FTII impasse: Ministry takes exception to students holding press conference before talks

New Delhi: A day before scheduled talks with agitating FTII Students Association, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry today took exception to a press conference held here by the students on the matter, saying it was not the best way to create a "conducive atmosphere" for dialogue.

In a letter to FTII Students Association President Harishankar Nachimuthu expressing its disapproval, the Ministry has said that it had learnt that a press conference was held in the Press Club of India here on the issue related to the FTII impasse.

"If some office bearers of FTII Students Association (FSA) have engaged in this kind of sideshow and that too on the eve of our scheduled dialogue, intimation of which was given by email and phone on 27.09.2015, it is not exactly the best way for creating a conducive atmosphere for a dialogue," the letter by Joint Secretary (Films) K Sanjay Murthy said.

The ministry official, however, added that he along with his colleagues would nevertheless be there for the dialogue, which will take place in Mumbai tomorrow.

"The negotiations over any deadlock/impasse require a certain commonality of resolve and an ecosystem of trust and faith. Histrionics even of the most advanced aesthetic vintage are not exactly the best recipe to find solutions," Murthy said in the letter.

The ministry said that it is understood that some unsigned communication purportedly addressed to various authorities were circulated to members of the Press. It also added that the iconic names mentioned in the press conference were much respected, but such an action was avoidable at the juncture.

Asked for a response, Nachimuthu said that students were very "hopeful" about tomorrow's meeting and added that they had even called off the hunger strike. Important intellectuals had expressed support, he said
adding that probably the students who interacted with the Press, wanted to convey that.

Earlier today, some students and an alumnus of FTII had told mediapersons that many eminent academicians and professionals from US have expressed solidarity with them. The students claimed that Noam Chomsky, Columbia University professor Partha Chatterjee were among those who had lent support. They also said that intellectuals like Arundhati Roy and artist Vivan Sundaram had also expressed support to them.

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