NEW DELHI: The FTII students on Monday took to the streets here to protest against the appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the premier institution. They got support from various political parties even as the government accused them of giving a political colour to the strike.
Around 150 FTII students, alumni, teachers and theatre personalities participated in the protest held at Jantar Mantar as students marched holding placards ‘Saffronising FTII’, ‘Go Back, Chauhan’ and ‘Not suitable for Job’.
The students demanded a meeting with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
They will be meeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday morning and will hold another peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar.
“We have been seeking meeting with MoS (Rathore) and police have assured us that they will arrange for the same. It has been 53 days since we have been protesting but nothing has happened. The Centre has no right to politicise the appointment in educational institutions,” said Vishal Urz, FTII student and spokesperson of protesting students.
Chauhan, a BJP member and known for essaying the role of Yudhishtir in popular tele-serial Mahabharat, has refused to step down.
His appointment as the FTII chairman on June 9 triggered an indefinite strike by the students on June 12.
The protest was supported by Congress students’ wing NSUI and Left-wing All India Students’ Association (AISA). “The government should not remain adamant and should admit its mistake of appointing a person who is not competent to hold the prestigious post. Such appointments should not be politicised,” said Arvind Gaur, director with Asmita Theatre Group.
Gaur was also critical of Chauhan’s statement that he should be given a chance to work.
“Would the government give me a chance to become Prime Minister of the country and serve the nation?” said Gaur, as students of his theatre group in black kurta-blue denim jeans combo joined the protest.
Congress MP Raj Babbar and JD(U) leader K C Tyagi also participated in the protest and backed the students. They, along with CPM leader Mohammad Salim, Rajiv Shukla(Congress), D Raja (CPI) and D P Tripathi (NCP), released a joint statement expressing their support to the protest.
MoS for Information and Broadcasting Rathore said the government was open to discussions with the agitating students but was against politicising the issue.
Leaders out to support students
Congress MP Raj Babbar (in pic) and JD(U) leader K C Tyagi, along with CPM leader Mohammad Salim, Rajiv Shukla(Congress), D Raja (CPI) and DP Tripathi(NCP) in a statement said that, “The appointment of Gajendra Chauhan raises questions on the selection procedure”.