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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”