By Sreyashi Mazumdar
Treading upon the cock-a-hoop street of Jantar Mantar, with drops of sweat trailing down their nose, their cries attuning to the vigor of an unfinished battle, hollering – “Inqelab Zindabad”- the protesters, hailing from across the board, holding placards, reiterated their demands for an accredited chairperson being officiated at the helm of affairs at FTII.
The protest which kicked off on the 12th day of June exemplifies a relentless effort put up by the students of FTII, who have been incessantly demanding the removal of Ganjendra Chauhan- the present chairperson of the renowned filmmaking institution.
Not giving in to the nonchalance of the central government on the entire issue of how Gajendra Chauhan despite being ineffective and not worthy of being the chairperson of FTII, around 80 students of the institute staged a protest at Jantar Mantar today. Filmmakers, academicians, and renowned theatre personalities were seen flocking the burning grounds.
“We are not against any particular ideology, all we want is the government to look into our demands. Gajendra Chauhan isn’t suitable for the post of a chairperson. He doesn’t bear the required credentials which were borne by the former chairpersons like Saeed Mirza, Shyam Benegal etc,” said an FTII student.
Taking a dig at the central government’s high headed move, Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, fleshed out her take on the issue, “The government thinks that every institute of this country on a drive to undo the Indian culture. They are trying to unleash a monochromatic culture. The appointment of Ganjendra Singh is nothing less than an attempt at scuttling the multi-dimensional aspects of art forms like filmmaking, theatre and even education. The government will be forced to give in to the demands of the protesting students, they cannot let loose the students for one Gajendra Chauhan.”
Tuning into a similar line of thought, Arvind Gaur, the creative director at Asmita theatre Group, ruminated on the surging dictatorial attitude put forth by the government, “One cannot delimit the tenets of art and culture. One requires understanding the multifaceted nature of art itself. Further, he sounded his attempt at bringing forth a change through a string of street plays.
Hoping for a fruitful outcome, the vociferous cries of the protesters would continue reverberating the capital city until the awaited demand comes into being.