Unfazed by rustication warning, FTII students continue strike

 Unfazed by warning of disciplinary action and rustication, the striking students of FTII today said the protest, now on for 35 days, will continue till the government responds to their demands, including removal of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 16, 2015, 20:37 PM IST
Unfazed by rustication warning, FTII students continue strike

Pune: Unfazed by warning of disciplinary action and rustication, the striking students of FTII today said the protest, now on for 35 days, will continue till the government responds to their demands, including removal of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman.

The students, who have been boycotting classes since June 12, were served a notice by Film and Television Institute of India's Director D J Narain yesterday asking them to withdraw the strike immediately or face disciplinary action leading to rustication.

"We are concerned and pained by the notice threatening rustication of about 200 hundred students who are on strike on the campus. We expected a more sensitive handling of the issue by the government which has not responded to our repeated communications, calling for a fresh round of talks to sort out the matters that concern us," FTII Students Association (FSA) representative Vikas Urs told mediapersons here today.

The main demand of the FSA, supported by many members of the FTII alumni, is removal of Chauhan as chairman and reconstitution of the FTII Society which elects the institution's governing council.

The students claim that Chauhan, a BJP member, lacks credentials, vision and stature to head the institute, expected to shape the future prospects of the Indian cinema and film industry.

Asked if the FSA would be ready for a compromise on their demands in case invited for a second round of talks with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Urs said, "This is a hypothetical question. We will be taking our decisions depending on the government's response and outcome of the dialogue."

The earlier talks between the FSA and I&B Minister Arun Jaitley held in New Delhi on July 3 to discuss the students' demands had proved unfruitful.
 

Urs said the students, though on strike to register their protest, had not indulged in any unlawful activities on the campus, therefore the warning of disciplinary action and rustication is unjustified.

Meanwhile, the FTII Teachers' Association has sent a letter to the Ministry requesting it to take steps to end the current impasse as it is affecting the academic activities of the course.

They also got support from several film celebrities though some have said that Chauhan should not be prejudged before he takes up his job.