Aditya Thackeray, the head of Sena's youth wing, Yuva Sena, raised voice against the book and demanded for its withdrawn from the university syllabus and within a short time University authority approved their demands.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 showed several reasons behind their protests. Followings are some reasons:
- As Sena claimed, the book carried highly abusive and objectionable remarks and languages.
- 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.
- Sena also pointed out to some of its objectionable portion, where it talked about male erections, scenes in brothels.
- 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.
- 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.
Criticising the book, Aditya said, "The book used foul language against many things that we, in Mumbai, hold close to our hearts. Most importantly, I think, opinions and facts should be treated differently."
However, criticising the University's decision, Vispi Balaporia, former chairperson of the BOS claimed, "The book is a work of fiction and you have to be true to the characters you portray. It reflects what the characters think and not what the author thinks. Why can't the protesters understand the difference."
'Such a Long Journey' is based on 1971 Bombay, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unraveling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father"s ambitions for him.
He finds himself the unwilling participant in a dangerous government plot. He undertakes to be a protector of a retarded orphan living nearby. He faces all this while trying to be a responsible father and husband in order to live up to his idealized memory of his forebears.