FTII Stir: Protesting Students Await I&B Ministry's Feedback

Students have been on strike since June 12 boycotting classes, bringing academic activity to a halt at the prestigious institute.

Published: 30th August 2015 03:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2015 03:00 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

PUNE: Striking FTII students were awaiting a feedback from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after the August 21 visit of its three-member delegation which held talks with various stakeholders to end the now 80-day stir, even as demonstrations remained subdued on the campus today.

The protesting students have been demanding removal of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan from the post of chairman of the Governing Council of Film & Television Institute of India.

Kindling the hopes of a resolution of the long-drawn agitation by the students that raised the issue of an alleged saffronisation of various national academic institutions and their autonomy, the delegation led by S M Khan had held discussions with FTII students, faculty and staff. The discussions was later described as "satisfactory" by all stakeholders.

However, the committee which was expected to submit its report to the Ministry last week, was yet to do so, according to the faculty and representatives of the FTII Students' Association (FSA).

"We now hear that the Khan Committee which gave us a patient hearing with a positive outlook is likely to table its report in next couple of days -- Monday or Tuesday," an FSA representative Ameya Gore said today.

The acting dean of FTII Sandip Chatterjee told PTI, "We expect the committee to submit its report early next week."

Apart from a stand on the students' demands, which include removal of Chauhan and four members of the FTII body, who allegedly lack "credentials and status", the I&B committee is also expected to make known its stand on the controversial police complaint filed by FTII director Prashant Pathrabe that led to the arrests of five students involved in his gherao recently.

A group of students had gheraoed Pathrabe on August 17 on the contentious issue of ordering assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of about 50 students of the 2008 batch.

Meanwhile, the FTII management withdrew the bouncers deployed by Pathrabe in another controversial decision to beef up security, which drew flak from the students and faculty alike who alleged that it conveyed an impression of criminality and violence on part of the students, giving the campus the look of a 'military camp'.

"It was a temporary measure and the issue was blown up by the media," said Sanjay Jadhav, security chief of FTII when asked about withdrawal of heavy security cover for the director.

The Khan Committee too had disapproved the director's decision during their interaction with reporters before leaving for Delhi.

Students have been on strike since June 12 boycotting classes, bringing academic activity to a halt at the prestigious institute.

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