Kolkata students express solidarity with FTII protest

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) Over 100 students from various educational institutes here on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the FTII students who have been protesting against the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as its new chairman.

In a cultural protest organised by Jadavpur University (JU) in support of the ongoing strike at the Film and Television Institute of India, students from JU, Presidency University, Ashutosh College and many other colleges voiced their dissent against the “increasing saffronisation in educational sectors in India”.

At the protest, three representatives from FTII narrated their experiences and the reasons for the massive agitation that has brought the prestigious institute to a standstill for over a month now.

“We are learning about their apprehensions and why it became necessary to strike. We will also watch video clippings documenting the strike to get a better idea,” Debashree, a student member of the JU Arts Faculty Students’ Union, told IANS.

The FTII agitation is now on its 41st day, with the students voicing apprehensions on other appointments and demanding transparency in the functioning of the institute.

The students are protesting against what they call “ludicrous” appointments of Chauhan as their chairman and five other members in the governing council who have “no credentials whatsoever to head such an institution of national eminence”.

Recently, leading filmmakers from West Bengal, led by National Award winner Aparna Sen, came out in support of the protesting students and hit out at the “attempts at saffronisation”.

Urging all Indians to back the agitation at the FTII in Pune, the filmmakers including FTII alumnus Indranil Roychowdhury, cautioned that incidents like these were “case studies and not in isolation”.

Indian cinema veterans Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Soumitra Chatterjee have also extended support and flayed the “political appointments”.


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