The stalemate over the appointment of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of FTII’s governing council continued as the students’ strike to protest against the government’s decision entered its fifth day today.
Nearly 150 students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) boycotted classes and continued their protest on the campus raising slogans against Chauhan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and put up posters on walls and buildings in the premises.
The FTII students’ association had sent a communication to Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday on their demands through FTII Director D Narain, after failing to get a positive response from the ministry even after four days of agitation. “We are yet to hear anything from the government’s side on the issue so far. The protest will continue till our demands are met,” FTII students’ association representative Rakesh Shukla told PTI today.
Meanwhile, the students’ body claimed support of more filmmakers and artistes, including Govind Nihalani, Rakesh Sharma, Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt.
Rakesh Sharma, a filmmaker, in a statement said, “First the IITs, now FTII and IIMs — this seems to be a pattern to meddle with centres of excellence to turn them into partly-controlled bastions of mediocrity. We must all protest visibly and vocally. This appointment has shocked everyone in the Indian film fraternity. Mr Jaitley would be wise to rescind it as soon as possible.”
Chauhan, best known for his portrayal of Yudhisthira in the mega TV serial “Mahabharat”, had yesterday alleged that the protests were “politically motivated” and whipped up by someone for his own personal interest.
Regretting that questions were being raised about his capabilities without knowing him, he said that he was willing to discuss the issue with the striking students.