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Their relentless attempts at wrecking the status quo- Protesting students of FTII

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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.
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Welcome the new Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Anupam Kher

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher. Wikimedia

Pune, October 11, 2017 : Anupam Kher, an actor with a repertoire of over 500 movies including international projects, was named Chairman of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. The film industry hailed the move.

Official sources confirmed Anupam’s appointment. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had triggered student protests.

Anupam’s wife Kirron Kher, an actress and BJP MP from Chandigarh, told Times NOW: “I’m very happy. Of course, it’s a challenging job for anybody. It’s not going to be an easy job. These chairmanships are crown of thorns. Here, people do get against you, but I am sure Anupam will be able to take them along because he is an extremely talented person.”

Anupam, who began his acting career with “Saaransh” in 1984, also has his own acting institute Actor Prepares.

Kirron said Anupam was the right choice to head the FTII, which provides training in acting, direction and other technical aspects of film making in a country which is one of the largest producers of movies.

ALSO READ Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

“My husband is a very fine actor. He has been in the film industry for so many years. He is very capable of (being FTII head).

“He has been teaching acting for so long. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

“So, I am a very proud wife today. I would like to thank the government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” she said.

Asked what she meant by ‘crown of thorns’, she said: “I meant the CBFC, not FTII.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Anupam Kher for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII.”

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an “excellent change” at FTII. “Finally, the government is listening to us.”

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role. (IANS)