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When the pujas come Rowling in

The organisers should have realised that Brand India is on a roll now and with all eyes on India, they would need a magic wand to escape the Dementors of Ms Rowling.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2007 01:42 IST

Globalisation and market integration have its pitfalls, the Left kept warning us repeatedly. And we ignored it. And now look who’s paying for not listening: Calcuttans, and that too just days before Durga Puja. Puja organisers in the FD block of Salt Lake have been issued a notice by the Delhi High Court that points to a suit that has been filed against them by ‘JK Rowling and others’ for violating the Indian Copyright Act. And here’s why: the organisers have constructed a pandal that resembles the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — you know, Harry Potter’s school of magic. To make it more realistic, a mock steam engine like the Hogwarts Express was being built next to it. Greeting one at the cave-like entry, the plan was to have covers of Ms Rowling’s seven books and a range of magical creatures that Hogwarts’s gamekeeper Hagrid would have heartily approved of.



The organisers, who knew they had a sure-shot crowd-puller — and a money-spinner from the adjoining stalls — in hand, hiked the rates for setting up stalls and banners. Now, alas, they have been handed a Rs 20 lakh ‘compensation’ bill. The organisers should have realised that Brand India is on a roll now and with all eyes on India, they would need a magic wand to escape the Dementors of Ms Rowling. With puja webcasts and podcasts becoming as popular as pandal-hopping, these agents would have sniffed out the money-making opportunity sooner or later.



Having said that, we think it’s mighty unfair that well-meaning bhadraloks have landed up in such trouble just days before the pujas. But there is something that amazes us much more: doesn’t the Rowling camp know that there is something called co-branding in the world of business?