Goa postgraduate students union backs FTII protests

Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) The Post Graduate Students Union (PGSU) in Goa has come out in support of protesting FTII students, who on Tuesday started a two-day parallel film festival, a short distance from the International Film Festival of India venue.

In a statement issued here, Raj Malik of the PGSU criticised the move of the festival authorities to cancel accreditation of students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), which automatically debars them attending the festival.

“The struggle put forward by FTII students is relevant to the entire higher education institutions in India because the desperate attempts by the current dispensation to temper the mandate of several liberal institutions of India has to be fought more vigorously,” Malik said.

“Festival authorities are deporting FTII students and canceling their delegate accreditation. The FTII has the biggest stake in the growth and development of cinema in this country. Cinema is all about liberation and Film Festivals cannot happen with such a crackdown of cinema students,” the statement said.

FTII students had staged a 139-day strike from June 12 this year, in protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute chairman, claiming that the artiste was unfit for the position.

After the appointing authority, the union ministry for information and broadcasting, stuck to its guns and did not cancel Chauhan’s appointment, the students pulled off the strike on October 29, but insisted that their protests would continue.

They also said the IFFI, the country’s largest international film festival and which is organised by the central government, would be a venue for their protest.

The parallel film festival organised by FTII students and their sympathisers got underway in Panaji on Tuesday.

Two FTII ex-students have been arrested, while one student was detained for several hours by police ever since the IFFI got underway on November 20.

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