Actor Tom Alter on Tuesday expressed his resentment over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) society. At the same time, Alter asked students, who are agitating against the institute’s decision, to speak with Chauhan as a first step towards presenting their demands. “I know Chauhan and I am ready to mediate for an interaction between him and students,” he said.
An FTII alumnus, Alter visited the institute on Tuesday as the strike called by the students against Chauhan’s appointment entered its 12th day. Students claimed that Chauhan’s appointment was not on merit and that he was not qualified for the post. He extended his support to the strike. Actor Jaideep Ahlawat was also present on the occasion.
“Chauhan is not an expert in training of film making. FTII students have raised genuine questions about his appointment as the chairman. The issue is being discussed nationwide. Whether there is any political motive behind Chauhan’s appointment is a different issue,” Alter said.
Alter told the students that strike and agitation would not yield any result. He asked them to interact with Chauhan and understand his views. “I know Chauhan personally. I am ready to be a mediator if students want a interaction with him. Holding a meeting with Chauhan will not cause any damage,” he added.
Alter also mentioned that if interaction with Chauhan did not satisfy the students, they could then meet Union Minister Arun Jaitely and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “But meeting Chauhan is needed as a first step towards this process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the representative of World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), All India Students Association (AISA), All India Students Federation (AISF), Students Federation of India (SFI), Yuvak Kranti Dal, Nav Samajwadi Paryay, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Yuva Bharat, All India Youth Federation (AIYF), Chatra Bharati, Rashtra Seva Dal, Lokayar, Lokrajya Yuvak Sanghatna, All India Revolutionary Students Organisation and Purogami Yuvak Sanghatna declared their support to the agitation by FTII students.
During a press conference on Tuesday, representatives of these social groups and students’ organisations said if the government failed to consider the demands of FTII students against the appointment of Chauhan and members like Anagha Ghaisas in FTII society, they would intensify the agitation across the nation. Sandeep Barve of the Yuva Kranti Dal claimed the appointments were politically motivated. “It is the constitutional right of FTII students to agitate against such acts,” he said. Girish Phonde of WFDY said about 200 youth organisations associated with them were supporting the FTII strike.