Veteran Actor Anupam Kher Appointed As New FTII Chairman

Television actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as FTII chief triggered massive protests in 2015

Television actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as FTII chief triggered massive protests in 2015

Veteran actor Anupam Kher was on Wednesday named as the new chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.

At that time, Anupam had voiced his opinions against Gajendra as he said, "I personally feel that the FTII represents a certain art form. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities,".

Only last month Chauhan hit back at Kher citing a newspaper report saying FTII had seen "improvement in some aspects during Chauhan's tenure". He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

Students had opposed his appointment as FTII chairman, claiming that he was not fit for the job and got the position for being a BJP leader.

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Kher has worked in more than 500 films and over 100 plays in last three decades. He was conferred with Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016.

Gajendra's leadership marked a 139-day strike by students, who protested against his appointment as the head of the premier institute.

The BJP was under intense pressure from all quarters to remove Gajendra Chauhan but the actor refused to bow down to pressure and the party avoided any evasive action. They argued that Chauhan's most noted work - the role of Yudhishthira in the hugely popular Mahabharat TV series produced by BR Chopra - is not something which makes him eligible enough to carry the stature of FTII chairman.

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. Chauhan was appointed to the post in June 2015. Also, despite several unpopular decisions being taken by the administration in last two years, students have not come out with any strong response.

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