Jahnu Barua, Pallavi Joshi quit FTII body; back agitating students

New Delhi/Pune: Actress Pallavi Joshi and National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua have resigned as members of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society expressing their reservations on being part of it.

Their resignations came in the wake of the agitation by the students of FTII demanding removal of small screen actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the institute. Pledged her support to the agitation by the students, Joshi told PTI, "There is no point in continuing as member of the FTII Society if the students with whom I wanted to interact as future prospects of the film industry, are unhappy."

Describing her decision as a "principled stand", she said she put in her letter dissociating herself from the body three days ago.

Asked if she would reconsider her decision on request from authorities concerned, she said, "I am firm on my stand supporting the students' demands".

"I do not want to see the students of this premier institute joining the film industry unsatisfactorily with half-baked knowledge," Joshi said. Barua, who is an alumnus of the FTII, said he had shown his reservations of not being a part of the institute for a long time.

"I had conveyed my resignation to the director of FTII through a mail. I had been showing my unwillingness for a long time due to the protest. I don't want to be in it anymore," he told PTI.

But the renowned Assamese filmmaker said he will always extend his help to the government. "I have always been assisting government on the matter of FTII. I shall continue to do so. It's my duty to assist because I am emotionally attached to it," Barua said. The nomination of Barua, Joshi and other members to the FTII society was announced by the Information and Broadcasting ministry last month.

The agitation, which has received the support of many leading personalities of Indian cinema, entered the 25th day today with students boycotting the academic work after failure of their talks with Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi last week. The government has cold-shouldered their demand for removal of Chauhan as Chairman of the Governing Council of the institute.

While welcoming the ministry's assurance of upgrading the institute, the FTII Students' Association has declared that the strike will continue till removal of Chauhan, who they allege lacks vision and stature to head FTII, and reconstitution of the FTII Society is accepted.

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