After Ranbir Kapoor, veteran actor Anupam Kher has extended his support to the FTII students who have gone on strike to demand the removal of TV actor and BJP member Gajendar Chauhan as chairman of the institute.
Chauhan (who is well known for his role as Yudhisthir on popular TV show Mahabharata) was appointed as chairman of the Pune-based institute’s governing council last month, amidst much criticism. Since June 12, the institute’s students have been on a strike, boycotting classes and protesting Chauhan’s appointment who they feel lacks ‘stature and vision’ to head FTII.
The Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006) actor, in an interview with India Today was quoted saying, "I personally feel that the FTII represents a certain art form. It does certainly need a person who has a great body of work, which means he is supposed to know world cinema as well as the present state of cinema, like editing. But certainly FTII needs somebody who is much more qualified than whatever Ganjendraji's qualifications are coming across."
The actor also said that he did not think Chauhan was qualified as a producer, director or actor, a possible retaliation to Chauhan’s statement who had earlier that that he was fit for the job, and would not quit his post.
However Kher also advised the students to end the strike and instead resume their classes: "I feel students who are on strike should go back, make movies, attend classes, because the Chairman is not directly involved in the day-to-day functioning of FTII."
Along with Kher, filmmaker and former FTII chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan has also lent his backing to the movement. Other noted personalities such as Resul Pookutty, Kiran Rao, Sayeed Mirza and Piysh Mishra have also made their displeasure over the matter felt, while Pallavi Joshi and Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua gave up their membership from FTII to support the students.