FTII Row: Not Replacing Gajendra Chauhan, Says Rajkumar Hirani

| September 8 , 2015 , 10:50 IST
  raju hirani Rajkumar Hirani has ruled out replacing Gajendra Chauhan as the head of the FTII council responsible for decisions on academics, including the ongoing revision of syllabus. Speaking to News Channel Hirani said that he has no intention of joining FTII council. Hirani will not replace Film and Television Institute of India's (FTII) chairman Gajendra Chauhan, the spokesperson of the Bollywood filmmaker said on Tuesday. "He is not replacing Gajendra Chauhan, who is heading the governing council of FTII. He has been asked to head the academic council, but will not be able to take it up as his film work keeps him occupied and he would not have the bandwidth to handle FTII work," the director's spokesperson said in a statement. "However, he will continue helping from the outside to end this deadlock between the ministry and the students," the spokesperson added, in reference to the students who have been on strike to oppose the appointment of actor and BJP member Chauhan as the institute's chairman. The statement on behalf of Hirani was issued following rumours that the maker of superhits such as the "Munnabhai" series, "3 Idiots" and "PK", may replace Chauhan as the chairperson of FTII, the country's premier institution for film studies. Hirani is an FTII alumni himself, and had studied film editing. On Tuesday, the students' strike reached 89 days. Students and teachers are now on a hunger strike. ALSO READ: FTII Row: Protesting Students Await Feedback From I&B Earlier, the FTII students on Monday threatened go on hunger strike en masse if their main demand of removal of actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the premier institute was not met by the Centre. "The students will be sitting on an indefinite hunger strike if our demands are not met by the government which has put us in this situation. There is no option left," FTII Students' Association (FSA) representative Vikas Urs told a press conference on Monday. The FSA, however, did not set any date to start the hunger strike. The Supreme Court of India on Monday refused to entertain a plea for judicial intervention to end the logjam at FTII, Pune. The Supreme Court saw PIL seeking intervention to end the FTII crisis, the PIL was formally rejected that was triggered by the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the premier institute. Meanwhile, the fast undertaken by a faculty member Abhijit Das of the Art Direction department of the institute seeking "immediate resolution" of the crisis entered its third day on Monday. Referring to the fast by Das, Urs said it was "extremely disturbing" the way the FTII administration and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry were dealing with the issue. "In a democracy we need to be heard on issues raised by us. No official communication has reached us from the ministry on the fast started by Das," Urs said. He accused FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe of not "doing anything to resolve the crisis" and adapting "a manipulative mechanism" to malign the students. Pathrabe on Monday met the fasting faculty member who is sitting under a tree in a make-shift pandal and requested him to give up his fast. Das has been observing silence since he began his fast on Saturday after issuing a one-liner calling for immediate resolution of the present crisis being faced by the FTII students. Reacting to the Supreme Court's decision not to admit a PIL on the FTII imbroglio, an FSA representative said the ruling will have no effect on the strike. "This will not have any implication on our strike. The PIL was not filed by students or ex-FTII students. So in no way it is blow to our protest. The students' body has at this point of in time decided to go ahead with an indefinite hunger strike," the representative added. (With Inputs From Agencies)