In a directive, the administration of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has restricted the entry of journalists inside the institute campus. Journalists will now only be allowed to visit the campus if the director or the registrar approves it.
This is for the first time that such a directive has been brought out at the 56-year-old institute.
This directive goes against the Visitors’ Policy of the institute, which allows journalists to enter if the officer/staffer/student they plan to meet confirms to the security department about the visit. So far, mediapersons having a genuine reason to visit the campus were allowed in after completing the security procedures.
The notice signed by institute’s newly appointed Proctor Mateen Ahmed says that the reason for this directive was an incident which happened last month “involving a woman journalist inside Boys’ Hostel”. The episode, the notice says, caused “police inquiries and subsequent embarrassment to FTII”.
Ironically, the directive comes at a time when the institute has organised ‘Open Days’ on September 17 and 18 when citizens are invited to visit the campus to learn about its history as well as see how the craft of cinema is taught. The event was organised after a demand was raised by local BJP MLA Vijay Kale with the administration.
“Security has reported that in the intervening night of 27/8/2016 and 28/8/2016, an incident has occurred involving a woman journalist in the Boys’ Hostel. The episode has caused police inquiries and subsequent embarrassment to FTII. Earlier also, an incident involving a journalist was reported who used deceptive means to procure information on FTII. It has therefore been decided with immediate effect that any media person will be allowed in the campus only with the approval of the Registrar or Director,” reads the notice signed by Ahmed.
When contacted, Ahmed said he won’t be able to comment or elaborate as the notice was issued on FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola’s order.
While Kainthola remained unavailable for a comment, FTII Chairman Gajendra Chauhan defended the move by saying it was the prerogative of the Director “to decide who enters the campus and who doesn’t”.
“FTII is an educational institute and the Director is its head. It’s his prerogative to decide who enters the campus and who doesn’t. If the Lok Sabha Speaker decides so, he or she can ban mediapersons from entering the Parliament. A journalist wanting to enter the institute can talk to the Director, take his permission and then enter,” said Chauhan.