20 Sep, 2015
Today is the 100th day of the heroic strike of the Film and Television institute of India (FTII), Pune students. For the last nine days three students are on hunger strike. Their hunger strike is now on for 200 hours. Lives are at stake, yet the Government of India doesn’t move. The strike started by 200 odd students of FTII has spread far and wide, to every nook and corner of India and has become a movement against saffronisation of India’s secular polity.
The strike began with the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of India’s premier film institute. He is best known as Yudhishthira in the popular Mahabharata TV series. Chauhan has appeared in television serials, generally of inferior quality, and several ‘B’ grade Bollywood films, some of them can be termed as semi-porns. He is an active member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He extensively campaigned for the BJP in Haryana during the Lok Sabha elections last year.
FTII panel also was reconstituted with four of the eight members aligned with the ruling party. Some call them propagandists of BJP and its parent organisation Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sang(RSS). These include Anagha Ghaisas, who has made several documentary films of Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Narendra Pathak, a former president of the Maharashtra ABVP; Pranjlal Saikia, an office bearer of an RSS-linked organisation; and Rahul Solapurkar, who is intimately associated with the BJP.