FTII row: Gajendra Chauhan should be given time, says Shatrughan Sinha

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Mumbai, Jun 24: As the strike at the FTII entered the 13th day, BJP leader and yesteryear actor Shatrughan Sinha today said revoking the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the institute is unlikely and asked the students to resume the classes.

Pahlaj Nihalani, whose appointment as the Censor Board chief had also kicked up a controversy few months back, also defended Chauhan's appointment and alleged that students at the campus in Pune were indulging in politics.

FTII row: Shatrughan bats for Chauhan

"I had a long talk with everybody concerned. It is not easy for a government to go back on a decision. It is a democratically-elected government, which took the decision and it cannot give into the demands of the mobs," Sinha, an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), told PTI over phone.

Sinha urged the students, who are questioning the merit in the appointment of Chauhan, to resume classes as soon as possible and not to waste their time in such activities.

[FTII students adamant on Chauhan's removal, strike continues]

With clips trying to show Chauhan's mediocrity as an actor doing the rounds on social media, Sinha asked the students not to go into the past of the actor, instead he should be given a chance to prove himself as an administrator.

"There is a difference between real life and reel life. All of us should look positively," Sinha said, when asked about the clips.

The FTII students have been opposing Chauhan's appointment alleging that he lacked any "credentials and vision" to head an institution such as FTII, which is supposed to give direction to cinema.

"How can the students demand that we want this teacher or we want this chairman? At the FTII, they're trying to put politics in between. I think they should go and do their work. They have come to learn and let them learn what they want to," Nihalani had told PTI earlier.

Nihalani also hit back at the allegations of cronyism, saying nobody questioned the appointments made by the Congress governments in the past. When asked if he would intervene to broker a truce, Sinha said he owes all the success in his life to the institution and would like to do all which can help the FTII.

PTI 

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