Three technical staffers and an ex-employee of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Thursday demanded that students revoke their strike and accept the government appointments in order to secure their future and also the future of the institute. Vishwas Nerlekar, Sanjay Chandekar, Shrikant Joshi and Sadashiv Phadke (ex-admin officer) expressed their concerns, sighting the ‘dire need’ to save the institute from potential rustication of students, privatisation and even closure.
After director D J Narain’s ultimatum to the students on Wednesday, the members voluntarily established ‘Save FTII’ forum in order to express the opinion of the workers of the institute, which according to the four members, ‘differed from the opinion of students, as well the government.’ “We are on neither side. We want to protect the institute and restore it to its previous glory. In the past one month, the reputation of the institute has taken a toll and the future looks very bleak. At such a moment, we felt it is our duty to come out and urge students to take the protest back and let the new governing council work. Their capabilities can be judged on their performance,” said Sanjay Chandekar, in-charge of Radio FTII.
Chandekar said the staff association would soon open talks with students over possible solutions. “A few students from the institute approached us earlier this week, saying that they didn’t support the ongoing strike and were worried to voice their opinion because of the fear of alienation. We are establishing this forum to invite such students and staff to join us. We hope that this will lead to a dialogue rather than a deadlock and will solve the crisis,” said Vishwas Nerlekar, faculty member, Sound Department, FTII.
The faculty members also questioned the behaviour of the protestors on campus. “The students have been extremely disrespectful to many guests, including eminent personalities like Sonal Mansingh and Ram Gopal Verma. We have to apologise for the students’ behaviour. How long will this go on?” asked Chandekar.