Saturday, May 14th, 2016

‘We wont be able to make films with gun toting policemen around’

Shini JK | May 14, 2016 4:10 pm Print
One fifth of the students have been slapped with false cases, some with serious charges after the 139 day strike last year. Even amid the pervading gloom, students see a ray of hope in the newly appointed director


The Film and Television Institute of India, (FTTI), Pune, is back in the news after a short break.
The authorities have informed, that the director of the institute has received a chemical substance and a detonator warning him of dire consequence if he allows the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar into the campus.
Now the authorities who are in eye of the storm after GajendraChouhan was appointed as the chairman of the FTII Society, in all probability will conduct “inquiries” and will go for precautionary measures against any untoward incident.

It is no difficult to believe the new incident is the product of a conspiracy by the authorities in connivance with the state apparatus to muzzle voices of dissent.

The content of a single page, typed letter has not been officially made public yet. The police, bomb squad and the dog squad were rushed to the campus, soon after the director informed the security personnel about receiving the parcel.
Slowly things are now falling in place. A report in a leading news daily hints at the possibility of militarization of the campus at any point of time under the grab of stepping up security.

The whole conspiracy, now looks like it was plotted to regularize the presence of police or paramilitary inside the film school campus.

The constant conspiracy to have the “control “over FTII community is coming out in open once again in the form of security concerns, though the governing council has rejected the proposed security guidelines recently.

The students, visitors, mostly the people who come to work in the shoots, sometimes friends, family and alumni are being harassed within the existing security system. All the while, the ABVP goons who had attacked the students following the screening of ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’ and a performance by Kabir Kala Manch on 21 August 2013, have unfettered access to the campus.

There have been several incidents when friends of students have been threatened by unknown elements at the main gate while visiting. On the other hand certain vehicles are seen crossing the check post in front of the security officers without even making an entry.

Student installations have been vandalised by right wing goons. All these happened, after the “high end, night vision, full HD CCTV cameras” were in place and were being constantly monitored.

Several representations have been given to authorities detailing all these incidents. No proper response havecame from any quarters.

The presence of Sanjay Jadhav, the security officer in the campus has always been very suspicious. There were complaints filed against him in the past.(This portion in red is hanging. Either substantiate or drop)

The students have also resolved not to allow the normalisation of police presence in the campus.

This is the campus which gave the clarion call for resistance against the right wing fascist forces. This resonated in the movements in universities like JNU, Hyderabad Central University, Jadavpur, NIT Srinagar. Several other campuses in the country are now witnessing various forms of struggles against right wing fascist forces liberal spaces and trying to control the educational sector.

The fight against the right wing fascists has not been easy…..One fifth of the students have false cases, mostly with serious charges filed against them.

We won’t be able to make films or sit in the main theatre if we have a police station in the campus or paramilitary forces armed with guns to “protect” the students in the campus.

The said incident once again validates our concerns about the conspiracy of the right wing to capture liberal, cultural and academic spaces with the help of the state machinery and corporates.

The appointments of Gajendra Chauhan, AnaghaGhaissas, Narendra Pathak , Rahul Solapurkar and many more in the FTII Society, which had lead to the 139 days long strike is also one of the strategies to achieve the same.

We are anyway expecting many more “security guidelines” for “our protection” and “academic proposals” for the “upgradation” of the institute. But the FTII resistance will continue to remain in the annals of history, how much the right wing authorities try to suppress it.

We still have hope inBhupinderKainthola, the new Director who just now took charge, since he is closely associated with cinema.

This place, FTTI, carries great vision for cinema.

Any attempt to curtail the idea of democracy or artistic liberty and to execute an undeclared emergency will be resisted with full power.