Controversies don’t seem to die around FTII, Amitabh Bachchan could have been chairman


By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amitabh_Bachchan_Robot_Audio_Release The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has recently witnessed a lot of upheaval. At first, the students went on a strike to protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman. The students believe that Chauhan, who played ‘Yudhishthir’ in “Mahabharat”, lacks the stature and vision to head the institution.

Recently, media is ablaze with the revelation that Chauhan was not even in contention for the position until about six months ago. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had drawn up a list of likely candidates who could help FTII “become a centre of excellence” in December. This note was approved by ministry officials and suggested names of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anupam Kher, Jahnu Barua, and even legendary Shyam Benegal, as likely prospects. However, this list was ignored and Chauhan who is a BJP member since 2004 and had campaigned for the party in Haryana during the elections, was appointed.

Bollywood industry is in support of students though. Actor Ranbir Kapoor too extended his support to Film and Television Institute of India students who have raised their voice against the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the new FTII chairman. Ranbir Kapoor said that the students’ demand is legitimate as they want an “aspirational figure”, who they can look up to.Gajendra_Chauhan_at_the_Dadasaheb_Phalke_Academy_Awards_2010

After several film celebrities supported the voice of the students, Ranbir Kapoor’s father, Rishi Kapoor too expressed his support with the FTII students. The 62-year-old actor took to micro-blogging website Twitter to voice his opinion.

“Advice. After all the protests and controversy, Gajendra Chauhan, the FTII Chairman should voluntarily retire. Will
do good to the students.”

“If they don’t want you, they don’t want you. By pushing for the chairmanship is getting you nowhere. Let self-pride play a role and retire,” Rishi, who belongs to Indian cinema’s globally popular Kapoor clan, tweeted.

So far, eminent names like Kiran Rao, Piyush Mishra, Sayeed Mirza, Jahnu Barua, Pallavi Joshi, Resul Pookutty and Rajat Kapoor have expressed their dissent over Chauhan’s appointment.

FTII students have been protesting against the appointment of Chauhan for the past 25 days, on the grounds that he isn’t qualified, but the government is unperturbed. An analysis of social media showed that 80% of about 10,000 online posts were in favour of the students and yet the govt. won’t relent on this.