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Has Mumbai University erred in banning Mistry's book?

October 13, 2010 18:07 IST

The recent 'public act of chauvinism' by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's grandson Aditya Thackeray, which led to the Bombay University dropping Rohinton Mistry's 1990-Booker nominated novel Such a Long Journey from the second year Bachelor of Arts syllabus, has raised many eyebrows.

Aditya Thackeray, 20, a third year student of History at the prestigious St Xavier's College in Mumbai, believes the novel, 'which carried certain derogatory passages against Shiv Sena,' doesn't deserve to be learnt by students. 

The university bowed to Aditya's wish and issued notices to all colleges to drop the novel from the syllabus, regardless of the fact that it was mid-term, and papers for the first semester were being set.

Mumbai, of course, is no stranger to bans on books -- but the fact that the latest instance is at the behest of a college student makes one wonder at the city's commitment to freedom.

Has Mumbai well and truly lost its reputation for liberalism? Has the university erred in proscribing a critically acclaimed novel -- its students' loss entirely? Tell us!

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