Gajendra Chauhan, Anupam Kher’s predecessor as chairman of Film and Television Institute of India, said he wished he had more time to complete the work he had started. Instead, he said, he played a 20/20 match.
His appointment in June 2015 had led to a protest by students against the government’s decision, which they called politically motivated. Their 139-day strike delayed Chauhan taking over until January 2016.
“I have conveyed my best wishes to Anupamji. I just wish the government had given me more time to finish the work that I started. I just had one year and two months to do that,” Chauhan told PTI. “FTII is facing basic problems and needs a good administrator. I am sure Anupamji will work towards resolving these problems,” Chauhan said.
He said that due to the controversy during his tenure, pending issues piled up. “I played a 20/20 match and I tried my best to finish the work. My aim was to restore FTII to its past glory and I succeeded in that to an extent,” he said. He said he had worked on completion of diploma courses, raise in salary of teachers and improvement of hostel facilities. “I could finish some of these but a few are pending.”
The FTII’s chairman’s tenure is for a fixed three-year period, but since it is a block tenure Kher’s tenure will start from March 2017, retrospectively. Chauhan said though he was appointed in June 2015 and was able to take over in January 2016, his tenure had effectively started in March 2014.
Chauhan is best known for playing Yudhishthira in Doordarshan’s Mahabharat.