Political parties extend support to FTII protest

Political parties extend support to FTII protest

FTII students Monday held a day-long protest here asking the government to withdraw its appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s Chairman and four other governing council members.

Joined by various students unions including National Students' Union Of India (NSUI) artists and Delhi university teachers, nearly 300 students also took out a protest march on Parliament Street with support from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal United (JD-U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Left parties.

Students chanted “Go back Gajendra Chouhan. Stop saffronising education,” during their protest march. Police detained leaders of the rally as protestors attempted to cross the barricade near Parliament Street Police Station to march towards Parliament building.

About 80 students are in Delhi from Film and Television Institute of India in Pune to demand rescinding the order appointing Chouhan and four others in the institute’s governing body.

The students are likely to stay in the national capital for a few more days to hold protests in various DU colleges.

“We have to make students aware of what is happening under the new regime,” said a student leader.    

The government blamed Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for fanning the latest protest, which it said has taken a “political colouring”. It had earlier refused to remove Chauhan and others.

“With Rahul Gandhi’s Pune visit it has become clear that the strike has taken a political colour or it is a political strike from the beginning,” Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said, as the students’ strike entered the 53rd day on Monday with no signs of any breakthrough to end the deadlock.

Though the government was open to dialogue with the students, the minister said it was against politicising the issue.
 
“It was the decision of FTII students to go on strike in protest against the appointment of Chouhan and others who are just incapable of leading the institute. No political party is involved,” spokesperson of the FTII students union Yasshashvi Mishra told Deccan Herald.

Rubbishing the government’s claim that it was always open to a dialogue, he said: “We have been writing to the government to discuss the issues since our delegation’s meeting with the (Union) Minister (Arun Jaitley) and (I&B) Ministry yielded no result, but there is no response so far. They just don’t want to discuss.”

Mishra said it was the “right” of the students to reach out to the “representatives of people” seeking their support when the government was turning a deaf year to their demands.

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