FTII students oppose new chairman

FTII students oppose new chairman

The decision of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to appoint actor Gajendra Chauhan as the new chairman of governing council of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has sparked a strong protest from the students who are boycotting classes.

However, Chauhan, who is best-known for portrayal of Yudhishthira in popular TV serial, B R Chopra’s “Mahabharat”, sought a chance and agreed to sit with students to sort out the issue. Chauhan also has 100 movies – most of them small roles – and close to 300 serials to his credit.

Chauhan’s close association with the BJP, however, has become a prickly issue and led to a debate in the social media.

Agitation since Friday
From Friday morning, students began to boycott classes and staged demonstrations holding placards.

Security at the FTII campus in Pune was beefed up in the wake of the protests.
“Appointing a person who has an official affiliation with the ruling-BJP and who lacks the vision and stature of the past chairpersons in filmmaking, has put a question mark on the process of selection for the post earlier held by eminent people like Girish Karnad, Shyam Benegal and Adoor Gopalkrishnan,” said Harikrishnan Nachimuthu, who heads the FTII Students’ Association.

Other eminent people who headed the institute in the past  include Mrinal Sen, Mahesh Bhatt, Vinod Khanna and U R Ananthamurthy. The previous chairman was Saeed Mirza.
The FTII opens after weekend break on Monday, when the issue is expected to be sorted out.


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