20 October 2010

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Such a long Journey a book by Rohinton Mistry Cut short, Banned indirectly by Shiv Sena, supported by Congress. Why Banned ? Who is Rohinton Mistry ?

Such a long Journey a book by Rohinton Mistry Cut short, Banned indirectly by Shiv Sena, supported by Congress. Why Banned ? Who is Rohinton Mistry ?

Updated on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is this Murder of Freedom of speech –?

So what is the story, what happened in this case of “such a long Journey “by Rohinton Mistry?
Why Mr.Mistry Booker prize nominated book, 'Such a Long Journey', was banned by the Mumbai University or dropped by Mumbai University from its curriculum.

Mistry’s novel has been around for 20 years and has been taught in colleges for three.

The Governor General's Award-winning book, made into a film in 1998, was added to the university reading list four years ago.

Such a Long Journey, was published in 1991, it won the Governor General's Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award.

It was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize and for the Trillium Award.
It has been translated into German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Japanese, and has been made into the 1998 film Such a Long Journey.

The book was prescribed for the second year Bachelor of Arts (English) in 2007-08 as an optional text, according to University sources

Quote Rohinton Mistry - A political party demanded an immediate change in syllabus, and Mumbai University provided deluxe service via express delivery
Mistry has suggested that young Aditya Thackeray should read Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, “Where the mind is without fear”

Mr. Mistry's second novel Such a Long Journey was removed from Mumbai University's literature syllabus following threats from the Shiv Sena.

Shiv Sena is a political party in India, which orders and government of India obeys them.
Shiv Sena, everyone fears them.
Shiv Sena has a reputation for taking a violent stand against events in Mumbai and Maharashtra that it does not approve of.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan justified the Mumbai University's decision to withdraw Rohinton Mistry's novel 'Such a Long Journey' on the grounds that it contained "very bad language".

Mr Chavan - like many other politicians who have spoken on the issue - said that he had not read the book

Chavan said the book was not introduced into university syllabus according to laid-down procedures. "Rules prescribe that the book has to be first approved by the syllabus committee and later by the board of studies.
In this case, it appears that while the book was never placed before the syllabus committee, it was approved by the board of studies in a few minutes,"

Yes if this is the case then what action government is taking on the people who passed this book without following government rules?

According to the Shiv Sena Such a Long Journey book makes disparaging comments about Shiv Sena and people of Mumbai.

Shiv Sena gave following reasons for banning the book.
Following are some reasons to ban the book for studies -

1. As Sena claimed, the book carried highly abusive and objectionable remarks and languages.

2. The book portrayed Shiv Sena in a poor light that uses violent tactics, implying that it can hire goons to rough up opponents and it carried objectionable remarks against its supremo, Bal Thackeray.

3. Sena also pointed out to some of its objectionable portion, where it talked about male erections, and scenes in brothels.

4. The party also felt that the book is offensive to the people in Maharashtra and has abusive references to dabbawalahs, a class of delivery men who carry lunch boxes to city workers, which hurt the mentality of the "Marathi manoos" (Marathi people) and Pandit Nehru.

5. Another reason behind the decision was that the book is based on an actual event, the Nagarwala case, where Mistry impersonated Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi to withdraw sums of money from a bank.

Rajan Weluka, the university's vice-chancellor, withdrew the book, which was first published in 1992, after Shiv Sena party members burned copies of it in front of television cameras and threatened to burn the author too if he returned from Canada where he now lives.

If you know Indian Penal Code, one should understand here which law has been broken.
But did not hear Police Department took any action.

In Maharashtra it is unwritten rule that if Shiv Sena is unhappy about your work then you should run away from Maharashtra or stop that work, send them apology letter otherwise you will feel the heat of their anger.
Example – Colors Television channel sent an apology letter to Shiv Sena for giving work to the Pakistani artist.
The Big Boss 4 Television serial failed may be this is reason, colors television sent an apology letter to Shiv Sena to get publicity

What is the story line of book, Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry?

The novel focuses on a struggling bank clerk Gustad Noble in the city's Parsee community who becomes embroiled in a dubious financial scheme and local politics during Indira Gandhi's rule as prime minister.
It holds a mirror throughout his life of Mumbai in the early 1970s.
Such a Long Journey sees India's crisis with Pakistan in 1971 and the corruption of the Gandhi regime

The book contains observations about the Shiv Sena - sometimes in conversations and sometimes in narrative

Like Shiv Sena style, with this book ban, Shiv Sena Party brought Aditya Thackeray into main politics.
May be banning a book was a launch pad for Aditya Thakeray.
Aditya Thackeray, the head of Sena's youth wing, Yuva Sena, raised voice against the book and demanded for its withdrawn from the university syllabus and within a short time University authority approved their demands.
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray's son Aditya, a final-year Arts student at St. Xavier's College, has managed to get Rohinton Mistry's novel "Such A Long Journey" withdrawn from the syllabus.

Reality views by sm –

Uneducated people burn the books, others read it and if do not like book ,inform the author and if got intelligence then write a counter book exposing wrong things contained or mentioned in the book.

No one has got right to ban a book, if you do not like it, do not read it .do not purchase it

Remember this type of behavior can become Talibani behavior any time

Short Information about Mistry –
Who is Rohinton Mistry ?
Rohinton Mistry was born in 1952 in Bombay, India, of Parsi descent.
He earned a B. A. in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Bombay (Ross).
In 1975, at the age of 23, he immigrated to Canada where he studied at the University of Toronto and received a B. A. in English and Philosophy

Following is the list of Awards and recognition won by Rohinton Mistry.

1.1983 First Prize, Hart House Literary Contest: "One Sunday" (short story) (Hart House Review)

2.1984 First Prize, Hart House Literary Contest: "Auspicious Occasion" (short story) (Hart House Review)

3.1985 Annual Contributors' Prize, Canadian Fiction Magazine

4.1991 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist): Such a Long Journey

5.1991 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction: Such a Long Journey

6.1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book): Such a Long Journey

7.1992 Books in Canada First Novel Award: Such a Long Journey

8.1995 Giller Prize: A Fine Balance

9.1996 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist): A Fine Balance

10.1996 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book): A Fine Balance

11.1997 Irish Times International Fiction Prize (shortlist): A Fine Balance

12.2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) (shortlist): Family Matters

13.2002 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize (joint winner with Pascal Khoo Thwe): Family Matters

14.2002 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist): Family Matters

Following are the few names of the books which suffered in India and Maharashtra.
Did not enjoy freedom of speech, a constitutional right.
•Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses,
•BR Ambedkar’s Riddles of Rama and Krishna,
•James Laine’s Shivaji
•Taslima Nasrin’s Lajja
•Javier Moro’s novel, The Red Saree

Updated on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rohinton Mistry is among 13 authors shortlisted for the prestigious USD 96,070 Man Booker International Prize
The shortlisted authors were picked from eight countries and there are four women in the list.
The nominations were announced by the chair of judges, Rick Gekoski, today at a media conference held at the University of Sydney.
The other contenders are Juan Goytisolo (Spain), James Kelman (UK), Amin Maalouf (Lebanon), David Malouf (Australia), Dacia Maraini (Italy), Philip Pullman (UK), Marilynne Robinson (US), Philip Roth (US) and Anne Tyler(US).

The Prize winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers' Festival on May 18 and the presentation ceremony will take place in London on June 28.


Sathish Chandrasekaran (சதீஷ் சந்திரசேகரன்) October 20, 2010  

I'm definitely reading this book along with the list u gave at the end :)

sm,  October 20, 2010  

R. Ramesh,,

sm,  October 20, 2010  


Anonymous,  October 20, 2010  

Very well researched and informative post!

The Shiv Sena has its sights on the upcoming elections of the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation.

The protests against the book by the Shiv Sena are mostly a ploy to stay in the limelight. Also, as you have mentioned, an issue to launch the political career of the 'rising son'.

sm,  October 20, 2010  


Amrit October 21, 2010  

As usual very well written. Now I will read this book.

Is something missing between 5th and 6th paragraphs - paragraph ending 'four years ago' and next one starts with 'novel..'

sm,  October 21, 2010  

Novel - Such a long journey won
is correct, have to remove novel word or put the dash and make novel first letter capital.

nothing is missing, just my mistake when i edited it.

BK Chowla, October 21, 2010  

Did any one object when "RED SARI" was under controversy?
Let us stop adopting double standards.

sangeeta October 22, 2010  

This is really a talibani behavior and the irony is that the illiterate people are set to burn books ...simply unfortunate. It should stop .
Haven't read any if Mistry's books but this book was on my list . Must find it now.

sm,  October 22, 2010  

BK Chowla,,
In a past someone was not punish for some crime, this does not give right to any person to commit crime in future and say, hey C has done crime last 60 years, so i S will do the same.
Regarding Saree book also this debate happened and everyone forgot it.

In both cases freedom of speech was affected, but in this both cases also there is lot of difference.
Here the book is accepted and valid from last 3 or 4 years , one day some one thinks the book is not good so it is banned indirectly.

sm,  October 22, 2010