Rahul Gandhi interacts with FTII students, supports their protest

Pune, July 31: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday, July 31, interacted with Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students in support of their protests against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as its head.

Rahul Gandhi today said the RSS is "undermining" the institution's stature by promoting "mediocrity".

rahul gandhi

Interacting with the students, the Congress Vice President asked why the "little school" was "disturbing" the government's peace of mind and flayed the RSS, saying it wants to promote its idea and would brand the protesting students as "anti-national".

"RSS and its ideologues are systematically promoting mediocre people in the system...they are hell bent on undermining the educational institutions' stature...it is not going on just in the education system but also in bureaucratic and judicial system.

"Why is that a little school with around 250 students is disturbing the government's peace of mind. If students don't want him (Gajendra Chauhan), then he clearly should not be there. This is an attempt to bully you," he said during an an open session with the protesting students.

He assured the students that he would raise their voice in Parliament.

"RSS wants to promote their idea. They will call you anti-national, anti-Hindu. They are scared of you. That is the nature of a bully," he said.

Rahul was accompanied by the Congress leader Raj Babbar.

Earlier FTII students had written to him seeking his intervention to check the "assault on institutions of higher learning".

FTII students are on strike against Chouhan's appointment and several filmmakers have supported them on the issue.

Students have continued their strike for almost 40 days, boycotting academic work after failure of their talks with Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on July 3.

In a letter to Gandhi, the President of FTII Students Association Harishankar Nachimuthu had said the appointment of Chouhan has raised question over the process of appointments in the institute and sought his intervention to resolve the "crisis" in the FTII, the sources said.

FTII students' association (FSA) has declared that the strike will continue till their main demand for removal of Chauhan - who they allege lacks vision and stature to head FTII - and reconstitution of FTII Society is accepted.

Meanwhile #RGWithFTII was trending on Twitter today:

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