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Bollywood list opposing Chauhan appointment gets longer

New Delhi:  With the FTII controversy refusing to die down, more and more Bollywood celebrities are joining the growing list of people arguing that Gajendra Chauhan does not merit the post of chairman of the prestigious institute going by his body of work.

The chorus against Chauhan’s removal has been going louder day by day with filmmakers Kundan Shah and Aziz Mirza being the latest joinees.

FTII alumni Shah, who is known for making the cult classic “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”, says that appointing Chauhan as the chairman is an “absurd” decision.

“Isn’t the whole issue shameful? It’s a shameful decision by the ministry. Who knows this man (Chauhan)? Just see his body of work? By appointing such a person, what is the government trying to do? He’s completely unwilling to step down despite so much of chaos. It’s very sad. What country we are living in?” Shah told PTI.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mirza says, “Chauhan should step down as he is not wanted.

“Chauhan is putting up a flop show by not resigning. He should step down soon. Even students are being persistent. By doing all the protests they are just being foolhardy.”

But unfazed by this opposition from the Bollywood fraternity and other quarters, Chauhan is adamant maintaining that he has been appointed on the merit of the 34 years he has spent in showbiz.

Best known for his role of Yudhisthira on TV epic “Mahabharata”, his filmography is, however, not that impressive and includes movies like “Jungle Love”, “Khuli Khidki” and “Vasna”, which are considered B-grade.

He took over as the chairman of the Pune-based institute’s governing council last month and his appointment was stoutly opposed by students, whose agitation entered the 30th day today.

Celebrated cinematographer Santhosh Sivan, actress Pallavi Joshi and National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua have resigned as members of the FTII Society in support of the striking students.

Film personalities like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Amol Palekar, Resul Pookutty, Kiran Rao, Rajkummar Rao, Sudhir Mishra, Sayeed Mirza and Piyush Mishra among others have voiced their strong reservations over Chauhan’s appointment.

However, National Award-winning filmmaker Shyam Benegal feels Chauhan need not resign as of now as students should “sit and discuss things” with him.

“According to me, students should meet the chairman designate. Time has come for the meeting and put forward all the apprehensions and grievances. They (students) don’t know him. He has been nominated as per as the rules. If he does not come as an eligible person, then they should continue their strike. But at the moment he should not resign,” he says.

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