Delhi

FTII row: As Chauhan gears up to take charge, students vow to continue protest ahead of key meeting

With a key meeting of the reconstituted Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Society to settle contentious affairs scheduled to take place today, agitating students have announced their decision to continue to resist the appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman.

A statement issued by the FTII Students’ Association (FSA) on Wednesday demanded that “authorities put the FTII society in abeyance and set a process for the further appointments” since it was a question of students’ academics. It further said that the appointments of the four Sangh Parivar propagandists - Anagha Ghaisas, Narendra Pathak, Rahul Solapurkar and Shailesh Gupta – in the FTII Society would continue to be resisted.

Censuring the Ministry’s apathy over the matter, the FSA said that “despite the Ministry realizing that these are not the best appointments for the premier film school of the country, no rethinking had happened on the issue.”

“Higher education in the country should be free from all sort of political interference,” said the statement.

Mr. Chauhan will be seen on the FTII campus for the first time since the protracted strike against his appointment began in June last year, to culminate in an epic and bitter 139-day face-off between the students and the Information and Broadcasting (I & B) Ministry in October.

While Mr. Chauhan is expected to formally take over after the meeting, persistent doubts remain whether he will head the academic council of India’s premier centre for film studies.

Earlier, residual tensions between restive students, who threatened to disrupt the Ministry’s ‘prestige’ event, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in November and the authorities had led the wary Ministry to hold back the meeting of the reconstituted FTII society for more than a month.

Following the termination of the strike last in October - the longest in the history of the institution since its inception in 1961 – the students, while returning to their classes, had vowed to continue the agitation against Mr. Chauhan’s appointment in a ‘democratic way’.

The students had said they would not hold further parleys with the I&B ministry until the appointments of Mr. Chauhan was revoked.

Meanwhile, protest graffiti on the FTII campus walls was cleaned off in anticipation of today’s meeting.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 2:47:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/FTII-row-As-Chauhan-gears-up-to-take-charge-students-vow-to-continue-protest-ahead-of-key-meeting/article13984918.ece

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