FTII Pune protest: After 83 days, students resume classes today
After 83 days of protesting against faulty and inadequate infrastructure, the students of 2016 and 2017 batches at Film and television institute of India (FTII) have decided to resume classes from Monday.
Around 40 students each from 2016 and 2017 batches were not attending classes for 83 days demanding additional infrastructure and extending the semester period. While the administration and dean held multiple talks with students, it bore results only on November 9 when both sides — students and administration — made headway. The students were on protest since August 21 this year.
Following the assurance by administration that new infrastructure will be set in place in time; the students, under pressure for boycotting the classes, decided to end the protest despite admitting that their demands have not yet been met.
“The students have agreed to join classes from Monday after the administration was successful in holding talks with them. There were several rounds of talks between students, dean and head of departments (HoDs) before students agreed to resume classes,” said Bhupendra Kainthola, director FTII.
Meanwhile, protesting students said that the decision to end protest was taken as they were losing on academics. According to Kainthola, two new buildings with state-of-art infrastructure will be made available for students within the next 15 days. “We have told students about the new set up and the administration’s commitment to develop the new infrastructure,” said Kainthola.
“The students wanted to rejoin classes and have been holding talks with the dean and HoDs to help us create a better schedule to accommodate our classes. They (HoDs) have been speaking on our behalf with the administration to create a new course schedule and also give us extension to accommodate shooting schedules,” said Aadith V, second year cinematography student of 2017 batch.
Out of 11 courses being run by FTII, students from six courses were on strike and boycotting classes since August 21. Earlier in 2015, the FTII students had held the longest protest for 139 days to oppose the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the FTII chairman.
“Some of our main demands were that the administration had promised us new studios which were to be built by June 2018, but has not been set up yet; promised classrooms have not come up and negligence from the administration towards safety of students. We have compromised on our demands as the negotiations are not going anywhere,” said Aadith.
The students’ demands also include calibrated monitors for production design students; direction classroom theatres which were promised by September 2018, but are still not ready; safety checks and audits which are still not in place.