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FTII: Students’ talks with I&B Ministry authorities on July 3

Gajendra Chauhan

Pune: After 20 days of their agitation against the appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of the prestigious FTII, the students have received a communication from the I&B Ministry inviting them for talks on July 3.

“We received an official confirmation of our appointment on July 3 in Delhi last evening through a communication addressed to Film and Television Institute of India’s Director D J Narain by joint secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” a spokesman of the FTII Students’ Association (FSA) told reporters as the students’ strike entered 20th day today.

The students have been boycotting classes, abandoning academic work in protest against the appointment of Chauhan, who they allege lacks “stature and vision” to head the premiere institution which is expected to give new direction to Indian cinema.

“The delegation comprising seven past and three current students will be led by Girish Kasarwally and a decision on continuing or withdrawing the strike will be based on the proceedings at the proposed meeting with the ministry,” the spokesman said.

Asked whether the students would be suggesting any particular name to head the council, he said, “We do not have anyone in mind. But, we insist that the person selected for the post should be without political bias.”

Chauhan’s affiliation with the ruling BJP, too, has been in the focus of the students’ association which had alleged that his appointment appeared “politically coloured” as he had no requisite “academic and artistic excellence”.

While demanding a “transparent process of appointments” in the FTII, protesting students also indicated that they were equally firm on their demand of dissolution of FTII society since its members allegedly had no “artistic credibility”.

“We are optimistic about our talks and a positive response from the Ministry,” the spokesman said.

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