The agitating students of the FTII are not averse to the Ministry Secretary assuming the post of chairman till a transparent mechanism to select the institute’s governing body is evolved, sources on the campus have said.
A suggestion to this effect came up during the first round of talks between representatives of FTII Students’ Association and the I&B Ministry officials held in Mumbai last week to break the deadlock over the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan, a BJP member, as the institute chairman.
A random query on part of the ministry officials as to what would happen if the current governing council (headed by Chauhan who is yet to take charge) was dissolved as demanded by the students is said to have led to this suggestion by the students’ delegation.
The delegation pointed out that the FTII did not have any governing council even during the one and a half year since expiry of the previous chairman Saieed Mirza’s term and the institute has been in charge of the director,the sources said.
Given the prevailing situation, it would be better for the institute’s interests if the I&B ministry Secretary assumes the post of chairman as a stop-gap arrangement until a consensus on the reconstitution of the FTII governing body was arrived through a mutually agreed transparent mechanism ensuring appointments of deserving persons of eminence from the field, the students felt.
The FSA has hinted that the suggestion had not in effect diluted its core demand for removal of Chauhan and four other governing council members of the FTII and evolving a transparent system for future appointments to man the institute with persons of vision for Indian cinema.
The students, who have been boycotting classes since June 12, have alleged that Chauhan did not have “credentials or vision” to head the FTII. They are scheduled to have the second round of talks with the ministry officials, expected to be attended by the I&B secretary Sunil Arora in Mumbai on October 7.