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FTII students call off strike, to attend classes; Gajendra Chauhan welcomes decision

The students, who have been protesting for 139 days, have decided to attend classes but they will not engage in any talks with government officials.

Written by Atikh Rashid |
Updated: October 28, 2015 6:56:27 pm
ftii FTII students have decided to end their strike but will not engage in talks with the government. Express Photo

Students of the Film and Television Institute of India have called off their strike but said their protests against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman and four others, will continue.

The students, who have been protesting for 139 days, have decided to attend classes but said they will not engage in any talks with government officials.

READ: Why FTII students have withdrawn their strike

FTII Students Association (FSA) representative Vikas Urs said the students have taken a collective decision to go back to academics with “immediate effect” in the best interest of the fraternity.

Referring to FSA’s talks with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which could not end the stalemate, Urs said the ministry conveyed the impression that it had no mandate to take a decision in the matter.

“Now, it goes beyond the five appointments (of Chauhan and four FTII society members) which we had questioned. The right wing attitude is exposed and we know who is running the country,” he said, apparently targeting BJP’s ideological mentor RSS.

When asked how would the students react to Chauhan’s taking charge, another FSA respresentative Rakesh Shukla said, “Our protest has been peaceful so far and it will continue like that. He is not acceptable to us.”

Urs said the students will now “expand and take their battle forward” after having been successful in making the common man understand the concerns raised by them.

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“The success of our agitation lies in the fact that we took our concerns to common citizens. Filmmakers, artists and others should now take our battle ahead. They should take our genuine concerns forward,” a representative of the protesting students said at a press conference in Pune.

The students had gone on an “indefinite strike” on June 11 in protest against the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan as the president of the institute’s Society and chairman of its Governing Council. They were also opposed to four other “political” appointees who, they alleged, lacked the artistic and cinematic expertise to secure a place in the FTII Society.

The strike, which generated wide debate and gathered support from various quarters, forced the government to open a dialogue with the students. Although the two parties held as many as eight meetings, there could not arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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First published on: 28-10-2015 at 02:54:50 pm
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