University vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar has become everyone’s favourite whipping boy. The anger towards him stems from the perception that he is instrumental in banning Rohinton Mistry’s at the behest of Shiv Sena youth leader Aditya Thackeray. But what has been completely overlooked is that none of the board members, who had permitted dropping the text, had any idea of what it was all about. Nobody had read the book.
In fact, the book found itself in the syllabus by chance. During the course of a discussion, one of the members suggested that Parsis had contributed richly to Mumbai. Since the author belongs to the same community, why not have his works in the syllabus? And it was accepted. When the Sena’s youth wing raised an objection, it was withdrawn as members realised they would land in trouble if the truth was exposed. The question is not if the V-C met Thackeray. The bigger concern is the casual way in which the University board functions.