Even as he emphasised he was not in a position to take sides, DJ Narain, director, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), said that appointing the chairman of the governing council is government’s prerogative and as the director of the institute it is his job to ensure it was implemented.
When asked whose side is he on – the students or the government – Narain categorically said, “It is immaterial to say who is right, who is wrong or what’s my choice. The government has appointed the chairman and has constituted the society. Unfortunately, the students have protested against the move. It is the prerogative of the government to make the appointment and the students should accept the decision. As a government official, it’s my duty to ensure that the government orders are implemented. I am hoping we arrive at a solution which is acceptable to all.”
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Refusing to comment on Gajendra Chauhan’s credentials, Narain said, “I have no personal views about him.”
With the students continuing their protests and the strike about to complete a week on Friday, Narain said he is in the process of finding a way out of the problem. He said he has been continuously talking to students and has been advising them not to take any extreme step. Students should discontinue their strike as it is not the best solution and one should not expect solutions in black and white all the time, he added.
He said the protest does not have any political colour and hopes that students also do not politicise the issue.
When asked would he take any action if the strike continued for 10 more days, he said, “It’s a hypothetical question and I will not answer it. I will dread this situation and it will be a sad moment for me.”
On Narendra Pathak’s appointment as one of the members of newly formed FTII Film Society, given that in the past some of the students of FTII were beaten up by members of ABVP, he said, “I would not like to answer this question.”