Specials

FTII student imbroglio in focus

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

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   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

Students of FTII, country’s premier film education centre, have >gone on an indefinite strike since June 12 protesting the Information & Broadcast Ministry’s surprise appointment of television actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of the institute.

Meanwhile, the I&B on July 17 appointed former head of the National Film Archives of India, > Prashant Pathrabe, as the new director of FTII.

With students of the institute continuing their strike, its former Director, D.J. Narain, issued a notice to them on 15 July to >call off the protest or face serious action. However, the students on 16 July said their >agitation against the controversial appointment would continue. Here we take a look at the issue.





FTII Limbo

Gajendra Chauhan, an actor-turned-politician, was appointed as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on June 9, 2015. His appointment triggered an >indefinite strike by students of the institute on June 12.

Who is Chauhan?

Mr. Chauhan is best known as 'Yudhisthira' in the Mahabharata TV series aired on television in 1988-90. He has been associated with BJP for over two decades but formally joined the party in 2004.

Why protest?

Students of FTII have questioned Mr. Chauhan's body of work and "creative credentials." The students doubt if Mr. Chauhan can fit in the shoes of predecessors like R.K. Laxman, Syam Benegal, Girish Karnad and U.R. Ananthamurthy.

Political vendetta?

Students claim that Mr. Chauhan's appointment is an attempt of the ruling party to foist its right-wing agenda upon the Institute.

Supporters

Besides, prominent film personalities, All India Students' Association (AISA), the Kolkata-based Satyajit Ray Film Institute, and students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are all coming out strongly in support of the striking students.

  • If they don't want you, they don't want you. Pushing for the chairmanship is getting you no where. Let self pride play a role and retire

    - >Rishi Kapoor

  • FTII needs to be in safe hands. Students need somebody who they can trust and look up to. It's their future which is at stake here.

    >- Rajkumar Rao

  • This is something we should be talking about and by this we will clearly know that it is a mistake and that he has no credentials...If I would have been in place of Chauhan and I would have seen that my fraternity does not want me, I would have withdrawn.

    >- Amol Palekar

  • Don't think what the students are asking for is illogical, don't think they are asking for the moon. They are just asking for a fair chance, a fair opportunity, correct faculty, correct syllabus.

    - Ranbir Kapoor

  • I have neither been approached by students nor by authorities. But being an alumnus of this institute to which I owe my film career, I am more than willing to step in and sort out matters if given the chance to do so.

    - >Shatrughan Sinha

Prominent chairmen

Anwar Jamal Kidwai
(1974 - 1977)

First chairman, founder of Mass Communication Research centre at Jamia Millia Islamia.

>R.K. Laxman
(1977- 1980)

Legendary cartoonist, Padma Bhushan, Vibhushan. Known for creating the character "Common Man".

> Shyam Benegal
(1981 - 1983)
(1989 - 1992)

Known for pioneering parallel cinema. Recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award among others.

> Mahesh Bhatt
(1995- 1998)

Award-winning director, screenwriter, producer in mainstream Hindi cinema.

>U.R. Ananthamurthy
(2005-2008)
(2008-2011)

Eminent author, Padma Bhushan. Pioneered Navya movement in Kannada language.



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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 2:51:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/specials/ftii-student-imbroglio-in-focus/article7417641.ece

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