Harry Potter's Author Once Sued India's Puja Committee In Kolkata For $2 Million For Erecting Hogwarts-Themed Pandal; Read On
Did You Know? JK Rowling’s Team Once Sued A Puja Committee In Kolkata For 2 Million For Erecting Harry Potter-Themed Pandal ( Photo Credit – Facebook ; Harry Potter Poster )

Harry Potter film series, which is based on British author JK Rowling’s novel of the same name, enjoys a massive fan following throughout the world. In India too, the franchise is quite popular and an entire generation is calling themselves as ‘Potterheads’.

The last part of the franchise was released in 2011 but fan following has not died down yet. However, not many know that a puja committee in Kolkata went a step ahead and created a puja pandal based on the popular fantasy film franchise. The committee even landed in trouble for it.

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Back in 2007, in what can be called as a bizarre turn of events, the puja comittee in Kolkata had erected a massive structure in the shape of the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry to celebrate Durga Pujo. Interestingly, a statue of a Goddess Durga sitting on a lion stabbing the demon was also installed inside the pandal, reports Reuters. The organisers even had plans to include lifesized models of the bespectacled Potter and his companions.

British author JK Rowling’s team and Warner Brothers, who control the rights to the series in India, sued the community group in Kolkata for breach of copyright. They even sought 2 million rupees ($50,000) in compensation from the group members. Secretary of FD Block Puja Committee of Salt Lake, Santanu Biswas also said to the news agency, “We had no clue that we had to seek permission from the author. Our lawyer in Delhi will appear before the court tomorrow to explain our stand.”

It is also worth pointing out that the structure resembling the Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry was estimated to be made around 1.2 million rupees ($30,000) at that time. The structure was almost completed and a mock steam engine train was also being constructed next to it, to resemble Hogwarts Express.

Santanu Biswas then said, “We did not have any commercial motive behind this. The immense popularity of Harry Potter prompted us to choose this as a theme to get more footfalls for our pandals. If they are still not satisfied, we will dismantle the pandal.” However, the committee was eventually given a green flag (a one-time exemption) to go ahead with the celebrations by the court.

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