FTII protest: Faculty member ends fast after 66 hours

Pune, Sept 8: Abhijit Das, a contractual faculty member at the FTII who had gone on a fast demanding resolution of the current impasse over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman, on Tuesday ended it after 66 hours due to the health concerns.

Film and Television Institute of India Students' Association (FSA) which is spearheading the now nearly three- month-old strike in protest against the appointment of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman, said the teachers and students convinced Das to end the fast.

FTII faculty member ends fast

Das, a contractual faculty member of art direction department, had started the fast on Saturday demanding "immediate resolution" of the stalemate which has brought the academic activity to a halt since June.

The FSA yesterday had threatened to launch an indefinite hunger strike by the students to press their demands which include a "transparent process of selection" of FTII body in addition to Chauhan's removal.

"Abhijit sir's sugar level dropped to a dangerously low level late in the night. The concerned students and faculty had to desperately convince him not to risk his life. He finally broke his fast after 66 hours of immense pain and struggle.

It is symbolic of the apathy this government has towards its citizens," FSA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the agitating students, who have questioned Chauhan's credentials, have put up an art installation on the campus replicating Mahatma Gandhi's image, apparently in consonance with the idea of their proposed hunger strike.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, according to the FSA, has remained unresponsive to students' latest overture to initiate fresh dialogue.

The students have also alleged that FTII director Prashant Pathrabe was not doing anything to resolve the crisis and was using "manipulative mechanism" to malign the protesting students.


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