Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Mumbai University caves in to extremists
Mumbai University has removed a novel from its literature syllabus in response to demands and threats by extremists from a group called "Shiv Sena" - which apparently promotes the interests of the Marathi People. The novel is Rohinton Mistry's award-winning (and Booker listed) Such a Long Journey, first published in 1992. The university withdrew the book following a book-burning and a threat against the author's life. You might ask, "What was the university supposed to do?" Well, maybe, but this back-down seems to have happened at a point when there was little or no reason to fear for the safety of staff or students. I'm open to hearing more about the circumstances, but it doesn't sound good.