Pune, Jan 6 (IANS) As Gajendra Chauhan gets ready to take charge as Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman on Thursday, the students at FTII are planning a protest at the campus here and vowed to continue their resistance until their grievances are acted upon. The actor and BJP member says he only wants to focus on doing his “job”.
On Thursday, Chauhan will chair his first FTII Society meeting. “We will be finalising the governing council and then other agenda will be discussed,” Chauhan told IANS.
His appointment was followed by a series of protests by students and celebrated alumni of the Pune-based premier film institute. Students had even gone on an indefinite strike on June 12 as they questioned his professional credibility to lead the institute due to lack of “stature” and “vision”.
The students withdrew the strike in October after 139 days. Now, Chauhan is joining office after seven months of his appointment.
For his first day in office, the students are once again planning protests.
FTII Students’ Association president Harishankar Nachimuthu told IANS: “He (Chauhan) is coming… that is confirmed, but we have not got any official intimation. There will be protests obviously, but we have not decided other things. There will be some protest at the campus tomorrow (Thursday).”
A FTII Students Association statement also addressed the issue by quoting that “Our core demand was to put the newly appointed society in abeyance and to set proper criteria and procedure to appoint the FTII Society and it still remains the same.
“We still have problem with these appointments and will continue to resist it unless the concerned authorities put the society in abeyance and set a process for the further appointments, since it is the question of our academics.”
The official note also said that despite gaining national attention from all quarters of the society including ministry of information and broadcasting, their “questions remain unanswered”.
The FTII appointment episode saw many twists and turns. The students gave a different direction to their protest after they called off their strike after 139 days. A bevy of celebrated FTII alumnus marked their protest by returning several government honours.
On his part, Chauhan is not hassled by the protests as he notes “it’s about fulfilling the responsibility”.
“I have been ordered by the government, and I will do my job. Let me go there and see. I can’t comment on what they will do, but I am ready to do my job.”