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Gajendra Chauhan unfazed: Why should I resign?

Denies criticising Rishi Kapoor and Anupam Kher, asks what's wrong in doing B-grade films.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
July 12, 2015 12:00:00 am
 Gajendra Chauhan, FTII row, FTII controversy, FTII chairman row, FTII protest Gajendra Chauhan, FTII  student protest, pune FTII row,  Film and Television Institute of India, FTII news, india news, nation news Gajendra Chauhan seemed in no mood to relent despite the rising clamour for his resignation.

Unfazed by the criticism over his appointment as the president of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) society, Gajendra Chauhan on Saturday made it clear that he did not intend to quit. He also denied criticising actors Rishi Kapoor and Anupam Kher, who had objected to his appointment.

“It is not my culture to criticise my seniors. I have never done this and will never do it,” said Chauhan, who played Yudhishtir in the TV serial Mahabharata.

“I take criticism in my stride but will never point fingers at anyone, including my seniors. My statements are being blown out of proportion,” he said.

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Chauhan, however, seemed in no mood to relent despite the rising clamour for his resignation. “Why should I resign? The central government has appointed me and I will do whatever the government tells me to do,” he told The Sunday Express.

Asked what he would do if the government directs him to step down, he said he did not want to speculate.

Chauhan also dismissed criticism from several quarters that his only qualification seemed to be his roles in B-grade films. “What’s wrong in acting in B-grade films?” he said.

While Kher has been quoted as saying that FTII needs somebody who is much more qualified than Chauhan, Kapoor reportedly suspects some “government agenda” behind the appointment.

Chauhan said he was unable to comprehend why FTII students were being judgemental without giving him an opportunity to prove himself. “This is not fair. Without a trial, students are passing judgement against me,” he said, adding that the students were like his children and that he would do everything possible to address their problems and grievances. “My own son is 25 years old… and the students are also in the same age group. They are like my children,” he said.

Chauhan also sought to dispel concerns that he would bring with him “certain kind of ideology” to the campus. “The only ideology I would bring is to understand the problems of students and the institute and use my good offices to resolve them,” he said.

Chauhan said he intended to visit FTII premises and have a chat with the students, but had been asked by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry not to do so. “Probably as a precaution, the ministry does not want me to visit the FTII premises,” he said. Chauhan has apparently been told to wait till the students’ patience wears thin.

“I have sent messages to student representatives so many times to hold a chat, but they are refusing to talk it out. I am sure if they talk to me, they will become my dost (friends),” he said.

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