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FTII faculty member goes on fast seeking resolution of impasse

A contract faculty member of the FTII has begun a fast on the institute premises, seeking “immediate resolution” of the current impasse, even as the FTII students’ strike for removal of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman entered its 87th day on Sunday.

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)

Abhijit Das, a faculty member from Assam, who belongs to the Film and Television Institute of India’s (FTII) art direction and production design department, began his hunger strike under a tree in a make-shift pandal and issued a statement.

“I have decided to go on a fast from September 5 to seek an immediate resolution of the present crisis being faced by the students of FTII,” his statement said.

Striking FTII students are demanding cancellation of Chauhan’s appointment as FTII chairman claiming that he lacks “credentials and vision” to head the prestigious institution which is expected to give a direction to the Indian cinema.

Das refused to talk to reporters and stuck to his statement, a copy of which has been addressed to FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe.

Meanwhile, Pathrabe has issued a statement saying he had deputed the Head of the Department of Art Direction to persuade Das to give up his fast as well as informed the police “to take necessary steps required in this respect”.

The long drawn out protest by students showed no signs of resolution even after the submission of the much awaited report of the S M Khan Committee to the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting early this week after its talks with agitating students and faculty.

According to FTII Students’ Association (FSA), it has not received any response from the ministry to the latest letter sent by it, requesting a for fresh round of talks to resolve the issue of reconstitution of the FTII body through a transparent appointment process.

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