Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met agitating Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students on Tuesday and assured complete solidarity with their cause. The students are demanding ouster of BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman on the grounds that he is not qualified enough for the job.
“He has shown complete solidarity with the students. He has very clearly communicated to us that the students should further go ahead and raise the concerns with the ministry,” said Vikas Urs of FTII students association.
In the meet, the students told Kejriwal that the appointment of the chairman of such an elite institution must be transparent.
“They said though the prerogative of appointing the chairman lies with the government, the credentials of the person also matters,” a Delhi government official said.
Students from the Pune institute had descended to the capital to continue their 54-day-old agitations from Jantar Mantar on Monday.
Kejriwal’s government has been at the forefront in promoting the cause of education. The AAP government in Delhi recently doubled its budget to promote health and education in the national capital.
Earlier on Monday, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore alleged that the FTII students’ protests were directly influenced by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Rathore said that the whole source of the protests took its root in politics.
“Somewhere a small segment of students was being misled by a political party or person. Had Rahul Gandhi visited FTII earlier in the last ten years, probably the situation would have been much better in the institution,” Rathore told reporters.
Last week, Gandhi had visited the institute in Pune to discuss problems the students were facing. During the two-hour long meeting, Gandhi said that the present BJP government was continuously promoting mediocrity in not just FTII but across all prominent educational institutes of the country.
Meanwhile, eminent film actor Anupam Kher who had earlier voiced his opinion in support of the students, on Monday urged the students to stop their protests and return to classes.
“Their parents have spent a lot of money on them. Now, the world is aware of their problem. Chairman has nothing to do with their day-to-day problems. There are millions of ways to stage protests. Now, they are stretching it too far,” Kher told a TV channel.
In the past, film personalities such as Kher, Resul Pookutty, Kiran Rao, Amol Palekar, Rajkummar Rao, Sudhir Mishra, Rishi Kapoor have all voiced their opinion against the appointment of Chauhan as chairman.
Students of the institute have now been protesting for 54 days. Some are even boycotting classes.