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FTII strike enters 100th day amid hope given by offer of talks

Pune: As Film and Television Institute of India's (FTII) strike against appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman, enters its 100th day, a ray of hope is seen by the students
PTI September 19, 2015 23:49 IST
PTI

Pune: As Film and Television Institute of India's (FTII) strike against appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman, enters its 100th day, a ray of hope is seen by the students with the Centre agreeing to a fresh round of talks this week, to break the impasse.

In a softening of its earlier stand that no talks would be held till the students ended the strike which started on June 12, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry conveyed it to the FTII Students' Association (FSA) a couple of days ago that fresh talks could be held if there were no "preconditions".

FSA responded positively, saying there will be no preconditions on its part, and it expected the same from the government. The modalities of talks and dates are yet to be finalised.

"Today, on the hundredth day of the FTII strike, support poured in from all quarters. Apart from FTII seniors, students from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Hyderabad Central University came all the way to show solidarity with us," said Rahat Jain, a representative of FSA.

The students, who have questioned Chauhan's credentials to head the premier institute, have also been on a relay hunger strike in batches of three for over a week now.

Apart from Chauhan's removal, they also demand "transparent mechanism" to appoint deserving persons to the FTII governing body.

The strike acquired a political dimension with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visiting the students and supporting the agitation.

The government's intention to end the impasse became further evident when Madhav Bhandari, chief spokesperson of Maharashtra BJP, had an informal meeting with the FSA representatives here a few days ago.