FTII row: Pallavi Joshi quits in solidarity with students

Students protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the FTII governing council, at Shastri Bhavan, in New Delhi. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

With no resolution on the impasse that has paralysed the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) for more than three weeks now, noted actor Pallavi Joshi has stepped down from the FTII Society in an expression of solidarity with students agitating over the controversial appointment of TV actor-BJP politican Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of the institute’s governing council. 

Ms. Joshi, a prolific performer on television who has appeared in a string of noted art house as well as commercial films, has written to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of her decision to quit, terming it as “a principled stand.” 

“There is no point in continuing as member of the FTII Society if the students with whom I wanted to interact as future prospects of the film industry, are unhappy,” Ms. Joshi told a news wire on Monday. 

She further said she did not wish to see students enter the film industry with “half-baked knowledge”, obliquely echoing the students’ references to Mr. Chauhan’s questionable artistic credentials and vision in helming India’s premier film education centre.   

Ms. Joshi is the third member of the FTII society to follow suit after noted filmmaker Jahnu Barua and cinematographer Santosh Sivan had also written to I & B authorities saying they did not wish to be considered as members of the FTII society or its governing council. 

Meanwhile, with the students’ strike dragging on for 26 days, Mr. Chauhan stuck to his guns and refused to step down “on his own” even as parleys between the Ministry headed by Arun Jaitley and a 10-member FTII delegation led by noted filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli last week failed to make any headway. 

Stating he was shocked to note that the strike continued even during the discussions, Mr. Chauhan said that the students could not question the government’s right to appoint people to various posts as it funded the institute. 

“I urge students not to underestimate me. I will give them full freedom to vent their artistic expression as I am an artiste myself. At the same time, I urge students not to meddle in politics and resume their studies,” said Mr. Chauhan, remarking that he would not take charge till the agitation lasted.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:59:42 AM |

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