FTII deadlock: Rahul Gandhi may visit campus

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.  

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in a gesture of solidarity with the agitating students later this week, according to Congress sources in Delhi.

According to reports from Mr. Gandhi's office, he is eager to lend his support to the students demanding the removal of TV actor-turned-BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan, the controversially appointed chairperson of the FTII governing council, and four other members on grounds that they utterly lacked "creative credentials".

According to a Congress leader in Pune, the Central government — as represented by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) — was diverting the real issue by getting an FIR lodged against students based on complaints from an FTII staffer who himself had a dubious record.

"At the same time, other local Right-wing outfits have entered the fray by stepping up their attacks against the students and shoring up the support for Gajendra Chauhan," said the Congress leader, requesting anonymity.

Earlier, the FTII Students' Association (FSA) had repudiated Congress' claims by clarifying that they had not 'invited' Mr. Gandhi, but had written to MPs cutting across party lines to apprise them of the crisis while articulating the reasons as to why the students were protesting.

At the same time, in their letter to Mr. Gandhi, the FSA president Harishankar Nachimuthu had requested the Congress vice-president to take up the students' issue in a manner similar to that of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT-Madras. The ban on the Dalit students' body, Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) was finally revoked after a storm of controversy with Mr. Gandhi attacking the NDA government over the issue.

"Yes, it is true we have referenced the issue [Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle] in the letter to Mr. Gandhi, but we have not sought his intervention alone. We seek the support of every MP to resolve the crisis. We seek support across a broad political front," Mr. Nachimuthu had said.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:01:51 PM |

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