Although the students’ strike has ended and vacancies have been filled with three fresh appointments last week, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society will not assume charge until December.
According to sources, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) doesn’t want to provide fresh fodder for protest ahead of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa between November 20 and November 30.
The students have already announced their plans to use the ‘IFFI platform’ to get in touch with attending international film personalities and get their support for their cause to “make IFFI better governed”. Although the strike ended on October 29, the students have vowed to maintain a ‘passive resistance’. Senior officials with the FTII say that soon after the issue of order of nominating film journalist Bhawana Somaaya, actor Satish Shah and producer B P Singh on the FTII Society was made by the ministry, the official communication was sent to the trio from the administration. The ministry, however, directed the FTII administration to withhold the Society meeting notification until end of this month.
“It will happen only in December after the IFFI fever subsides. The notification may be sent out in first week of December and the Society meeting may follow immediately. The meeting has to take place soon as several important issues such as ratification of new syllabus, appointment of a new director, formation of new governing council and standing accounts committee are pending for more than 20 months. However, given the stance taken by students, we don’t want to give students an opportunity to protest at this sensitive time,” said a senior official with I&B Ministry.
Gajendra Chauhan, the contentious FTII Society President appointee, too said that the society meeting will be only after IFFI.
“I am eager to attend the FTII Society meeting and start working as quite a lot of time has been wasted. Due to the strike, five months of academic time has been lost. We will have to make up for it. But there’s no directives from the ministry for me to assume office. I think it will happen only after IFFI,” said Chauhan.
On October 29, when the students announced that although they were withdrawing the strike, they reportedly said that they “won’t allow Chauhan and four others” to enter the campus. Students are also planning to camp in Goa for 10 days in a bid to engage with the international invitees, senior film makers, and delegates who will be visiting IFFI.
“We are formulating the modalities and strategies of protest to be held in Goa,” Ajayan Adat, a student, said.