Cong vice-president takes FTII issue to Prez

Cong vice-president takes FTII issue to Prez

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday knocked on President Pranab Mukherjee’s door seeking his intervention to prevent institutions such as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from being held captive to viewpoints of few organisations and individuals.

Rahul led a delegation of Parliamentarians to Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum contending that the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of FTII was “based on his ideological commitment to the ruling party as opposed to his demonstrated credentials and capability in art”. Later, speaking to reporters, Rahul said that educational institutions were being “captured” by the RSS and only those “singing praises” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP were being “placed on top”.

He contended that similar criteria was used to make appointments to institutions such as the Indian Council for Historical Research, Benares Hindu University and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

“The people who are placed on top of them (the students) do not have the merit to be placed on top. The only merit they have is that they have sung praises of the prime minister, the BJP and believe in the ideology of the RSS,” he said.

Holding that Chauhan lacks merit to govern the institute, Rahul said the message the government was trying to convey was that “leave behind your capability and merit and pay your obeisance to Modiji and RSS and come to this institution.” FTII students have been protesting against the appointment and are on strike since June 12. Rahul had visited the FTII campus recently to express solidarity with the students.

During his visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rahul was accompanied by Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar, M Veerappa Moily, Kumari Selja and Raj Babbar among others.

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