Two months on, FTII impasse continues to defy solution

Pune, Aug 12: The deadlock over the ongoing strike in Film and Television Institute of India showed no signs of a solution on its 62nd day today with the students still in no mood to dilute their opposition to the appointment of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman.

A hard posturing by FTII management has led to issuance of notices to 30 hostelites to vacate their rooms for overstaying.

Two months on, FTII impasse continues

The institute's new Director Prashant Pathrabe has announced to adjudge pending film projects of the 2008 batch students on "as is where is" (existing status of the project) basis.

[FTII impasse: 30 students asked to vacate hostels for overstaying]

All this has resulted in building up more tension on the campus. Pathrabe has also announced termination of services of FTII's about 80 contract workers, mainly studio assistants, saying their continuation could not be justified as all academic activity on the campus has come to a standstill since June 12, the day students launched their protest.

FTII students association (FSA) representative Ranjit Nair while talking to PTI today alleged that the management was adopting "desperate measures" to get rid of the students and weaken the strike in keeping with the diktat of the I&B Ministry even though the dean and faculty were skeptical about the assessment method.

Drum beating by students on strike outside the auditorium, in which the incomplete films were being screened for assessment, reportedly forced the management to stop the exercise temporarily in last two days.

"Now a new pro-rata method of assessment based on past performance and record of the students is being proposed to get rid of the students whose projects have remained incomplete due to technical handicaps existing in the institute," a students' representative alleged.

Prashant Pathrabe, currently heading the PIB office here, who took additional charge as FTII Director on July 17, remained inaccessible for his comment on the issue.

After failure of talks with the students' representatives in Delhi on July 3, the I&B Ministry officials have stubbornly refused to hold second round of dialogue with the FSA, cold-shouldering their demand for removal of Chauhan, accused by students of lacking in stature and vision to head the institute.

The stir had earlier taken a political dimension with the visit of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to the FTII on July 31 when he attacked the RSS for promoting "mediocrity" in national institutions.


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