Pune (Maharashtra): Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday expressed support to striking FTII students amid protests by BJP activists here and said that the government must not impose its decision.
Protesting against Gandhi’s trip to the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), BJP activists accused him of politicising the issue and even waved black flags outside the institute.
Gandhi met the over 200 students of FTII who have been agitating for the past 50 days against the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman and have boycotted classes despite being threatened with disciplinary action.
“Why I’m here is because I fundamentally believe that this is an institution and you (students) form an important part of it, and if your point is not being heard…I fundamentally believe in your democratic right,” Gandhi said in his address to the students.
He added: “I am proud of them (students). They are asking for a discussion. The government should listen to the voice of the youth. It is not nice of the government to try and impose their decisions on them.”
Some students had written a letter to Gandhi and sought his intervention in the issue, besides raising it in parliament.
Attired in a black t-shirt and blue jeans, Gandhi expressed his sympathy for the FTII students’ cause.
Earlier, prominent former students, top actors and Bollywood personalities have supported the students in their agitation against Chauhan’s appointment.
Gajendra Chauhan is an actor known for his portrayal of Yudhishthir in TV serial “Mahabharata”. He heads the FTII which is a premier institute for film studies.