Actor Pallavi Joshi has written to the I&B Ministry saying that she doesn’t want to be a part of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) society following the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairperson.
Joshi said that her decision came in support of the students who have been on strike for 25 days, in protest of BJP leader Chauhan’s appointment.
In her email addressed to the I&B ministry on Sunday, Joshi cited that “creativity and art can’t prosper amid negativity”. She appealed for the acceptance of her resignation until the issue is “amicably resolved between the ministry and the students”.
Joshi said that her decision was prompted by the fact that the talks between the ministry and the students, that took place on July 3 in Delhi, failed without any resolution in sight.
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The students’ demand of reconstitutionalising the FTII society and transparency in future appointments, was evaded by the ministry, with only assurances for the “future”, claimed the press release sent by the FTII Students’ Association.
“I am not happy with the fact that the government is not listening to the students. One can have certain oversights, they can even appoint their favourites. But when the students raise an issue, they should be seriously considered. The Government’s stand on this can’t be so stern that they won’t budge, come what may.”
Filmmaker Jahnu Barua and Cinematographer Santosh Sivan had also written to the ministry to leave them out of the governing council three weeks back. Joshi said that she was disappointed that nothing constructive came from the Government’s side in this period.
“Half the people have maintained silence, the rest aren’t saying anything positive. There doesn’t seem to be a vision or plan of action in their mind regarding how they are going to help the institution. One can’t go about just asking to be given a chance to perform.”
She said that the concerns were not confined to the appointment of Chauhan alone but it was a matter of the future of the film industry. She said that the unrest will negatively affect the intellectual health of India’s premier film school.
“The institute have given the film industry top technicians, filmmakers and actors for many years. These are artistes we have looked up to. I don’t want to see unhappy, disgruntled young filmmaking talent coming out the film school. Creativity is one field where you are allowed to dream big. The curb of freedom of thought will clip their wings to do that and excel,” she said.
The ministry’s decision to appoint her as a member of the FTII society was communicated to her about two weeks ago. Joshi said she “was hoping for a preliminary meeting” with other council members after her appointment. But no such development happened because of the students’ protests.
Joshi also opposed to the idea of privatisation of FTII, a possible prospect hinted at the meeting by the ministry.