As the ongoing unrest at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) intensifies, the institute administration on Wednesday hardened its stand issuing notice to the students to call off the strike immediately, failing which the students will face strict action.
In a notice to students, FTII director DJ Narain has said, “I would to bring to the notice of all students presently on strike that continuing defiance of directives of Director, in written or oral, that strike must be stopped immediately and the students must go back to the academic activities, would result in strong administrative action which may include rustication as well.”
The notice says that students will themselves be responsible for action if they don’t withdraw the strike. “You are therefore ordered to terminate the strike with immediate effect and resume academic activities without any further delay, failing which the institution will be free to take strictest administrative action,” read the notice which the students received on Wednesday, a day after it was issued.
Responding to the notice, students have said they will hold a meeting and come up with a response. “The students association shall come up with the official communication."
The FTII students have been on strike since June 12, completely abandoning the academic work in their protest against the appointment of Chauhan. The students have accused Chauhan, an actor turned politician, of “lacking vision” to head India’s premier film institute.
Earlier, the Information and Broadcasting ministry had engaged students in dialogue although the talks between them remained inconclusive with students remaining adamant on removal of Chauhan. The ministry has repeatedly said that there are other bigger issues such as students’ backlog, money being spent on FTII and the present infrastructure.
According to estimates given by ministry sources, the government spends Rs 40 crore annually on FTII with each student costing Rs 13 lakh. Many students have failed to complete their projects on time resulting in backlog with 3-year course batch stretching over six years. In its 55 years of history, there have been 40 strikes at FTII.