Actor Gajendra Chauhan took charge as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) even as the students staged a massive protest against his appointment on Thursday.
Soon after his arrival in Pune, Chauhan chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted FTII Society in Pune.
However, his first day in office saw a large numbers of students staging a protest against Chauhan outside the FTII campus, which forced the authorities to use mild lathi charge to disperse the agitating students.
Over 20 students were detained while protesting against Chauhan outside the FTII campus. A large numbers of students were seen carrying placards and shouting slogans ‘Gajendra Chauhan go back’.
The FTII has been in news for several months due to a series of protests by students over the actor’s appointment.
Undeterred by the students’ protest, Chauhan – a BJP member – had earlier said that he only wanted to focus on doing his job.
“I have been ordered by the government, and I will do my job. Let me go there and see. I can’t comment on what they will do, but I am ready to do my job,” Chauhan said.
The 59-year-old joined the office seven months after his appointment as FTII chief.
“We will be finalising the governing council and then other agenda will be discussed,” Chauhan had said earlier.
Chauhan’s appointment was followed by a series of protests by students and celebrated alumni of the premier film institute. Students had even gone on an indefinite strike in June last year as they questioned his professional credibility to lead the institute due to lack of “stature” and “vision”.
The students finally withdrew the strike in October after 139 days.
Best known for essaying the role of ‘Yudhishthir’ in BR Chopra’s “Mahabharat”, Mr Chauhan has also appeared in small roles in films like “Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge” and “Baghban”.
He was appointed as FTII chairman on June 9, 2015.