FTII Needs Good Administrator, Not Good Actor: Gajendra Chauhan


Compared to his predecessor Gajendra Chauhan - whose appointment as FTII chief had led to an unprecedented 139-day strike by the institute's students who wanted his ouster - Kher, is at least an actor who has an individual standing as an artist, both within India and overseas.

Now, two years later as Kher succeeds Chauhan there is a general feeling that the memories of what was arguably one of the worst appointments ever in the history of FTII would soon be a thing of the past.

It is going to be a sort of rare achievement as he had in the past served as the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was also the director of National School of Drama from 2001 to 2004. The students, later, called off the strike as it affected their academics, but the President of the FTII student association had earlier told mid-day, "We have been struggling with this issue for nearly five months".

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Also, he is not only limited to Bollywood, the actor also frequently performs in theatres and plays.

Chauhan, whose appointment to the post in June 2015 was opposed by FTII students, demitted office in March 2017.

Moreover, the students and film fraternity also saw the appointment of Chauhan as an instance of political largesse.

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"FTII needs somebody who is well-qualified, someone having a great body of work", said Kher. They felt that Chauhan lacked the vision to head a prestigious institution like FTII. I was also appointed from different options.

In January 2016, FTII students - both present and former - had protested against Chauhan's appointment and even boycotted classes for 139 days.

Such was the aura of the acting batch of FTII that any "good" actor who was not dancing around the trees was automatically attributed to the institute.

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