Protests against me 'politically motivated', says FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan
Pune: Newly appointed chairman of prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Gajendra Chauhan, who is facing flak by students, has alleged that the protests against him were "politically motivated" and orchestrated by someone for personal interest.
Yesterday, the students continued their protests on the fifth day for “political appointemnet” as Gajendra Chauhan is a known member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The actor, best known for his portrayal of 'Yudhishthir' in popular television serial Mahabharat" said that he deserves a chance to showcase his capabilities before being judged.
He also urged for a meeting with the students to "sit and talk over" the matter before coming to any conclusions.
"Without knowing my background, without knowing me, without knowing my capabilities, they (students) have decided on their own (to protest),” Chauhan said.
The students, along with prominent Bollywood personalities have expressed dissent against Chuahan as they think he is not qualified to take over as the chief.
After Friday's flash strike boycotting classes, about 150 students gathered on the campus on Sunday to gather support for their agitation. They also raised slogans and displayed placards condemning Chauhan's appointment.
Alluding to the BJP affiliation of Chauhan, one of the posters put at the gate of FTII said, "Mr Modi we don't want your puppet". Earlier, they had demanded the appointment of Chauhan be revoked, calling it a "political appointment".
Noted Marathi filmmakers Anand Patwardhan and Umesh Kulkarni have come out in support of the students' demand for high standards of selection of the FTII chairman's post. Patwardhan today addressed the students who have been protesting against Chauhan's appointment.
Renowned film and theatre actor Om Puri said, "I don't know the credentials of Mr Chauhan. Autonomous doesn't mean the government should not participate but it's a request to the government that they should take someone who is from cinema for this post."
'Swaraj Abhiyan' leader Yogendra Yadav, also visited the institute to lend his support to the students. Yadav alleged that Modi government does not understand the word 'autonomy' and this is not the first institution where "autonomy is being eroded" by it.
"It is not mere a question of saffronisation, the real question is of degradation of all institutions where people without necessary qualification are being appointed," the former AAP leader said.