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Hail Harry, hail Heritage!

The chairs of the Harry Potter committee at Model UN hosted by The Heritage School. Picture by Arnab Mondal

Minerva McGonagall to Manmohan Singh, everyone made themselves heard at the Model United Nations (MUN) hosted by The Heritage School.

Four committees discussed and debated on subjects ranging from the women’s reservation bill to the Palestine crisis and border intrusion to whether Harry Potter was lying about Voldemort.

An audio message from Lord Voldemort proved that the Dark Lord is back and he demands that Lucius Malfoy replace Cornelius Fudge as the Minister of Magic, thus deliberated the Confluence of Guardians Committee in what could have been a scene from any Potter book or film.

The question raised was: Is Harry Potter an attention-seeking 14-year-old who is lying? “Since most of us are Harry geeks, this was an exciting experience for us. We had to read the books again and also did some reading on the Net,” said the chairperson of the committee, Advay Pal, a Class XII student at the host school.

The delegates of this committee got into the skin of the character they played and one of them even cast a Sonorus spell to amplify his voice. Pundrikaksh Sharma, who gave his Class XII exam from DPS Ruby Park this year, was chosen the best delegate of the committee. “I was Lucius Malfoy. We were actually playing out the politics of the story which made this committee by far the most interesting one,” he said.

While in one room McGonagall and Dolores Umbridge had a heated debate, a very vocal Manmohan Singh engaged in a war of words with Arun Jaitley in the next room. The 15th Lok Sabha Committee had on its agenda the women’s reservation bill. The members deliberated upon the topic for one-and-a-half days before passing the bill. Border intrusion was also discussed at length.

“Initially, we were following the norms of the Lok Sabha but then we decided to open the forum for debates and discussions. This was my first MUN as a chair and I was very nervous because I have ‘MUNed’ with most of the delegates of my committee earlier. I learnt a lot about organising and damage control,” said the chairperson of the committee Priyadarshini Mukherjee, Class XII, The Heritage School.

For the delegates, the MUN was a wonderful platform to test their oratory and reasoning skills. “I was delegate A.K. Anthony but Manmohan Singh and the Gandhis backstabbed me and created such a situation that I had to resign and walk out. I came back as Arun Jaitley and joined the committee once again,” said Ved Mehta of Class XI at St. James’ School, happy to win his first best delegate award on his birthday.

The host students made sure the MUN had no dull moments. If Voldemort was sending audio clips to one committee, locals of Burma were walking into another to discuss the Rohingya crisis. “The delegates handled it with utmost sensitivity,” said the chairperson of the committee, Shreyash Goyal of Class XII.

The best delegate of the Burma committee, Prithviraj Ghosh, who passed out of DPS Ruby Park this year, found the quality of debate “exciting”. “I have been to many MUNs but this was brilliant. I was the delegate from the US and proposed constitutional reforms in Burma to recognise the Rohingyans and give them minority status,” he said.

The largest committee in terms of number of delegates was the UN General Assembly. It was blend of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Deep Bhattacharya of Class XII at DPS Newtown enjoyed the quick and interesting sessions and constant updates. “We also had veto rights. The chairs were extremely competent and the ambience was wonderful,” said the delegate of Russia.

Principal Seema Sapru applauded the efforts of her students. “The entire experience was intellectually stimulating and it was one enjoyable merry-go-round.”