Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Friday, days after the students sought his support for their agitation against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the head of the Pune-based institute.
Students had invited him to visit Pune and support their cause in order to stop an “assault on institutions of higher learning”.
FTII students are on strike, demanding the removal of Chauhan, who is also a member of the BJP and has served as its joint convener for culture, as chairman of the institute. Besides, they have also demanded the formation of a committee that will draft the rules for the FTII society.
Responding to the students’ invitation, Gandhi has decided to go to Pune and support their cause, Congress sources said.
In a letter to Gandhi, FTII students' association president Harishankar Nachimuthu said that Chauhan's induction has raised questions over the process of appointments in the institute and asked the Congress leader to step in to resolve the “crisis”, which came close on the heels of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in controversy in IIT Madras.
IIT Madras had de-recognised the study circle following an anonymous complaint to the HRD ministry that it was trying to spread hatred towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies by distributing provocative pamphlets and posters in the campus.
Gandhi had then attacked the NDA government over “centralisation” of power and asserted that his party will always stand against injustice whether done on Dalits, tribals, women or people from any religion.