A few hours back I was going through a blog of a friend and I came across his recent post in which he has written about how a member of the Thackeray clan, Aditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray walking on his ancestral footsteps, forced the prestigious St.Xaviers college, Mumbai to stop prescribing to a book because he felt that this particular book is not worthy and suitable to be taught at the college.
Just for the records it was not a cheap publication that are available at the numerous book stalls on the railway station of Dadar. The book is titled “ Such a long journey” written by the well known writer Rohinton Mistry. It was first published in 1991 and was nominated for the Bookers and won many recognition including the “ Common wealth writers prize”. In 2007-2008, it was prescribed for the BA ( English) course in Mumbai university. And since then it is being taught there. It is a novel about how a family go about their daily life.
But one fine day a boy who is still struggling with the pull and push of attaining puberty, decided that he has to do something to gain some media attention as he was about to start his political career and add more stench to the already nauseous gutters of “India’s secular politics”. As he was considerate enough to not to resort to use of sticks and swords, he decided to go after “Such a long Journey”.
This guy, Aditya has nothing much to write about him. He is a student of the same college from where Rohinton passed out. And by gods grace he has also managed to churn out a collection of poems which he has aptly named “Black and White”.
Its noteworthy to mention that when Rohinton Mistry was penning down the lines of his book, this dude was probably wetting his nappies while listening to the gory achievements of his father and grand father post 1992 bomb blast.
But then creativity and hooliganism runs deep in this family. His father is a photographer, his grand father too is a cartoonist and his uncle as we all know is a painter. So it was but obvious that Aditya too would inherit this creativity and this rogue character. So, I don’t blame him.
This Thackeray feels that the book talks about the Shiv Sena in a negative sense. As far as he is concerned no other reason is required. If the Thackerays don’t like something ; then they don’t like it. And he issues a dictum 'banning' the book. Simple as that.
I won’t talk or write much about Mr. Poet Thackeray because as much as I know this guy by now has gained enough media coverage and I am sure the sycophants Barati around him would add more color and push him more towards the sky for his success in losing his virginity of hooliganism. He passed his debut test of showing his strength without a blood being shed and a office being vandalized.
Welcome to the world of right is might Mr.Black and White . But as a friendly advice, keep writing heart rendering emotional poems, for you have to show the people that you have a tender side too; just like the other members of your clan.
But I would like to comment on the audacity on the part of the university officials. I mean I just can’t stop admiring their ‘bravery’. They just couldn’t stand a college teen hooligan because he was from the notorious Thackeray clan and was going to start his own group of activist , which he has proudly christened “Yuva sena” . This sena will see to it that India’s cultural value or more specifically Marathi culture is not vandalized, burnt or destroyed.
I would like to commend people on their maturity for still regarding the Sena as a political entity. My immaturity suggests that it ceased to a political party long back. I always thought it was a bunch of mentally deranged goons who had decided to conglomerate on one fine day and start a party. Post the 1992 riots my inexperienced mind told me that soon this ‘party’ will disappear from the political scene of India. But as I now see, I was a fool then.
I was in a good mood today as I watched India successfully concluded the Common wealth games. I was enjoying every moments as I felt goose bumps when the army contingent played the band and I was ‘liking’ every facebook status that my friends were posting about the success of the CWG.
But then reality dawned and I realized that still we are what we were. Still we fear some Hindu clans and still we bow too their fancies without even taking a ‘token’ stand.
I have friends in Maharastra and they are much more forward and liberal than me and they are more into activism than me but I just can’t find questions to my answer that why they keep tight-lipped when they should speak.
I am not in Mumbai, many of us are not. But those who are in Mumbai why don’t they say that “ Ok you may not like whats written in the book but that doesn’t give you the right to destroy it”. Is it that difficult thing to make people understand? Does that require too much of courage?
Is being called ‘Bhartiya’ sounds more derogatory than taking pride in being called a Marathi manoos, UP ke Bhaiya aur Tamil Nadu ka Mallu.
You have to decide that , not those bunch of goons who pride themselves in hurting and destroying everything that doesn’t please them.
Its not Marathi manoos at stake, its your freedom to oppose tyranny and to speak your mind out thats the burning question right now.