The Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told reporters in BJP headquarters that the attempts to negotiate with the students had failed because the students took an “extremely hard line”. He denied that talks failed because “the ministry had been harsh with the students.”
The strike by students of the Pune-based FTII has completed 90 days with both parties failing to reach a compromise.
Rathore added, “Unfortunately the students have taken an extremely hard line. We are ready to resolve all issues. We have had multiple talks with them. There have been innumerable back door negotiations with the students. Some of the legendary actors, directors, producers have negotiated on behalf of both, they have given up.”
Meanwhile, the government is silent over the findings of the three-member committee appointed by the I&B ministry to look into the troubles facing FTII.
FTII students have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairperson and four other members (out of eight) of the board. They want explanations on the basis of which their appointments were made.
Rahat Jain, a student of screenplay writing, justified the strike saying, “It is not just to oust a particular set of people but to strengthen the process. Regarding protests on appointments, if you go through the list of previous chairmen and FTII Society members, you will find them of a certain stature, repute and experience that is completely lacking in the current appointments. We have always reiterated that our strike is not against a particular government, but against the continuous negligence of the institute by successive governments that has now boiled over by the extent of the incapability of the latest appointments.”