Mumbai Varsity cleared Mistry`s book without reading it: VC

The University of Mumbai`s panel cleared Rohinton Mistry`s novel `Such A Long Journey` for inclusion in the second year arts syllabus without even reading it, the university Vice-Chancellor said on Thursday.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 00:39 AM IST

Mumbai: The University of Mumbai`s panel
cleared Rohinton Mistry`s novel `Such A Long Journey` for
inclusion in the second year arts syllabus without even
reading it, the university Vice-Chancellor said on Thursday.

"The members of the Board of Studies in charge of
selecting and preparing the syllabus had not read Mistry`s
book before recommending it for the BA (English) syllabus,"
Rajan Welukar told agency here.
"I had a detailed discussion with the members of the
Board of Studies and I was told that they had not read the
book when they recommended it," he said.

The University later dropped the Bookers nominated novel
after Shiv Sena students` wing, led by Aditya Thackeray,
demanded it be dropped because it "poorly represented" the
saffron party.

It took just "two minutes" for the Board of Studies to
approve the book for the syllabus three years ago, but it took
"two hours" for dropping it from the syllabus last month, he
said.

"I informed Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Governor and
Chancellor of the Universities K Sankaranarayanan that none of
the members of the Board had read the book before approving
it," he said.

The VC said he did not understand why the issue became a
political one as "the exercise was undertaken purely in the
academic interest and for students interests."

Meanwhile, a senior member of the Bombay University and
College Teachers` Union said the board "should take
responsibility" for the inclusion of the novel.
The Board is a statutory body with six members, who are
department heads from colleges and one from the respective
department of the University.

The panel can also have two experts chosen by them from
outside. However, for syllabus preparation only three members
are chosen, university sources said.

PTI