Protests against the University of Mumbai’s decision to drop Rohinton Mistry’s novel Such a Long Journey from the second year arts syllabus have gathered momentum, with more intellectuals, journalists and writers voicing their dissent.
Two students from a Bandra college have also launched a Facebook campaign on the issue.
Vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar dropped the book after the Shiv Sena, led by Aditya Thackeray, demanded it be dropped because it contained abusive language against his party and dabbawalas.
“The illegal omission of this book and the significance of the omission in cultural and moral terms is, I’m sure you realise, far more injurious to the city of Mumbai and to your students than any imagined offence contained within the purely fictional world of the novel,” said novelist Amit Chaudhuri in a letter to the VC.
Students have registered their protests online and a Facebook campaign by Sanket Bhatt, 20, and Shrinath Iyer, 23, from MPSPS College is gathering support.
“When we read about the issue, we knew something had to be done,” said Bhatt.
But the government is not moved.
“If we are seen as protecting the book, we will be portrayed as anti-Marathi,” said a minister.