The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published as well as unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility of anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Ashwini Kumar Tewary EMBA 2015-2018 , Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur .
The fight between the striking students of the Film and Television Institute of India and Gajendra Chauhan, a small time actor who has been appointed Chairman of its governing council, is getting murkier. Both the sides are sticking to their stands and the Institutes eminence, an inspiration for many, seems to be on the decline.
Established in 1961, The Institute has been plagued with 40 strikes till date. Talented personalities have headed the Institute but the problems have persisted. This strike culture already in vogue from the mid 70’s grew particularly acute in the 90’s, when the students fought over the administrative and academic traits of the Institute. There was a 100 day protest in 1991. When celebrity film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan was the Chairman, he revised the syllabus in a bid to conform to modern film making standards, the students held a major strike in 1996.
How proper is it for students to decide on the appointment of the Chairman ? Should students approval be taken for any change in course correction ? These innocuous question perturb my sensibilities . One wonders about the present state of affairs when this premier Institute was headed by so many cine luminaries. The answers defy the basic premise the students are arguing for. A successful cine personality may or may not be a good administrator. The problems lie somewhere else. Successive Governments have promoted their agenda by staffing heads who have always obliged their political bosses. Heavily financed by the Government the institute bled like the other Public undertakings of the Central Government. It is now at the crossroads of uncertainty as the masters refuse to let go the control. I wonder why can’t it be made like the premier Educational Institutions with little or no Government control. An independent and self sufficient/funded institute would definitely augur well for the future of students.
An answer lies around us. One has to understand Jagmohan Dalmiya was one of the finest cricket administrators who took Indian cricket to great heights. Sepp Blatter popularised football all over the globe as FIFA president. These gentlemen had no rich sporting experience to administer one of the richest sport bodies.
I do not see an end to this crisis by nominating a cinematic legend to the post. The solution is pretty simple..
Make someone responsible ACCOUNTABLE .