Today, after 139 days, students of the Film & Television Institute of India, decided to call off their strike – but not their protest.
They will continue with their resistance – and aim to show the ‘darkness’ they have seen in these 139 days. Yes, all the right thinking minds were agitated when Gajendra Chauhan was appointed as the FTII Chairman, an actor that many don’t recognize beyond his only credible role – as Yudhisthir in 1988-1990 television serial Mahabharata – a period long enough to make him even more obsolete.
Appointing him could never be justified – and can never be – not even in the name of changing ideologies in the government.
Yes, a government’s move to appoint persons following its ideology/thought process is only natural and there will be natural ‘political’ slugfests.
But we need to think why many even in the government couldn’t digest Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment like the ‘famous’ helplessness shown by Arun Jaitley or the ‘trademark technical compulsion of the government’ in removing him or even the vociferous disapproval expressed by Anupam Kher who today ‘vociferously’ disapproved the ‘National Awards returning act’ act by any filmmakers in support of the FTII students.
If Gajendra Chauhan would have even the slightest of idea of what was coming around, he would never have welcome the move by the students and would never have thought to go to the extent to invite students on ‘talking table’.
And there came the presser by many filmmakers including Anand Patwardhan and Dibakar Banerjee – giving clear indication that the protest is going to intensify even more – yes with changed ways and tools – as the students said:
“We will not engage with the information and broadcasting ministry in any talks till these appointments are revoked. We are respecting what all the students want and will rejoin classes. We have tried every democratic means to make our voice heard.”
“We will go back to cinema and our work will show what we have learnt in last 139 days. We call upon all academicians and citizens to take our voice forward.”
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/