Kejriwal offers ‘temporary space’ for FTII in Capital
In a series of tweets, Kejriwal expressed his shock after Maharashtra Police arrested five students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from their campus for rioting on late Tuesday.
Kejriwal said: “I am shocked to hear of what is going on at FTII. An internationally reputed institute being systematically destroyed by government’s wrong decisions.”
“My offer to FTII students — Delhi government can provide you temporary space in Delhi. Run your classes here till Central government agrees,” he said. Kejriwal said that “if finally, the central government doesn’t agree, we’ll convert this place into <g data-gr-id="26">full fledged</g> institute and students can continue studying here only”. For over two months, the students have been opposing the appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman. Tuesday’s arrests came after a group of striking students confined FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe and other staffers in his office for eight hours and vandalised office furniture and fittings, according to officials.
Meanwhile, NSUI on Wednesday took out a protest march from its national headquarters to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in condemnation of the midnight crackdown and arrest of students of FTII Pune. Hundreds of students with black ribbons shouted slogans against the totalitarianism of the government and its deliberate attempt to silence dissenting voices.
The protest was led by Roji John, national president of NSUI, along with national vice-presidents Kumar Raja, Amrita Dhawan and Delhi state president Vikas Chhikara. Speaking to the media, <g data-gr-id="33">Roji</g> M John, “It is evident how the autonomy of our educational institutions are throttled by the political machinations of the government but the arrest of protesting students including girls at midnight is unprecedented in our democracy.
It is rather unfortunate that they have the audacity to term students as ‘rioters’ while actual rioters are sitting in Parliament. We stand in solidarity with the students of FTII and our units across the country have been protesting against the selection of an undeserving person as the chairman of a premier institution like the FTII. We had also gone to their campus and interacted with the students to understand their grievances. We offer our unparalleled support to the students of FTII”. Earlier this month, the chief of NSUI was a part of the delegation led by Rahul Gandhi who submitted a memorandum to the President of India seeking his intervention and immediate action to “ensure that public institutions are not made captive to the viewpoints of a few organisations and individuals, and that their autonomy and credibility are restored immediately”.