Pune : Following a spate of protests and rejections in the past seven months after his controversial appointment as the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), BJP member Gajendra Chauhan today took to his chair albeit amidst welcome and protests by varied groups of FTII students in Pune on Thursday today.Taking up the responsibility bestowed on him, Chauhan is all set to start his tenure as the FTII chief.
Today, as protests came in from FTII students, Pune police detained more than 40 students for protesting against Chauhan’s appointment.Police used force to disperse and get hold on a group of about 40 FTII students protesting against Chauhan. Although Police had issued a warning on Wednesday in anticipation, and had urged the students to maintain peace and decorum, yet the protest continued today. On the event of the first meeting of the new FTII Society headed by Chauhan, members of FTII Students Federation (FSA) staged a protest demonstration at the institute’s gate shouting ‘Gajendra Chauhan go back’ which led to a scuffle between the students and police.The meeting, and important scheduled association, was expected to be attended by, among others, Anagha Ghaisas, Rahul Solapurkar, Shailesh Gupta and Narendra Pathak. These were few names which had found disagreement from the FTII students, who had not taken these appointments in their liking, and had objected to by the FTII Students Association (FSA), stating, them as being political and allegedly lacking in merit and stature for the post.
Students said a few minutes ago — We have been brutally targeted by police who lathi-charged us with the knowledge of FTII administration. We have been cheated by I and B Ministry. We have been cheated by the government. Nothing has come out which stands to our liking, and does not go down well for the growth and future of the prestigious institution.
Students had been on an unprecedented 139-day strike demanding Chauhan’s removal, opposing Chauhan’s appointment since 12 June, 2015. They agreed to call it off on 28 October, 2015 after repeated negotiations with the government and returned to the classes. However, the students on Wednesday said that this did not mean they had given up. The FSA stated — We still have problem with these appointments and will continue to resist it unless concerned authorities put the FTII Society (which governs the institute) in abeyance. Higher education in the country should be free from all political interference. Pahlaj Nihalani’s presence in the Society for holding an unjust post in CBFC is also unacceptable.