Talks with govt inclusive; FTIIians to continue their protest

Describing their talks with the government as "inconclusive and unsatisfactory", the FTII's Students Association (FSA) today said the strike that started on June 12 demanding removal of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII Governing Council Chairman "will continue".

Pune: Unrelenting in their demand for removal of mini screen actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of FTII, students of the premier film institute today said they would contiue their agitation as talks held with the I&B Ministry yesterday failed to resolve the issue.

Terming the talks held in New Delhi as "inconclusive and unsatisfactory", the FTII's Students Association (FSA) said the agitation that started on June 12 will continue.

A ten-member delegation of the FSA plus some alumni of the institute led by filmmaker Girish Kasarwalli and oscar-winner Resul Pukutty had a meeting with I&B minister Arun Jaitley and other officials during which the main demand for removal of Chauhan was cold-shouldered, FSA sources said.

Students, drawn from different parts of the country and pursuing various film-related courses, held that Chauhan, a BJP member, lacks "stature and vision" to head the institute, which has produced many leading personalities of Indian cinema.

Chauhan's association with the BJP has also been an issue with the students expressing reservations over his ideological orientation which, they say, could have a bearing on the FTII's ethos of plurality of thoughts.

Known for his portrayal as 'Yudhishthir' in popular TV serial Mahabharat, Chauhan,has maintained it was premature on the part of the students to oppose his appointment even before he took charge and proved his credentials for the job.

"Yudhishthir, do not teach us Dharma", is a slogan currently popular with the agitating students, alluding to the steadfastness and righteousness of the mythical character. 

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