Feel proud I was chairman when Payal Kapadia was studying at FTII: Gajendra Chauhan | Bollywood

New Delhi, Actor-politician Gajendra Chauhan on Tuesday extended congratulations to Cannes winner Payal Kapadia, expressing pride in the filmmaker who studied at the institution during his tenure as chairman.

Feel proud I was chairman when Payal Kapadia was studying at FTII: Gajendra Chauhan

Recently, Kapadia became the premier Indian filmmaker to receive the Grand Prix award, the second most prestigious accolade at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, for her Malayalam-Hindi feature film “All We Imagine As Light”.

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In 2015, Kapadia was one of the students who went on strike to protest Chauhan’s appointment as the head of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India.

“Congratulations to her and I feel proud that I was the chairman when she was taking the course there,” Chauhan told PTI.

When asked what he would like to say about Kapadia who opposed his appointment, the “Mahabharat” actor responded, “She has never said anything about me. What can I say then?”

Protesting students claimed that Chauhan did not match the vision and stature of former FTII governing council heads and that his appointment seemed “politically inclined”.

During the 139-day strike, the students also allegedly encircled and detained then FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe in his office over some academic issues. This led to the police entering the campus and detaining some protesters.

Chauhan, who was the chairperson from January 7, 2016, to March 2, 2017, asserted the protest was not aimed at him.

“That protest was not against me, it was against the director and the administration. I was appointed by the government of India. I did a lot of work at FTII and the media has never reported about any of it,” he added.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting appoints the FTII chairperson. Currently, actor R Madhavan holds the position.

Chauhan mentioned he was neither dismissed from the role nor did he resign.

“I was never sacked; I completed my tenure. Some say Gajendra Chauhan resigned, but I never resigned,” he stated.

In 2015, 35 students, including Kapadia, were charged under Indian Penal Code sections, including 143, 147, 149, 323, 353, and 506, dealing with offenses, some of them non-bailable, related to unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, and rioting.

The filmmaker’s documentary “A Night of Knowing Nothing” portrayed the protests at FTII.

Kapadia‘s film “All We Imagine As Light” is the first film from India to be part of the Cannes main competition in 30 years, with the last being Shaji N Karun‘s 1994 Malayalam film “Swaham”.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without textual modifications.

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