FTII fiasco, no respite achieved after 100 days


By NewsGram staff writer

Students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) started a protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, actor-turned-politician, as its Chairman. Protest, now, has completed 100 days.

Dissent against the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s opaque process of appointing members to the FTII Society was expressed through film screenings and debates at Savitribai Phule University in Pune, a hunger strike at St Joseph’s College in Bengaluru and marches in Delhi and Kolkata. The protesters demanded the immediate revocation of Chauhan’s appointment and four FTII Governing Council members who were Sangh Parivar members.


Despite the Ministry’s latest offer to hold discussion with the students, the impasse, which has crippled the functioning of the country’s premier school for film education, shows no sign of ending. The deadlock is the longest in the history of the 54-year-old institute, which has witnessed nearly 40 strikes since its inception in 1961. Students, however, contend that the FTII has seen only 15 strikes and the Ministry has exaggerated the figure to show them in a poor light.
Five students have been admitted to hospital after they went on a fast as part of a relay hunger strike since September 10.
“We are yet to receive confirmation from the Ministry on the date and venue of our next round of talks. We expect them to be held any time next week,” Vikas Urs, spokesman for the FTII Students’ Association, said.
Vikas Urs said that while the Ministry had agreed on talks on the caveat of no preconditions on the part of the students, the students’ association hoped the sentiment would be reciprocated.

(With inputs from The Hindu)