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Chauhan chosen over icons as he could devote more time: Govt

Chauhan chosen over icons as he could devote more time: Govt
In the light of media reports claiming that names of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth were among those suggested for the top post at FTII, MoS for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore on Friday said Gajendra Chauhan was chosen as government wanted someone who could devote time to the premier institute.

"The government wanted the Governing Council, including the chairman, to be people who could commit time for the development of the institute," the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting told reporters here. Rathore's comments came as some media reports suggested that among the potential names suggested for the position of FTII chairman included icons like of Bachchan and Rajnikanth as well.

Reports earlier had mentioned that names of <g data-gr-id="35">filmakers</g> Gulzar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Benegal were also under the consideration of the I&B ministry. Reacting to these reports, a senior ministry functionary who was not willing to speak on record said that if "people like Amitabh Bachchan or Rajnikanth would like to run FTII, there was no objection but those names <g data-gr-id="39">were were</g> shortlisted, which it was felt would have enough time to ensure that they can <g data-gr-id="36">througly</g> focus on the job," the source added.

Many celebrated icons have busy schedules and not the same amount of time, the source said adding that another criterion was the willingness of the concerned person to take up the job. Some prominent names were also not keen, sources said. Some eminent film <g data-gr-id="34">personalities,</g> were willing to contribute with Chauhan at the helm, they added.

Strongly denying any difference between I&B minister Arun Jaitley and MoS Rathore on the matter, the source said that if was felt that while Chauhan may not be the tallest of all names suggested, but he certainly met all the requirements, including willingness to give time generously.

Earlier, <g data-gr-id="28">Oscar winning</g> sound mixer and designer had tweeted that in his meeting with <g data-gr-id="33">a FTII</g> delegation Jaitley had said that we (government) "haven't made the best of choice" but as a Govt we can't retract!"

Ministry officials denied that Chauhan's nomination was an attempt at "saffronisation" and the RSS was involved in decision making and said that members chosen were from diverse backgrounds on the FTII council.

Gajendra shouldn't force himself into the post: Rishi
Backing agitating FTII students on their demand for removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the institute, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor on Friday said he should not fight for his post but step down as students "are not able to look up to him". Chauhan, best known for playing Yudhisthira on TV epic "Mahabharata", took over as the chairman of the Pune-based institute's governing council last month. "Don't fight for it, don't force yourself into the post... I am not doubting anybody's capabilities. You cannot impose yourself. A chief command demands respect and I feel bad for him.I think he should step down," Rishi said.

FTII chief unfazed, says won’t quit as govt appointed him
Unfazed by protests against his appointment as FTII chairman and demands of resignation, Gajendra Chauhan on Friday said he will not quit <g data-gr-id="79">from </g>his post as he was selected by the government. The appointment of Chauhan as the new chairman of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India’s (FTII) governing council last month has kicked up a controversy with the students boycotting classes and abandoning academic work. They have alleged that he lacks “stature and vision” to head the institution. “What should I take retirement from? How can an artist be retired? I don’t understand this, he said.
M Post Bureau

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