FTII students protest appointment of 'Yudhisthir' Chouhan as president

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Pune, June 13: Students at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) here launched an indefinite strike against the appointment of BJP member and actor Gajendra Chouhan as the president of the institute and chairman of its governing council.

Chauhan is known for portraying Yudhisthir in the popular television series Mahabharat which was aired in the late 1980s.

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The students were irked by the "political" appointment and said the development was worrisome.

Chauhan was picked ahead of lyricist Gulzar and film-makers Shyam Benegal and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

Chauhan, who was appointed as FTII president on June 9, has served as the joint convenor for culture in the BJP.

His name had also made the rounds for the post of chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification.

Annoyed students boycotted theory classes, practicals and diploma film work from Friday morning and expressed their displeasure with the decision by putting up disapproving graffiti on the walls. They also forced officials to stop work and threatened to intensify the protests if the government did not change the decision.

Chouhan, while speaking to a news channel, said he was surprised with the protest against him and felt he deserved an opportunity at the FTII.

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