FTII director draws hard line to students: End strike or face rustication

“Yes the notice has been issued. I am hoping they take it seriously and end the strike immediately. I am hoping they will withdraw the strike in a day or so,” said DJ Narain, director of the institute.

Written by Garima Mishra | Pune | Updated: July 16, 2015 4:24 am
FTII Row, Film and Television Institute of India, FTII, Arun Jaitley, Bollywood, FTII students’ association, FTII privatisation, india news, news FTII students have been on strike over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan since last month.

As the protest at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of its governing council entered second month, the director of the prestigious institute on Wednesday issued notice to the president of the student’s association to end their agitation or face strong administrative action.

FTII Director J Narain in a letter to Nachimuthu, president of student’s association, said that strong administrative actions,including rustication will be taken if the students continue to defy the directives. The strongly worded letter asked the students to immediately terminate the strike or they will themselves be responsible for the action tacken by the administration in this regard.

“Yes the notice has been issued. I am hoping they take it seriously and end the strike immediately. I am hoping they will withdraw the strike in a day or so,” said DJ Narain, director of the institute.

He further added that until now, the students have been warned about the untoward repercussions – rustication – in many informal ways, however, it is the first time after the strike that a formal warning has been given. “It’s been more than a month for the strike. The students must understand that the strike is not leading them anywhere and realise that a disciplinary action such as rustication is a serious matter. This formal warning was necessary because tomorrow they should not say that it wasn’t communicated to them,” said Narain, further clarifying that he took the action as a director of the institute and not under the pressure of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry.

The students have been on the strike from June 12 in protest of the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the FTII governing council. They are also opposing the appointment of a few members of FTII Society, namely – Narendra Pathak, Anagha Ghaisas, Shailesh Gupta and Rahul Solapurkar.

On July 3, a ten-member team, that included FTII students and alumni, had a meeting with the I&B Ministry members as well as Arun Jaitley regarding the matter. However, since the main concern of the students – removal of Chauhan and four FTII society members – wasn’t addressed upto their expectations at the meeting, they chose to continue the strike, which enters 35th day today.

“There is a breakdown of communication between students and the government. I am in favour of resumption of dialogue between the government and the students who are on the strike. There should not be any extreme action that will completely undermine the future of students,” said one of the FTII faculties (name withheld on request).

Chauhan, known for portraying the character of Yudhisthir in TV series Mahabharat in early 90s, however, remains unfazed, maintaining that he has been appointed on the merit of his 34 years experience in the showbiz career.

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