Tuesday August 21, 2018

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

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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.

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Living up to professional demands: Amitabh Bachchan

I am a very proud father and I am delighted that the legacy of my father continues

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Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan Is Living up to professional demands.

Stunts can be risky at 75, but that’s not stopping Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan from doing any of it. He says there’s always an effort to meet professional demands.

The actor, who will next be seen in “102 Not Out”, has performed stunts for his other film “Thugs of Hindostan”.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. You’ve been off interview for quite some time now. What prompted you to stay away from interviews?

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan will be in two films releasing soon.

Interviews mean being questioned by one, and the need for an answer by the other! I have had nothing to say, so what is the need for an interview. Now, there is a film on release and protocol and obligations towards media and interviews are the need of the hour for promoting what we have created, for the audience. And so here I am, selfishly, presenting myself for questioning.

Q. How has life been treating you during the past months? There were sporadic reports of ill health and injury. Has the body repaired and are you, as usual, infused with inspirational energy?

A. I have had some injuries during my work recently, which persist. These are related to some old action injuries of the past, catching up as the body ages. Treatments are on and to expect the body at this age to repair completely is wishful thinking.

Q. So one stumbles along “102 Not Out” which is your new release. Tell us what was it like like playing a 100-plus man?

The script and character analysis that was narrated to me by the director Umesh Shukla and the Writer Saumya Doshi, was to play a youthful 102. An attempt has been made!

Q. I feel your beard and white hair makes you look uncannily like painter M.F. Hussain.

A. Never thought about that. But since you say so I shall go with it.

Q. The film reunites you with Rishi Kapoor after decades. What was it like shooting with him after all these years?

A. It was as glorious, as it was all those past years and the historic films we did together. It’s not like we were separated at birth and were meeting after 27 years.
“102 Not Out” addresses itself to the question of mortality and longevity.

Also Read: At this age and time of my life, I seek peace and freedom from prominence: Amitabh Bachchan

Q. Did you have discussions on these themes with the director and your co-star?

A. I do not possess the intellectualism to delve into such deep philosophies. But yes I do know that we are born to perish someday and how wonderful if we can live that life with the fulfilment the joys and the happiness that life brings.

Q. I believe you are doing some audacious stunts in “Thugs Of Hindostan”. Aren’t these risks not worth taking at the cost of your health and well being?

A. They are audacious and they are a risk. But then, I could well slip on a banana peel and head to Thy Kingdom Come. So… we try to live up to the professional demands required of us and proceed subsequently with adequate precaution.

Q. Your daughter Shweta has turned into a novelist. Your comments on that?

I am a very proud father and I am delighted that the legacy of my father continues. IANS