‘Who are Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor?’ FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan refuses to step down


Despite criticism from students and eminent film personalities who are asking for his removal, prestigious Film and Television Institute of India’s chairman Gajendra Chauhan has refused to step down from his post, and has even issued a counter-response of his own.

“Who are Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor?” Chauhan said to a TV channel this afternoon. “I won’t give up FTII chairmanship,” Chauhan emphasized.

Former Censor Board chief Kher earlier on Friday said BJP member Gajendra Chauhan, who took over as Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman recently, was not qualified enough for the job. Kher even furthered the idea of turning the government institute into an autonomous body.

Even others like Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Digvijaya Singh have upped the criticism of Chauhan and asked him to resign.

“I personally feel that FTII represents a certain art form… it does certainly need a person having a great body of work which means he is supposed to know world cinema, he is supposed to know the present state of cinema like editing. But certainly FTII needs somebody who is much more qualified than whatever Gajendra ji’s qualifications are coming across,” Kher said in Chandigarh today.

“I certainly do not think Gajendra ji is qualified as a producer, director or actor,” the 60-year old actor said.

Chauhan, who is known for portraying the character of ‘Yudhisthira’ on TV show Mahabharata, became chairman of FTII last month. His appointment has come under severe criticism from current and former students of the elite institution, who have been protesting since the last one month.

A lot of other eminent people 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.