THE administration of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has issued notices to 12 students over a protest held in October against the suspension of five second-year students for boycotting an academic exercise. While the suspension was later reversed, the administration has issued notices to a group of students for “intimidating staffers” at the Academic Office and “creating nuisance”, almost two-and-a-half months after the alleged incident.
The notice, issued by Assistant Proctor Vaibhav Gham, has sought an explanation from students by January 1, and warned of further action if they fail to respond.
“It has been reported that you were among a group of students who created din by raising loud slogans at the Academic Office at 4 pm on October 13, 2017. It is further reported that you forcefully videographed the staff against their will using mobile phones. Despite objections from the staff in the academic office, you continued the activity of videographing, shouting and disturbing the general atmosphere in the office,” reads the notice.
The notice claimed that the students’ behaviour “violated” the decorum undertaking signed by the students while taking admission at the FTII.
“The nuisance created by you seriously disturbed the decorum of the office, exposed important records to possible damage and created an intimidating atmosphere for the working staff at the Academic Office. This is an act of misdemeanour and a blatant violation of the signed undertaking given by you at the time of taking admission at FTII. You are directed to provide your explanation with regard to the above mentioned incident latest by 4 pm on January 1. In case no explanation is received by the deadline, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say on the matter and FTII will proceed against you without any further reference,” it stated.
The students said that they will challenge it, and take up the issue with the institute’s director and chairman. “The allegations made in the notice are highly exaggerated. We are surprised and left to wonder why such an absurd notice has been served after two-and-a-half months,” said one of the 12 students.
In October, some students from the 2016 batch had decided to boycott “dialogue,” an academic exercise, after the institute administration changed the shooting norms, and turned the three-day shoot into a two-day one. The entire batch, with students from all five film departments, decided not to attend the production meeting on the given dates. The protest came a day after actor Anupam Kher was appointed the chairman of FTII.
This led to the institute administration taking “serious note of the students’ unwillingness to adhere to schedule”.
A notice, issued by Dean (Films) Amit Tyagi after the students’, had stated, “Please note that you were sufficiently advised to undertake the project but you chose not to. You are therefore directed to vacate the hostel within three days and return to the campus for the 4th semester”. The notice was withdrawn after Kher had intervened in the matter.