Director Dibakar Banerjee, who was slammed by actor Anupam Kher for returning his National Award for their film “Khosla Ka Ghosla”, says the actor’s comments on the issue is a support for the protest and has succeeded in bringing attention to the FTII issue.
“Anupamji speaking up against it, in a way, is a support because he considers the matter important enough to speak about it. Therefore I’ve managed to draw the people’s attention,” said Banerjee, at the MAMI Movie Mela in Mumbai on Saturday.
Asked about the lack of support for their protest, he said: “I think you’re wrong in saying that I’m not getting support. The fact is that there are 12 people who returned the awards and there will be more that will be coming up. The number of mails, messages and questions I’ve been asked, is a matter of support.”
Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students recently ended their strike but were planning to continue the protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman and other appointments.
Asked who could be some of the prospective personalities who could take up the position, Banerjee replied: “Anupam Kher – if he agrees and has the time for it, also because he runs a big institute himself and Paresh Rawalji. What you feel if Anupam Kherji or Paresh Rawal were the chairman, think logically and say it with your heart, will this crisis have occurred?
“Will these strikes happen? We would’ve laughed on the students if they would’ve held strikes in that case.”
“Only a very senior person can become the chairman of FTII – who has worked 20-40 years on a very high level in the industry. That maybe Paresh Rawal, Saeed Mirza, Anupam Kher, Javed Akhtar or Vidhu Vinod Chopra – because the responsibility of the chairman is to guide the students.”
Banerjee, along with 12 others had returned their National Awards not just for the FTII issue but also against the rising intolerance in the country.