As protesting students refusing to let Gajendra Chauhan take charge as the chairperson of the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune were lathi-charged by the police, the film fraternity call it a sad state of affairs. Expressing his views on the incident, filmmaker Shyam Benegal says, “Everything that shouldn’t have happened has taken place. I was very keen that Gajendra Chauhan should go on his own and not accompanied by law forces. There was no need to do that. It was simpler that way. I am very saddened by what has happened.”
National award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua, who is also an FTII alumnus, believes that it should not have ended in this manner. “It’s very unfortunate. In fact the entire thing could have been handled in a better manner,” says Barua.
Director Shirish Kunder, who has helmed films such as Joker (2012) and Tees Maar Khan (2010), took to Twitter and posted, “Gajendra Chauhan to take charge at FTII today and teach them a lesson. Bilateral talks with terrorists. War with FTII students. 56-inch bravery!”
Bilateral talks with terrorists. War with FTII students. 56-inch bravery!— Shirish Kunder (@ShirishKunder) January 7, 2016
Director Hansel Mehta posted two contrasting pictures of Chauhan at FTII and students at the police station and captioned it “The picture says it… #FTII”
Meanwhile member of the Central Board of Film Certification’s Board, Ashoke Pandit, tweeted in support of the lathi-charge but later deleted the tweet. “The govt. shld come heavy on the students misbehaving at #FTII as they r more of political activists & seize to be students of #Cinema,” he posted.
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