As protests for the ouster of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman Gajendra Chauhan continue to gain momentum, current and former students of the institute are exposing the government’s bias in selecting several other members to the panel without them having adequate qualifications.
One such member is Shailesh Gupta, who according to alumni of FTII has done nothing substantial except making a short film in praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier on Saturday, BJP member Gajendra Chauhan, in an exclusive interview to Jantakareporter.com, denied he had spoken against eminent film personalities Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor. Chauhan has even demanded an ‘apology’ from the media in this regard and said ‘words had been fed into his mouth’.
Chauhan said in a telephonic conversation that Kher and Kapoor were his seniors in the film industry and that he had the greatest respect for them. Yesterday, NDTV had carried a report that quoted Chauhan as saying, “Who are Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor [to criticise me]?”
Kher and Kapoor are among many others along with students who are criticising BJP member Chauhan’s recent appointment by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as chairman, with Kher even going on to say that the man was not qualified enough for his post.
A lot of eminent members of the Indian film industry including well-known cinematographer Santosh Sivan, filmmaker Jahnu Barua and actress Pallavi Joshi have refused to be a part of the FTII society or the governing council in recent times, citing negativity around the institute.
It even emerged yesterday that people like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Shyam Benegal were ignored for the FTII panel before Chauhan was chosen by the I&B Ministry, in reported consultation with the RSS.
Union Minister for I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore later clarified that the government was looking to choose someone who could devote enough time for the institution.