B-Town condemns FTII student arrests

Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) Hindi film celebrities including Shekhar Kapur, Resul Pookutty, Anand Gandhi, Hansal Mehta, Nikhil Advani and Anubhav Sinha on Wednesday condemned the arrest of protesting FTII students, and said the government should “respond with solutions not muscle”.

They said the arrests in Pune in a post-midnight swoop following a complaint by the film institute’s director was a shame, “absolutely condemnable” and sad.

Students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) have been protesting for over two months against the appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as the facility’s chairman.

The midnight arrests, on charges of rioting and more, came after some students confined FTII director Prashant Pathrabe and other staffers in his office for eight hours and vandalised office furniture and fittings on Monday.

Opposing the decision to arrest the students, the celebrities took to Twitter, where the issue was trending under the #FTII hashtag.

Here’s what they tweeted:

Hansal Mehta: Dear government, respond with solutions not muscle.

Shekhar Kapur: There was a time FTII was considered one of the best film schools in Asia and produced some brilliant talent. What happened?

Vivek Agnihotri: FTII is a complex issue. But politicians riding on it makes it more complex. Fair people must condemn it.

Swara Bhaskar: Is this right??? What is wrong with our state??? Shame!!!

Anubhav Sinha: ABSOLUTELY CONDEMNABLE!!! You can’t ARREST dissenting students…. A Government that can’t talk through a matter with 500 students (or less???) will resolve border crisis and such???

Resul Pookutty: A senior official from I&B ministry talked to me at length at 8 p.m. about how to solve the impasse and he said they are coming to FTII in a couple of days. Then why this arrest in the middle of the night? That too including girls?!

Nikhil Advani: FTII students mid-night arrest. SAD!!!

Vishal Dadlani: Never seen a government fall so low, so quick. Family-packs of lies being sold as achievements, while freedom is crushed daily. JaiHind

Anand Gandhi: Here’s another course of action: Hear the students + experts out, accept mistake, revise appointment, kindly take leave.

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