Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) Hours before the inauguration of the 46th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Friday, Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar appealed to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students to not dampen the party by staging their protest at the festival inauguration venue.
Speaking to IANS, Parsekar said he was willing to talk to the FTII students, who have threatened to protest at the IFFI inauguration venue, the Dr. Shyama Prasada Mukherjee indoor stadium on the outskirts of Panaji when the event kicks off later on Friday.
“They should not dampen the spirit of the festival, especially when the state is so decked and geared up for IFFI,” Parsekar said.
“If required, I can speak to them. I will request them to defer their protest… We can speak about this to the central government, which is like a father to all of us,” he added.
FTII students had staged a 139-day strike from June 12 this year, in protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s director, claiming he was unfit for the position.
After the appointing authority union ministry for Information and Broadcasting stuck to its guns and did not cancel Chauhan’s appointment, the students pulled off the strike on October 29, but also insisted that their protests would continue, saying that IFFI, the country’s largest international film festival and one which is organised by the central government, would be a venue for their protest.
“We will gather outside the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Goa University, Taleigao where the opening ceremony for IFFI is scheduled to take place,” Kislay Gonsalves, spokesperson for the FTII students told IANS.