FTII students end relay hunger stir
Pune: The agitating Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students today called off their 18- day-old "hunger strike" in response to the government's communication inviting them for a dialogue to resolve their demands at a meeting slated for September 29 in Mumbai.
Ranjit Nair, a representative of the FTII Students' Association (FSA), which is protesting against appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII Chairman, said the "hunger strike" is being called off to facilitate talks with the government.
The students had yesterday said they were ready to withdraw their hunger strike to pave the way for a dialogue if the Information and Broadcasting Ministry confirmed a date and venue for talks.
"The Information and Broadcasting Ministry Joint Secretary has replied to our letter (sent yesterday stating that they were ready to withdraw hunger strike if the ministry fixed a date for a dialogue) and a meeting has been fixed on September 29 at Films Division in Mumbai," he said.
Nair, however, clarified that although the relay hunger strike undertaken by the students in batches of three was being withdrawn, the general strike, that started on June 12 with a boycott of classes, will continue till the issues raised by them are resolved during the proposed talks.
A three-member delegation of the FSA will take part in the talks with the ministry officials in Mumbai, he added.
The FSA, backed by some film personalities and alumni, has questioned the credentials of Chauhan, best known for his portrayal of Yudhishthir in popular TV series Mahabharat, to head the city-based premier film training school.
The students are demanding his removal as Chairman of the government-run institute along with some other members from the FTII Society.