In defence of Gajendra Chauhan


The 40 alumni of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), who have extended their support to the students’ strike, are not only doing a great disservice to their alma mater but also playing with the careers of badly educated and misguided youngsters. Meanwhile the strike against the appointment of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and actor Gajendra Chauhan has given an opportunity to the professional revolutionaries; in this instance, the Maoist body, All India Students Association, is the spearhead.

There are many reasons that the campaign against Chauhan is wrong in principle and practice. First, the FTII is the taxpayer-funded organization, not a club set up to humor the orphaned children of Marx and Stalin. As the custodian of the taxpayers’ money, it is the right and duty of the democratically-elected government to appoint the chairman of the FTII. And, obviously, Narendra Modi will not appoint somebody from, say, Sonia Gandhi’s coterie (An aside: Once Chaudhary Devi Lal was asked, in an accusatory tone, by a journalist as to why was he promoting his own son in politics. The redoubtable Jat replied with characteristic candor, “Do you expect me to promote Bansi Lal’s son?” Bansi Lal was his arch rival.)

Second, the charge that Chauhan is not a film personality of great repute has little merit; what the institute needs is a good administrator, not a trophy head to adorn the chairman’s office. Amartya Sen is a great economist according to Leftists, but he made a mess of Nalanda University.

Third, being an eminent cinema person is not an essential qualification for the post of chairman; at least one former FTII head, U.R. Anantha Murthy, was not even a film personality; he was a litterateur. An eminent litterateur undoubtedly, but still a man of letters, not of cinema. But he was okay, perhaps because he hated Narendra Modi and the BJP from the core of his heart.

Fourth, as for the charge that Chauhan is a BJP member, it is not a crime. In fact, BJP member, famous film star, and former Union minister Vinod Khanna also headed the FTII, and heavens did not fall when he was at the helm of affairs.

So, there is no valid reason for opposing Chauhan. If the students find any problems with the administration under Chauhan, they can complain against him, but for that he has to be allowed to run the institution.

So, why are the FTII students opposed to Chauhan? Well, the main reason is that, as I mentioned in the beginning, they are badly educated and misguided. How else does one explain somebody wearing the T-shirts with pictures of Che Guevara, a communist thug and murderer? They still seem to have faith in communism, the ideology responsible for over 100 million deaths in the world, the ideology that has been thoroughly discredited.

And, evidently, they are also misguided, for they are under the spell of the All India Students Association (AISA), a Maoist organization. The AISA website says, “We believe that Marxism is the science of revolutionary change and human emancipation.” One of the inspirations for the formation of AISA in 1990 was “the ideological line of the Naxalbari peasant revolt…” The Naxalites, it needs to be pointed out, follow the ideology of Mao, who killed 70 million people and is regarded as the biggest butcher in the history of mankind.

The solitary objective of Naxalites is the destruction of India as we know it; they are waging a comprehensive war against our country. They slaughter cops and troopers of paramilitary forces; they terrorize the poor in the poorest regions of the country; they ensure that no growth and development takes place in these areas; they infiltrate academics and academia, a process that has somewhat halted after Modi assumed office; they try to dominate public discourse and peddle the loony Leftist theories to preclude industrialization; and, like the AIDS-HIV, they invade institutions and weaken them from within. The FTII strike is a case in point.