RTIwala Trending: Anupam Kher will take over as the new chief of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He will join in place of actor Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment in 2015 triggered massive student protests. The move has certainly brought a lot of change in the way things have been intercepted in the past. Anupam Kher, the 62-year-old critically acclaimed actor has over 500 films and plays to his credit. Some of his achievements include international projects like Bend It Like Beckham and Silver Linings Playbook. He has headed the Censor Board and the National School of Drama in the past. The National Award winner is also an alumnus of the elite drama school.
In less than 48-hours of Chairmanship at FTII, the veteran actor has been subjected to an open letter from the Student’s Association at FTII, concerning the key operational and administerial issues which have been long overlooked. It would be interesting to see if Kher can actually turn the future around for the premier media institute of the country.
Mr. Kher said he felt “deeply humbled and honored” to head the iconic institute. Anupam Kher’s wife Kirron Kher, an actor and a BJP lawmaker was very happy and rejoiced the incoming of the news. She believes that he will be a very good chairman. She thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji and Smriti Irani for the appointment. She was highly elated and believed in her husband’s credentials for the post.
What Makes Anupam Kher The Most Deserving of All?
Anupam Kher was among the celebrities who had backed protests against the appointment of Mr. Gajendra Chauhan. Mr. Chauhan is a small-time actor best known for playing Yudhishthir in the TV version of Mahabharata. Thousands of students boycotted classes at the Pune-based film training institute demanding his removal. Despite being derided as a person lacking the credentials for the post, Mr. Chauhan stubbornly refused to resign. The government was accused by the opposition of elevating its own loyalists to top posts.
“I am not sacked, my term ended in March,” said Mr. Chauhan.
Anupam Kher, a Padma Bhushan winner, led a “March for India” to Rashtrapati Bhawan in 2015, protesting against what he believed was “growing intolerance” against the BJP-led government. Eminent personalities like Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Saeed Mirza, Mrinal Sen, and Girish Karnad have headed FTII in the past. The institute counts among its students some of the country’s most illustrious actors and artists, including Naseeruddin Shah, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Smita Patil, and Resul Pookutty.
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Anupam Kher at FTII: What Lies Ahead?
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The appointment of Anupam Kher will bring a new chapter in the much-created chaos in the past. The BJP led government has always been accused of heading the people who are in their favor. This particular move could be used as retaliation by the Opposition. It also needs to be noted that Anupam Ji in the past had called himself, a big Modi fan. It would be interesting to see how things turn out in the future.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)