Joining the chorus of those opposing the candidature of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman are veteran Bengali actor and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee Soumitra Chatterjee and legendary director Mrinal Sen. The two said that they hadn't even 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," said Chatterjee when asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the appointment.
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 was good. It cannot be run like the way they are doing," said Sen, who has been chairman of FTII's governing council.
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.