Rohinton Mistry Novel Burned at Mumbai University

By Maryann Yin Comment

Rohinton Mistry’s novel Such a Long Journey has been pulled from a course syllabus and burned by students at a Mumbai university.

CBC News reported: “At the centre of the book ban is Aditya Thackeray, the 20-year-old grandson of the man who founded India’s nationalist party, Shiv Sena. In the book, Shiv Sena is portrayed as a party that uses violent tactics, implying that it can hire goons to rough up opponents. Thackeray reportedly discussed the book’s objectionable elements with fellow students at St. Xavier’s College, affiliated with the University of Mumbai, triggering the protest.”

Thackeray and his supporters feel that the book contains an unfair portrayal of India’s nationalist party and excessive sexual content. In response, the university’s faculty removed the novel from a list of optional texts in the school’s English program. A few days after the student demonstration, two dozen teachers banded together to protest the ban.

Mistry hails from India, but he is a long-time Canadian resident. He published his first collection of short stories in 1987, Tales from Firozsha Baag. The banned book in question, Such a Long Journey was his first novel. Mistry has gone on to write three more novels, A Fine Balance, Family Matters, and The Scream.