Who is Gajendra Chauhan, asks Soumitra Chatterjee, Mrinal Sen
Kolkata, Jul 22: Seeking removal of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman, legendary director Mrinal Sen and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee actor Soumitra Chatterjee on Wednesday said they have never heard his name.
"I have never heard his name all my life. Who is he? He doesn't have a body of work to become the chairman of an institute like FTII. He doesn't have the credentials needed," Chatterjee told PTI when asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the appointment. [FTII-Gajendra Chauhan's ugly war: All you need to know about it]
He said in his personal opinion it was a political interference in the functioning of the reputed institute.
"And I protest this interference," he said.
Mrinal Sen, also a Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, said he doesn't know of Chauhan.
"I don't know who are these people (who have become part of the council). During our time, things were different and our relationship with the students were good. It cannot be run like the way they are doing," Sen, who has been chairman of FTII's governing council, said.
Another veteran director Buddhadeb Dasgupta said students deserve a head who has thorough knowledge of cinema.
"If we are messing up with the institute then we have to think twice," he said.
National Award winning director Aparna Sen and other directors from the Bengali film industry have already lent their support to the protesting students.
At a programme in Kolkata, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan evaded answering to a question on the issue saying he was not well versed in the functioning of the FTII.
"They have a selection process. I am not acquainted with that, so I am not qualified to respond on the issue," he said.