The protest at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) took a new turn on Thursday when students severely criticized director D J Narain’s threat of rusticating them from the institute if the 35-day long protest was not revoked. A press conference was held by the students at the campus on Thursday morning addressing the notice put up by Narain in strict words that demanded the students ‘to go back to their academic activities or face the strong administrative action which may include rustication’.
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Addressing the press, Vikas Urs, student representative said, “We are worried and pained by the insensitivity shown by the government and now by our director. They have not only threatened us with rustication, but also have written letters to our parents; who are now worried about us. We highly condemn such threats and will continue to protest, even in case of imprisonment, as we have not done anything unconstitutional. We don’t fear rustication.”
He further added that the people who are raising concerns about the education of students, should worry more about the indifferent government, which is not replying to the letters sent by the students despite knowing how much is at stake for them. “We have written three letters – on July 9, 14 and 15 to the I&B Ministry and have not received any reply from them. We are willing to have more talks, but the government is hardball with us. Alternative classes are being conducted on the campus, apart from activities like painting, poetry recitation, plays. If the government still thinks that these artistic ways are of Maoist nature, they should tell us the norms of the commoners,” Urs added.
The students who earlier suggested the extension of Narain’s term sighting that he had spent four years at the institute and had a better understanding of the issue protested vehemently outside his office after the press briefing, shouting slogans that the ‘agents of government and Modi’ should rethink their decisions.