“Harry Potter” and One Fan’s Call to Social Activism

Former Wands Up San Diego organizer Chandrika Moka was recently interviewed by USC Annenberg Media. She spoke on her love for the books as well as how she sees the series as a call to do good in the world.

To start, Moka spoke about how Harry Potter influenced her as a child. She related very well to Hermione Granger, saying that one of the most important lessons she learned from the series came from the character.

It was really refreshing to read about Hermione who was a nerd, who was a bookworm and spent half her time in the library. And I was that person.

You could still be a strong and independent woman even if your most favorite companions are books.

Moka also answered the question of how the series helped her respond to oppression and other issues present in our current political environment. Moka said that growing up in the social order of India, her family would have been considered the real-world equivalent of pure-bloods. She was born into privilege.

When you’re on the privileged side, you don’t necessarily see the oppression that you are maybe unknowingly doing in your day-to-day life.

Moka goes on to say that her role was reversed when she came to America. She could now see the opposite side of privilege and the effect it has on either side.

Her final thoughts were on social activism within the Harry Potter fandom.

When you grow up with these books, when you read them, you take the lessons that are based on your age and what’s around you. That why our meetup did what we did.

We started progressing into activism because we wanted to take something more from our beloved text than just personal life lessons and having J.K. Rowling start charities like Lumos gives us a direction.

If you live in the San Diego area, check out the group’s Meetup page here.

Hannah Howard

I am a proud Hufflepuff and am completely captivated by the Wizarding World. I can typically be found on the couch working on articles with my laptop, my cat, and a cup of coffee.