Other States

After 139 days, FTII strike grinds to a frustrating halt

FTII Students Association were on a strike since June 11 demanding the removal Chairman Gajendra Chauhan and four FTII Society members.  

After a protracted and bitter face-off with government authorities over the contentious appointment of TV actor and BJP hack Gajendra Chauhan as the FTII chairperson, agitating students of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) on Wednesday brought their 139-day strike to a frustrating and anticlimactic end.

At an afternoon press conference,representatives of the FTII Students' Association (FSA) said they would be returning to their academics while remarking that a government which was highly insensitive to the problems of its students was "a regressive one".

The termination of the strike - the longest in the history of the institution since its inception in 1961 - comes eight days after a delegation of students met with Rajyawardhan Rathore, Minister of State (MoS),

Information & Broadcasting, to hold a fresh parley - the fifth in a month - to break the deadlock.

"Even after five rounds of talks, when the MoS says he does not have a mandate, then it only goes to show the apathy of this right-wing government. It is no longer the question of five appointments, but who is running the country," said the FSA, lambasting the Narendra Modi government for allowing a corrosive climate to thrive where writers and artists had to ight for their freedom.

In an impassioned defence justifying the reasons for their agitation, the FSA emphatically refuted suggestions that their gesture was a climbdown and that they would continue to protest in a democratic way .

"We are really happy with what we have achieved. We have succeeded in awakening the conscience of the nation. The baton now passes to members in the film fraternity, citizens, artists and people from all walks to life to keep the resistance alive,” said the FSA.

The students further announced that they would not participate in any talks with the I&B ministry until the appointments of Chauhan and four other FTII society members, said to be Sangh Parivar propagandists, were revoked.

Meanwhile, in a gesture of protest, three former FTII students, Prateek Vats, Vikrant Pawar and Rakesh Shukla, said that they would be returning their National Awards.

"What is the point of awarding individuals while simultaneously eroding and undermining the very institutions that produce them?", said the trio in a press release.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 10:08:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ftii-students-call-off-strike/article7813981.ece

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