Pune: 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”.A ten-member delegation of the FSA led by filmmaker Girish Kasarwalli and oscar-winner Resul Pukutty yesterday had a meeting with I&B minister Arun Jaitley and other officials during which the main demand for removal of Chauhan was reportedly cold-shouldered, FSA sources said.
An FSA spokesman in a media statement here said, “Today, we stand at a critical juncture which needs intense deliberations to chart our way ahead. We will be back. Till then the strike is on.” Chauhan has been in focus of the now three-week old agitation by the students who claim that he lack “stature and vision” to head the institute. The association of the actor with ruling BJP has also been a bone of contention 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.
Chauhan, known for his portrayal as ‘Yudhishthir’ in popular TV serial Mahabharat, had earlier said it was premature on 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 of the premiere institute. A statement issued by the FSA after the meeting in Delhi last night said ” The panel representing the FTII students was first met by Joint Secretary (Films) and later Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley. The 40-minute meeting was found to be unsatisfactory and inconclusive.” A student said “It is important that the Ministry spells out its thoughts on our protest.”