Only government can decide on my position at FTII: Gajendra Chauhan

Chandigarh, July 11 (ANI): Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman Gajendra Chauhan on Saturday rejected all reports of him being critical about veteran actors Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor, who have reportedly asked him to quit from the post.

Talking to ANI here, Chauhan said, “I am informed through the press that I have given statements against Mr. Anupam Kher and Mr. Rishi Kapoor. I have never said who are Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor to comment about me or the position that I hold presently. I condemn the appearance of this information in the media. The reporter has manipulated my comments, and shown me in poor light.”

He further said, “We are living in a democratic country, and everyone has a right to put forth his or her opinion. We must all understand that it is the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that has appointed me, and, I will fulfil my duties to the best of my abilities, and as directed by the government.”

“I am surprised that the protest against my appointment is still on, even after Arun Jaitley has given many commitments. Only the government has the right to appoint or dismiss me, and I will abide by any order that it gives me,” Chauhan added.

Rishi Kapoor had earlier said that Chauhan should voluntarily resign as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), leaving aside his ego.

“I have nothing against Gajendra Chauhan. My point is how will he be received at FTII when everyone is against his appointment? If this is how Gajendra Chauhan is being received, the man should voluntarily resign leaving aside his pride and ego,” Kapoor told the media here.

Supporting students in their protest against Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), actor Anupam Kher said that the premier institute needed a much-qualified person as chairman.

“I personally feel that FTII represents a certain art form… it does certainly need a person having a great body of work which means he is supposed to know world cinema, he is supposed to know the present state of cinema like editing. But certainly FTII needs somebody who is much more qualified than whatever Ganjendra ji’s qualifications are coming across,” Kher said.

“I certainly do not think Gajendra ji is qualified as a producer, director or actor,” he added.

Kher also said that the government institute should be autonomous certainly.

Students of FTII have been protesting against Chauhan’s appointment due to his affiliation to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his lack of experience and stature. A billboard at the entrance of the institute had last week asked Chauhan to resign and leave.

Other student groups have been protesting against the decision as well, with organisations like the AISA encouraging Chauhan to quit. (ANI)

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