After Gajendra Chauhan, now FTII students protest against new chairman Anupam Kher


Even as it awaits the arrival of newly-appointed chairman Anupam Kher to take charge, a fresh round of trouble, on an unrelated issue, seems to be brewing on the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

In an interview to IANS here, Anupam, 62, said: "I'm happy and humbled to facilitate students with my 40 years of experience in Indian and worldwide cinema, travel, stage acting and everything".

They are concerned that FTII, a premier film institute, is now "slowly being turned into an institute that runs short-term crash courses for generation of funds". He succeeds in the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment was triggered widespread student protests.

"I would love to facilitate students rather than setting agenda like an administrator". His main aim is to interact with the students and to understand what are their requirements.

Chauhan completed his tenure in March. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

Chauhan congratulated Kher but wished he had more time to finish the work he had started at the FTII.

When told of Chauhan's statement that sounded like a dig, Kher, according to IANS replied, "See, it is not dignified to comment on someone's words that he said in a certain context". I am not going to start this journey thinking about the previous things.

Anupam says that he is a son of a government clerk and his father came to Mumbai with a 40 Rs in his pocket. I played a 20/20 match and I tried my best to finish the work. "So, I am content".

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Anupam began his acting career with the 1984 movie "Saaransh" and he has a vast repertoire of over 500 movies till date. Some of his Hindi films include "Karma", "Daddy", "Lamhe", "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara", "A Wednesday" and "Baby".

The "Indu Sarkar" star, a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts, is 'excited and looking forward to this appointment'.

The actor is all for formal training in the craft.

Citing the norms brought in place for dialogue exercise in third semester, the letter said: "These limitations are logistically not feasible, like the three-day eight-hour shift has been reduced to a two-day twelve-hour shift which would be exhausting and also inhuman to force the lightmen, carpenters, painters and make-up artists and actors to work at such a stretch".

In the past few days, Anupam has been busy promoting his production "Ranchi Diaries", and he has also has film projects lined up.

When asked that, does his responsibility as a FTII Chairman will affect his movies?

"No, no. I am an artiste and nothing is going to change on that front". Also, the entire syllabus has to be handed to the students at the time of admission which hasn't been done by the administration so far.