series. Never quite understood what was amazing or different about a fantasy drama where ‘good’ fights ‘evil’. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was holding onto it or wanted the books to be on their kids’ reading list.
A few days ago, I decided to find out what exactly I was missing out on. I watched all the Harry Potter movies back to back, and that’s when it hit me. The first thing I noticed was the Quidditch match, nothing much if you look at the game. There were rules and teams, just like any other game. What was different was the fact that there weren’t separate teams for girls and boys, they were all on the same team! In times, when we are discussing feminism, J K Rowling portrayed gender equality in one stroke.
Another thing that stands out is how Harry, even though he grew in a not a very loving home was always a very kind person. He never wanted anyone to get hurt because of him. Kindness, for Harry, came from within. Even though, as we find out later, a part of Voldemort always lived within Harry (Harry being the Horcrux Voldemort never meant to create), he always fought the dark forces and never allowed the ‘Voldemort’ inside him to take over his conscience.
A theme/message that was central in all the books was love. When Voldemort killed Lily and James Potter and tried to kill Harry but failed, it was because he was protected by love, something that even Voldemort couldn’t break through.
Harry and all his friends and most of his teachers fought not for only half-bloods, muggles or for the magical community but for the larger cause of justice and the freedom to be what one wanted to be, to ensure that the magical community accepted one and all. They didn’t put people under categories or in boxes.
Friendships played a major role throughout the series. Harry chose Ron as a friend, right in the beginning and knew better than to befriend Malfoy. The friendship that Lupin, Sirius, Potter and Pettigrew shared also had a lot to say about loyalty.
Introducing Harry Potter in the curriculum would be a good idea. It will help kids understand crucial things about friendship, love, the importance of being kind, etc.