Rohinton Mistry's novel removed from syllabus

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 04, 2010 11:40 hrs

Mumbai, Oct 4 (IANS) Following protests by the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS), students' wing of the Shiv Sena, the University of Mumbai has withdrawn Rohinton Mistry's 1990 Booker-nominated novel 'Such A Long Journey' from its B.A. syllabus, a university official said Monday.

BVS leader Aditya Thackeray, grandson of Siva Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, had convened a party meeting at the Sena Bhavan following complaints from some B.A. students about 'anti-Shiv Sena passages' in the novel. The Vidyarthi Sena protests started after the meeting.

'We have come up with a circular mentioning that there are objectionable contents in the book and hence it is taken off the syllabus,' a top university official said.

Mistry's novel was included in the B.A. English curriculum in 2007.

'It is strange that it has been used till today. Some of the pages, especially 72 and 75 have extremely obscene and vulgar language. A few other pages have mentioned Shiv Sena in a bad light,' said BVS secretary Dinesh Bobate.

BVS members had earlier burnt copies of the novel.

'We had also appealed to Rajan Welukar, vice chancellor of the university, to remove the book from the syllabus, which he agreed to when he went through the contents of the book,' Bobate said.

Bobate said that the vice chancellor had also asked for an explanation from the concerned board that suggests books to be included in the curriculum.

Welukar, however, refused to comment.

'Such A Long Journey' tells the story of Gustad Noble, a Byculla-born Parsi, and his personal struggle with what is right and wrong.