Nagpur: In a relief for Gajendra Singh Chauhan, who has been facing protests since his appointment as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has come out in open to support the "Mahabharata" actor.
In an article, RSS weekly Organiser said that those opposing Chauhan’s appointment are “anti-Hindu”.
The weekly went on to say that “only a mentally challenged will challenge Chauhan’s credentials”.
It added that the protests by FTII students to revoke the appointment of BJP member Chauhan as the chairman of its governing council could be a conspiracy.
Referring to media reports which suggested that Chauhan lacked “qualification and experience”, the article, written by Sandeep Singh — founder of the website http://www.swastik.net.in — said that “Chauhan...does not lack credentials”.
“He has worked in around 150 movies and over 600 TV serials and has an experience of 34 years in the industry,” it said.
“So, the question of credentials is not only a farce but it can very well be argued that all the credentials of students and regular faculties of FTII put together will be of no match to the credentials of Chauhan. Only a mentally challenged will challenge Chauhan’s credentials,” it said.
“ The only reason for protest against him is the fact that he portrayed the role of `Dharmaraj Yudhisthira`,” it concluded.
The article also claimed that the names of Jahnu Barua, Santosh Sivan and Rajkumar Hirani were floated as possible candidates following Saeed Akhtar Mirza by the Information and Broadcast Ministry.
“The name of Rajkumar Hirani, Director of movie “PK”, which portrays Hindus in negative light, on the Board of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune was being perceived as a signal that government can’t stand tall in front of anti-Hindu fringe elements. And as expected, as soon as the government appointed Gajendra Chauhan, anti-Hindu fringe elements did what they are best at. They started protest against the newly appointed Chairman of Governing Council,” the article said.
The article also said that former FTII chairman UR Ananthamurthy has “never acted in his life. But, he did run for the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 in which he stated that his prime ideological objective…was to fight the BJP”.
The article also tried to look into the credentials of past chairmen. It called Mrinal Sen, a confirmed Marxist; Girish Karnad, a Hindu hater; Mahesh Bhatt, a porn promoter; Shyam Benegal, an anti-BJP man.
Noted director Saeed Mirza, who was replaced by Chauhan, is a trustee of an NGO called ANHAD about which it is said that it is actually a political arm of Congress party, the article said.
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, the article said that the NDA has done enough for FTII and its students.
Ever since the government appointed Gajendra Chauhan, best remembered for his portrayal of 'Yudhishthir' in TV serial "Mahabharat", as the chairman of FTII -- an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting -- students and some alumni have been protesting against the decision. They have unanimously claimed that the appointment was politically motivated.
Notably, a number of Bollywood celebrities have expressed their opinion on the issue, with some, such as Anupam Kher, Rushi Kapoor, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Salim Khan, Kabir Khan, expressing support for the students.