Intro: The protest by the the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students to revoke the appointment of BJP Member Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of its governing council, smells of conspiracy.
Central Government buckled under the pressure of fringe elements at IIT-Madras and allowed anti-Hindu activities to be carried on. They did not realise post this incidence that such fringe elements will raise their head across institutes with a rejuvenated vigour.
The recent protest by the Film and Television Institute of India is a case in the point. The names of Jahnu Barua, Santosh Sivan, Rajkumar Hirani were floated as the possible candidates following Saeed Akhtar Mirza by the Information and Broadcast Ministry but the final appointment – that of Gajendra Chauhan – is being protested by the students of FTII.
The name of Rajkumar Hirani, Director of movie “PK”; which portrays Hindus in negative light on the Board of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune was being perceived as a signal that government can’t stand tall in front of anti-Hindu fringe elements. And as expected, as soon as the government appointed Gajendra Chauhan, anti-Hindu fringe elements did what they are best at. They started protest against the newly appointed Chairman of Governing Council.
The reasons for protest are not clear. Two leading secular media houses report two different reasons of protest, which are as follows:
Times of India says: “What’s inkling the protesting students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) most about the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairperson of the governing council is his lack of qualifications and experience for the post….. The students are firm that they are not opposed to the political affiliations of any individual but to the absence of credentials.”
NDTV reports: “The students of Film and Television Institute of India or FTII in Pune are on a protest against the appointment of BJP member and actor Gajendra Chauhan as the president of the institute’s governing council, calling it a “political” appointment.”
Gajendra Chauhan who is best known for his portrayal of the eldest Pandav “Dharmaraj Yudhisthira” in the TV serial Mahabharat, on the other hand, does not lack credentials. He has worked in around 150 movies and over 600 TV serials and has experience of 34 years in the industry.
Compare this to the appointment of UR Ananthamurthy who served twice as the chairman of the FTII, and had never acted in his life. But, he did run for the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 in which he stated that his prime ideological objective in opting to contest the elections was to fight the BJP.
So the question of credential is not only a farce but it can very well be argued that, all the credentials of “current students and regular faculties” of FTII put together will be of no match to the credentials of Gajendra Chauhan. Only a mentally challenged will challenge Gajendra Chauhan’s credentials.
The only reason for protest against him is the fact that he portrayed the role of “Dharmaraj Yudhisthira”. Protestors forget that India Film Industry started with “Raja Harishchandra”, one of the tallest figures of Hindu/Indian history. And the most respected award in Indian Film Industry is on the name of the maker of the film, Dadasaheb Phalke.
But FTII’s hatred for Dadasaheb Phalke is no less. FTII’s most famous Chairman’s view on Dadasaheb are as follows: “If Adoor Gopalakrishnan (film director from Kerela) had his way, India would celebrate the centenary of Indian cinema not this year, exactly 100 years after ‘Raja Harishchandra,’ the first feature film made in India, but in 2055. For Mr. Gopalakrishnan, 72, one of India’s finest film directors, the birth of Indian cinema began in 1955 because it was the year that Satyajit Ray made “Pather Panchali”.” (http://india.blogs. nytimes.com/2013/08/26/being-adoor-gopalakrishnan/?)
Protest against Gajendra Chauhan for playing the role of “Dharmaraj Yudhisthira” gains merit, because of the fact that Vinod Khanna was a BJP MP when he was appointed chairperson of the FTII's governing council. The students did not protest against his appointment. Vinod Khanna was the second longest serving chairperson of the FTII afterAnanthamurthy.
The anti-Hindu fringe element theory also gets substantiated by looking at the credentials of past Chairmen, which are as follows:
- n Mrinal Sen, confirmed Marxist
- Girish Karnad known Hindu hater. At the 2012 TATA Lit Fest held in Mumbai, Karnad was invited to speak about “his life in theater”. Instead of talking about the subject, he took the opportunity to lash out at VS Naipaul. So much for freedom of expression.
- Mahesh Bhatt, a porn promoter, whose son was befriended by David Headley, an accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
- Shyam Benegal is known for Anti-BJP stand. He famously said “While it is true that Sardar Patel was not a Socialist like Jawaharlal Nehru, this difference in economic outlook cannot be used as a handle to appropriate Patel by the political Right.”
Let’s look at the Chairman who is being replaced i.e. Saeed Mirza. As a director of Film Institute who is supposed to not only understand but also appreciate an artist’s freedom of thinking and expression has to say the following on killing of journalists in France by Muslim terrorists: “Which leads me to ask a question: didn’t the journalists realise that the ‘truth’ that they held as a flaming torch to scorch would exacerbate the existing racial tensions in their country which, in the past was kept under control and manageable but in the time of the War on Terror had turned extremely volatile and incendiary. The pain, anger, humiliation and despair of the Muslim minorities were not imagined. They were real.” (http://www.outlookindia. com/article/for-whom-shall-i-mourn/293161)
He is also a trustee of an NGO called ANHAD about which Wikipedia says “There are reports though, that the organization is not independent but is actually a political arm of Congress party. It is alleged that the NGO is partisan in attitude and is funded by foreign organizations, mainly by Christian Aid from Britain.”
Like in IIT Madras, students have anti-Hindu Arundhati Roy as external guide, FTII has got anti-Hindu Anand Patwardhan and Yogendra Yadav (Politician) as external guide.
Students and Government both are not realising that these institutes are being run by Tax Payers Money. People of this country have selected the Government with unprecedented majority to Govern, which includes running of the institutes which come under government’s purview.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has done enough for FTII and its students, which is evident from the Indian Express report, which says “Two years ago, the faculty were advised in a particular month to take their salaries as personal loans from banks, the interest for which FTII would pay. This odd arrangement notwithstanding, finances are probably the one bright spot at FTII currently. Modi government sanctioned Rs 80 crore last year, and new studios are currently being built. Last year’s Budget said FTII would be a Centre of National Excellence.” All these have made no differen to the so-called well wishers of the institute, because their interest lies not in well-being of the Institute and students, but lies in furthering the anti-Hindu propaganda.
Sandeep Singh (The writer is a founder www.swastik.net.in)