FTII controversy : Gajendra Chauhan takes charge amidst strong student protests

Gajendra Chauhan, Chairman of FTII
Gajendra Chauhan, Chairman of FTII

As Gajendra Chauhan gets ready to take charge as Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman the  students at FTII were reportedly  planning a protest at the campus  and vowed to continue their resistance until their grievances are acted upon. And the students did live up  to their promise as 20 FTII students were detained by the police while protesting  against Chauhan’s appointment.

“We will be finalising the governing council and then other agenda will be discussed,” Chauhan said. His appointment was followed by a series of protests by students and celebrated alumni of the Pune-based premier film institute.  The agitating students had even gone on an indefinite strike on June 12 as they questioned his professional credibility to lead the institute due to lack of ‘stature’ and ‘vision’.

A FTII Students Association statement also addressed the issue by quoting that “Our core demand was to put the newly appointed society in abeyance and to set proper criteria and procedure to appoint the FTII Society and it still remains the same.

The  FTII appointment episode saw many twists and turns. The students gave a different direction to their protest after they called off their strike after 139 days. A bevy of celebrated FTII alumnus marked their protest by returning several government honours. On his part, Chauhan is not hassled by the protests as he notes ‘it’s about fulfilling the responsibility’. “I have been ordered by the government, and I will do my job. Let me go there and see. I can’t comment on what they will do, but I am ready to do my job.”