Known BJP supporter Anupam Kher was on Wednesday appointed the new chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.
Though the institute has denied receiving any official communication on Kher’s appointment, the actor tweeted, “I feel deeply humbled & honoured to be apportioned as the Chairman of iconic #FTII. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities.”
However, students on the campus did not sound excited over his appointment.
Robin Joy, president of FTII students’ association told DNA, “Kher is already running a private acting institute and still government has decided to appoint him as the chairman of a government institute. His appointment (as chairman) will surely raise the issue of conflict of interest.”
Rohit Kumar, general secretary of the association said, “There is no doubt that Kher possesses the required credentials. But at the same time the statements that he has made over the last three years also can’t be ignored. Taking a pro-government stand, Kher has made some statements against students over issues like JNU, intolerance.”
The students body is reportedly holding an important meeting on Wednesday (11 October) night to decide their future course of action.
His wife Kirron Kher is currently a BJP MP. The controversial actor has on many occasions defended the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. He had famously said that he had no shame in being a Modi sycophant.
In an interview to India TV, he had said, “I am a sycophant of Narendra Modi. It’s better to be Modi’s chamcha than somone else’s bucket.”
Kher was honoured with Padma Shri in 2004 and Padma Bhushan in 2016
The previous appointment of FTII chairman by the central government had caused considerable controversy with students on the campus refusing to let Gajendra Chauhan function in his role.