Skip to main content

Film and TV Institute students draft petition, tell new chief, BJP's Gajendra Chauhan, he is "unfit" for the job

Chauhan in BR Chopra's Mahabharata
By Our Representative
In a scathing attack on Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as new chief of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the protesting students of India’s one of the most prestigious institutes have drafted a petition telling him that he was chosen because he was “meant to be a puppet of the government”. Telling him that he lacks “capabilities” to lead the institute, the petition says, there is “a huge anomaly” in his body of work and “the very principles and aesthetic FTII stands for.”
The petition, which it titled “Paap se dharti FTII”, says, “When we first heard about your appointment we knew little about you except those of us who had grown up on Mahabharata, the BR Chopra serial.” On looking up for more information to get to know about him, it says, “We began to smell a rat”, adding, “You, as we saw, are unfit for the job, but more important than that this is a strike against the increasing interference of the ruling party to drive its agenda throughout the country.”
Pointing out that FTII stands for freedom of thought, freedom of speech, individuality and unbridled self-expression, the petition says, FTII is the only film institute in India which has a “global perspective on cinema as a pure aesthetic medium without any mercenary considerations.”
It adds, “Cinema here is taught from the lessons and learnings of world greats by people who understand it as an art-form, to students who want to become artists not assembly line film-makers. This requires a certain bent of mind and commitment to cinematic arts.”
Telling Chauhan that he has “no connection whatsoever with FTII” – he has never even visited the institute – the petition says, “You may say you will learn on the job, but we aren’t talking about hiring an intern.”
Asking him to “seriously reconsider and withdraw”, the petition tells Chauhan of the type of luminaries who have headed the institute – Adoor Gopalkrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, UR Ananthamurthy, Saeed Mirza, and so on.
Especially taking exception to Chauhan’s recent statement that Rajkumar Hirani was the last film-maker of reckoning FTII produced, the petition reminds him of ‘Vihir‘, a terrific Marathi film was chosen at Berlin in the competition section and it was made by an FTII alumnus. “Last year, in 2014,‘Killa’, a Marathi film has won the Crystal Bear at Berlin”, and the director “a cinematography student here”, the petition says.
Giving more details, the petition says, there was ‘Masaan’, which won two awards at Cannes this year, the Ajay Devgan starrer ‘Drishyam’, also made by an FTII alumnus. “Our diploma films have been selected in competition at Berlin this year, ‘Kamakshi’ being a case in point. ‘Chitrashala’, another short film selected at Berlin this year is made by Amit Dutta, an FTII alumnus again”, it insists.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.