At FTII Pune, Anupam Kher was without a team; now there is a team without a head
For more than 11 months during Anupam Kher’s tenure as Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) society chairman, he was without a team as the government did not nominate other members of the society, which in turn could not constitute the governing council and the academic council.
When the FTII finally got a team with the appointment of film producer BP Singh as vice-chairman; Raju Hirani, director; Mahesh Aney, cinematographer and others as non-official members of the governing council, it is now without a head, post Kher’s resignation.
Kher, a veteran Bollywood personality, on Wednesday resigned as chairman of FTII society citing international commitments. Cutting short his three-year tenure after serving for a year, Kher will now get busy shooting for HBO series, New Amsterdam.
It was in September that the information and broadcasting ministry nominated 12 non-official members of FTII society, which in turn constituted two key bodies responsible for decision making - the governing council (GC) and the academic council (AC). In the past, on most occasions, the government had appointed FTII chairman and society members at the same time. The members appointed by I&B ministry are all ‘non-official’ members.
As the two crucial councils could not meet for more than a year because the team members were not decided on, most decisions including dealing with ongoing students protest at the campus were being taken by director of FTII, Bhupendra Kainthola.
The decision to constitute the GC and AC was taken in a meeting chaired by Kher at Mumbai on Tuesday. At the Tuesday’s meeting, actor-director Satish Kaushik was selected as vice-president of FTII society while film producer BP Singh was appointed as vice-chairman of GC and chairman of AC. The FTII society, governing council and academic council will now have to function without a chairman who is responsible for providing a vision to the premier institute.
“Even as Anupam Kher resigned as FTII chairman, the society, governing council and academic council will remain intact. The government will only have to appoint a new head for the institute,” said Bhupendra Kainthola, FTII director, holding the post normally reserved for bureaucrats.
Kainthola said as FTII chairman, Kher visited the campus several times and had an “empathetic ear” for the concerns and issues of the institute.
“On Tuesday, he presided over the first-ever meeting of FTII’s standing finance committee, society and governing council in Mumbai and also approved the new academic council. With this, the functional architecture of FTII, the country’s premier film education centre, is now in place,” Kainthola said.
FTII students express shock over chairman’s untimely resignation
Anupam Kher’s resignation from the post of chairman of film and television institute of India (FTII) on October 31 has left many students in shock. “I wanted to leave with a positive feeling and have constituted a great academic and governing council. Even during the meeting, no one knew but I tendered my resignation in the night to the I &B ministry,” said Kher.
“It came as a great shock when I learnt that Kher has stepped down as chairman. We were hoping he would intervene and help us sort out the issue of faulty equipment. The timing could not be more off considering the institute is currently undergoing a major crisis,” said Rohit Kumar, third year student of direction and screenplay department. The announcement found itself receiving similar reaction from FTII students who were not expecting this.
Prashant Khade, a third year cinematography student said, “It has been two months since we have been stalling classes as the administration is yet to resolve the problem of faulty equipment. In the midst of this chaos, comes the notice regarding the resignation. Now, whom are we supposed to approach to get the issue solved?”
Aadhith V, second year cinematography student said, “The society, governing council and academic council have not been functional since his appointment. Kher has not been in the country for the last six months and our protest has been on for 70 days now. We have been waiting for his intervention in the matter, but were unable to reach him despite multiple attempts. Matters will now just get worse with his resignation.”
The students feel that when the committees were not formed the FTII director played the role of executive head and ad hoc decisions were taken with no representation from students and other members of AC.
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