FTII Issue: It's Not About Chauhan, But The Unjust Decision
Bollywood films are highly popular for its flavours of cinema. Most importantly action. People in India just love action in the movies. However the film with all the aspects of film-making with balanced proportions, usually, becomes the blockbuster. That is why it's important to have a perfect balance in everything. In FTII issue, the problem is same. FTII, Film and Television Institute of India, which is based at the premises of Prabhat Film Company, Pune, is the topmost educational organization in the field of film making, running under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and directly under the full time aid from the Government of India, creating a buzz these days. The reason is the newly appointed chief of the FTII, Gajendra Chauhan and his expertise in the field of films and television.
Governments in India have always tried for appointing their own people on various top posts at the topmost organization in various fields for complete domination. Previous governments have done the same. But this time, the newly elected NDA government, under the Prime minister Narendra Modi, is giving the glimpses of some kind of fascism governance as since the government has settled, everybody related to any of the wing of the BJP, the political party who won the elections, is trying to raise the issue of Hindu nationalism and Hindutwa again and again. For top appointments as well, they are following the same theory. Firstly, in CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), the government had appoint Pahlaj Nihalani, who is the the follower of the current government. Mukesh Khanna, newly appointed as the head of the Children's Films Society, is a follower of Hindutwa ideology and has campaigned in the general elections of 2014 for Narendra Modi in Gujarat and also captured on camera by saying that the Modi is the real 'shaktiman of Gujarat'. Same has happened with FTII and the reign of this prestigious institute, who has given many stars to the Indian film industry like Nasiruddin Shah, Shabhana Azmi, Mithun Chakraborty, Rajkumar Hirani, Rajkummar Rao, Ketan Mehta and many more, to the Gajendra Chauhan, who is also connected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while the elections and campaigned for the party in Haryana in the elections of 2014.
Now, if you look at the whole career of Ganjendra Chauhan, he has done many TV serials and films which are semi-pornographic and the adult ones. The ASAI, All Student Association of India, which is the student wing in FTII who is opposing the appointment and protesting for it, have a stand that this appointment is the example of saffronization of the country by the government which follows the core Hindutwa ideology and has to be stopped by the students. Many celebrities, connected to the FTII and the film industry as well have already joined campaign arranged by the students and saying that the government should appoint someone more capable enough to hold the important post of the prestigious institute of the country and the field of art and cinema should not be politicized forcefully. Many celebrities, which were the part of the FTII committee have already resigned as a protest to this decision by the government. Pallavi Joshi, Santosh Sivan and Jahnu Barua left the committee and criticized the government on the decision. However, some people who backed the decision are Anagha Ghaisas, Narendra Pathak, Pranjal Saikia and Rahul Solapurkar. These four people in FTII are connected to RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) which is the soul of the BJP and have always publicized their views on how they want to change the whole structure of the FTII and how they will spread the nationalism with many courses of the film making in the institution. Indian Express have already published the article on it. You can read that here...
FTII issue has become quiet a big headache for the government. I think, it's not about the career of Gajendra Chauhan, as he has done many low quality films and serials, but it's about the decision which has forcefully taken by the government. Government, as always, has failed to solve the exact problem of the students as well as the citizens of the country. They've their own stand that the selection of this post is out of any electoral process and the government has the full right to choose the person they want. They've started a dialogue for the protesting students to listen to their problems and demands. Resul Pookutty, an academy award winner sound designer has been appointed as a delegate from the students. They have had the meetings but nothing's came out till the date. The representatives of the I&B ministry and the minister of state Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore are saying that the final decision will be taken after the returning of the I&B minister Arun Jaitely, who is currently with PM on his tour to the Central Asia. On the other hand, the people connected to the government are making some harsh statements about the students which is simply adding oil to the fire. Subramanian Swamy, a political leader from Tamil nadu, have stated that most of the students in the protest are Naxalwadis, Maoists (clearly referring to the ASAI, the main party in the protest, which is the student wing of the CPI (ML) ) and the other one like the students should accept the decision or they should be ready for the expulsion. These comments, I think, is not at all required and should be treated by law as it can change the current peaceful mode of the protest.