Bengaluru, April 21: The Government Film and Television Institute (GFTI) in Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru, has produced some of the finest filmmakers of the country, including ace-cinematographer and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Late VK Murthy and well-known director Govind Nihalani.
Unfortunately, when the students of the institute are protesting against the alleged "dictatorial" attitude of their principal for the last 10-days, media did not care to report their cause.
The protest started after the administration of the institute issued a notice to conduct exams from April 12.
However, the students wanted their syllabi to be completed and lectures to take place before they actually attended exams.
The students' demands irked the principal, Renuka Naidu, and she barred 24 students from attending the exams.
Experts say media is biased in reporting student-related issues.
The entire Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row was well-documented in the media as the issue broke out in the national capital. "Take for instance the case of University of Hyderabad. The media initially reported the case after the suicide of Rohith Vemula, followed by intense students' agitation. Now, there is no media coverage about the issue, even though students are demanding the removal of vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile and promulgation of Rohith Act to end discrimination against Dalit students. The media needs to take a holistic approach and focus on real issues," says Stalin K, media consultant.
The social media too has ignored the plight of the students of the GFTI.
However, a Facebook post of a student of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Ajayan Adat, reads, "For the past few years, the GFTI has become a white elephant where a few non-teaching teachers are sucking the blood and essence of that great place. It doesn't have a syllabus for cinema. Cinematography and Sound students are forced to learn subjects like basic management skills and the Indian constitution. Still they want to make it a factory which produces some "broiler" technicians for the film industry."
"Cinema is an art form and it needs to be treated so. The students of GFTI are leading a historical struggle for a proper syllabus, infrastructure and more than anything their dignity. They can't lose this battle, because this is their last hope. We, the film students-practitioners, need to support the students for their rights and protest against government's irresponsible and criminal attitude towards education across the country," he adds.