Aparna Sen backs FTII students, urges public to join in

Kolkata, July 20 (IANS) Famed filmmaker Aparna Sen on Monday came out in support of the ongoing protest of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students against actor Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as new chairman and urged all Indians to back the agitation.

As the protests at the premier film school entered the 39th day, she noted that in public perception, appointments of people like Chauhan to such bodies could be construed as the Sangh parivar’s efforts at “saffronisation”.

“If a lot of people from a particular party are nominated in a society, then in public perception it could be construed as an attempt at saffronisation.

“But I can’t state emphatically that there is an attempt at saffronisation, because I don’t have proof,” Sen said while participating in a panel discussion over the protests which have brought FTII to a standstill.

She said while it was not possible to erase “political colour or influence completely” from such institutions, “anti-establishment protests always start from such schools. And there will be problems if these voices are stifled”.

The chairman of such an insititution should inspire the students, who should be able to look up to him, she said. “So such a person must have a body of work as his contribution”.

“I announce my support for the studentsa¿ protests. And I feel all countrymen should back these protests,” Sen said.

Many Bollywood celebrities have expressed their opinion on the issue, with Sen being the latest one to side with the students.

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