Protests at IFFI won’t be ‘good practise’, says Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that if FTII students stage a protest at the forthcoming International Film Festival of India (IFFI) – a prestigious annual extravaganza held in Goa – it won’t be a “good practise”.

After calling off their 139-day strike and getting eminent filmmakers to join their protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), its students had dropped hints about “big plans” around IFFI, which will begin from November 20 in Goa.

Speaking at the curtain raiser press conference of IFFI here on Tuesday, Jaitley, who is also the finance minister, said: “I don’t see any reason why anyone should try and disturb an international event in India. This is not good practise.”

According to reports, the Film Federation of India (apex body of the Indian film producers,distributors, exhibitors and studio owners) and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (film industry worker’s union in Mumbai) have jointly decided not to participate in the IFFI as a mark of protest against the step-motherly treatment meted out to them, and also to support writers and filmmakers who have returned their awards.

Jaitley believed that when there is an “atmosphere of peace”, what is the justification in returning awards?

He also asked “Where is intolerance? We are the most vibrant democracy in the world and everybody has a right to speak.”

When a scribe pointed out whether Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s questioning of intolerance in the country can affect India’s image internationally, he said: “Nobody is ready to say in this country whether there should be tolerance or intolerance. What’s wrong if somebody says that there should be no intolerance in the country?”

Jaitley also addressed the media on the price rise of commodities. He said that when the Congress was in power, inflation was at 12 percent and now it is at 4.5 percent range.

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