Amid protests from students and a section of the film fraternity against the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India, RSS weekly Organiser has said in an article that those opposing Chauhan’s appointment are “anti-Hindu”.
It also said that “only a mentally challenged will challenge Chauhan’s credentials”.
An article in the latest issue of Organiser said that after the government appointed Chauhan, “anti-Hindu fringe elements did what they are best at. They started protesting…”
Referring to media reports which suggested that Chauhan lacked “qualification and experience”, and that his was a political appointment, the article, written by Sandeep Singh — founder of the website http://www.swastik.net.in — said that “Chauhan, who is best known for his portrayal of…Yudhisthira in the TV serial Mahabharat…does not lack credentials”.
“He has worked in around 150 movies and over 600 TV serials and has an experience of 34 years in the industry,” it said.
“So, the question of credentials is not only a farce but it can very well be argued that all the credentials of students and regular faculties of FTII put together will be of no match to the credentials of Chauhan. Only a mentally challenged will challenge Chauhan’s credentials,” it added.
The article also claimed the protests “smell of conspiracy”.
Quoting a report in The Indian Express, the article said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had sanctioned Rs 80 crore for the institute last year, and a new studio was being built there. “All these have made no difference to the so-called well-wishers of the institute, because their interest lies not in the well-being of the institute and students, but in furthering the anti-Hindu propaganda,” it said.
The write-up, titled ‘FTII row: Protest or Conspiracy?’, also labelled some filmmakers, including Rajkumar Hirani who is on the board of FTII, “anti-Hindu”.
The article also said that former FTII chairman U R Ananthamurthy has “never acted in his life. But, he did run for the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 in which he stated that his prime ideological objective…was to fight the BJP”.
It also labelled director Mrinal Sen a “confirmed Marxist”, Girish Karnad “a known Hindu-hater”, Shyam Benegal “known for (his) anti-BJP stand” and Mahesh Bhatt a “porn promoter whose son was befriended by David Headley, an accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks”.
Referring to IIT-Madras reversing its decision to de-recognise Ambedkar Periyar study group, the article said the Centre “buckled under the pressure of fringe elements” and “allowed anti-Hindu activities to be carried on”.
“They did not realise that post this incident, such fringe elements will raise their head across institutes with rejuvenated vigour,” it added.
This comes a week after another article in the weekly’s previous edition referred to IIM -Ahmedabad chairman A M Naik’s reservations against the sweeping powers of the government in the draft IIM bill. The article had alleged that the “government funded institutes from tax-payers’ money are becoming ground for anti-India and anti-Hindu activities”. It also suggested that the “Board of Governors should be made responsible” for this.