New Delhi: The uproar over the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) followed by an indefinite strike by students created a lot of buzz with Chauhan asking for a chance to showcase his capabilities and filmmakers like Jahnu Barua and Vivek Agnihotri saying that the institute needs a more experienced cinema personality.
Multiple National Award-winning filmmaker Barua also noted that students should put their point of view forward without keeping their work on the back-burner.
“The students are concerned about the institute. But they should not go on strike and neglect work. They should not let the work suffer,” Barua told IANS over phone, adding that a person with knowledge about “the art of filmmaking” is well suited for the position of chairman.
As per reports, the students of the institute went on an indefinite strike from Friday, saying that the appointment is politically motivated.
Chauhan is best known for essaying the role of ‘Yudhisthir’ in BR Chopra’s “Mahabharat” and has also featured in small roles in various films like “Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge” and “Baghban.”
A report also said that the “students council sought immediate appointment of another chairman who is ‘qualified with a significant body of work to do justice to the institute’.”
In an interview to Times Now, Chauhan requested for a meeting across the table.
“If you still feel (the same) then we will go for another option. The ministry of information and broadcasting has taken its own time to decide about my name. They must have checked out my background and my capabilities. It is not only that I am associated with the party, there are other things also,” he said.
When IANS contacted Harishankar Nachimuthu- president of the students’ body, on Saturday morning he said that they are yet to decide on their future course of action.
“We are having some internal discussions. We are actually strategising things as the institute will open only on Monday. Boycott was not necessary today as it is a holiday,” Nachimuthu told IANS over phone.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri also took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share his views.
Replying to a user’s query, he tweeted: ”@amycoolguy wasn’t he a competent cricketer? Ideally FTII should be headed by a film-maker who understands all aspects @priyankac19. Specially when they have likes of Raju Hirani, Santosh Siva, Jhanu Barua… in the committee.”
Another filmmaker Ashoke Pandit feels that “Being a part of a political party is not an issue but the capability and capacity is what matters.”
“#FTIIpune. Gajendra Chauhan though a gd actor cant b d President of FTII which deserves ppl like Shyam Benegal, Subhash Ghai, Govind Nihilani.#FTIIpune,” he tweeted.