Govt should stop funding FTII, focus to create new one

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Vishwarupa, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    he best way to fix FTII is to yank the central funding to it and force the students and faculty to focus on what they really want from the institution. If they want their politics, let them find the right patrons for it. Let them find the money to pay for their politics. 11 5Google +3 0Comments (3) R Jagannathan Firstpost.com Congress dynast Rahul Gandhi's "political" foray in support of the striking students of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) was widely panned in prime time TV shows on 31 July. For once, the BJP and Sangh spokesmen appeared relaxed, thankful that they were not the target of criticism about debasing institutions. That did not stop Rahul Gandhi from hypocritically claiming that the BJP wanted to promote mediocrity (was he chosen the Congress Veep through merit?), but we will not let that detain us here. The question the TV anchors were raising was this: did Gandhi's entry into the FTII battle on the side of the students make a resolution of the issues raised by them more intractable (it did)? Actually, this was the wrong question to ask. The fact is many educational institutions tend to be political – especially as students are often at the forefront of political change – and to believe that FTII will somehow be insulated from politics is naive. It is as naive as the BJP’s assumption that changes at the top will bring about a change in an institution’s basic political orientation. This writer would like to focus not on the actual issues involving FTII, but the BJP's flawed approach to it and other institutions of higher education. The BJP's logic for putting its own people in places like FTII and other key educational institutions, including Nalanda, about which Amartya Sen raised a huge hullabaloo the other day, is this: these places are infested with people owing allegiance to the Congress or the Left, and, now that the BJP is in power, we have a right to put our “own” people there and neutralise the earlier ideological orientation of faculty and students. It won't be easy, and one term is certainly not enough to change the ideological character of institutions that have been around for decades, ingesting the Congress-Left philosophy like mother's milk. Let's also be clear that it is pointless to pretend that institutions will not have an in-built ideological view. Barring very career-oriented ones like the IIMs and IITs - where students come to give themselves a leg up in the job market and thus tend to have no time for excessive politicking - all other institutions, from regular colleges to state-run universities to specialist institutions like FTII, tend to be steeped in politics. This does not mean pedagogy or learning always suffers, but that risk remains. Educational institutions dealing with the social sciences and the creative arts particularly tend to be hyper-political. (Exhibit A: Jawaharlal Nehru University) Moreover, students are inherently activist. Students drove the anti-Vietnam war protests in the US; university students aided the political efforts to create Telangana state; JNU was, and remains, a nest of Left-wing academicians and ideologues. So if the BJP thinks it can change the political or ideological nature of educational and other institutions, it is embarking on a hopeless mission. All it will earn is opprobrium for trying to "saffronise" education, never mind the hypocritical nature of the criticism directed against it by those who saw no wrong in trying to Congress-ify or Marx-ify many institutions. The Congress-Left orientation of all institutions created by the centre so far is a reality. It is their DNA. Trying to plant a Gajendra Chauhan at FTII or a Sangh ideologue at the Indian Council for Historical Research will result in mere tinkering, and the results will be short-lived. These changes will be reversed once another dispensation comes to power. If the BJP wants institutions that are sympathetic to its ideology, it has to invest time and effort to create new ones. It cannot hope to capture institutions that are already infested with Congress-Left intellectuals and which have been created through 60-and-odd years of a Gandhi clan patronage. You can’t change an embedded DNA merely by grafting your own person at the top. This is why a Gajendra Chauhan is easy meat for the FTII's entrenched interests. Even if he stays put, he will have served no BJP purpose beyond earnings brickbats. The best way to fix FTII is to yank the central funding to it and force the students and faculty to focus on what they really want from the institution. If they want their politics, let them find the right patrons for it. Let them find the money to pay for their politics. The BJP should, on the other hand, create a new institution manned by the right kind of academics and intellectuals who are friendly to its way of thinking, or at least not inimical to it. Beyond initial start-up funding, the BJP would also be wise to get these institutions to find sustainable corporate or private funding to rival the FTII. If the BJP can create a better and more prestigious institution outside the state's area of patronage, it will endure and create something powerful. Trying to tinker with a state-run FTII will yield no benefit, especially once it loses power. The BJP should learn a thing or two from the Congress-Left ideological successes in fashioning institutions attuned to thinking like them and attracting teachers and students of a particular kind. It is easier to create a new institution in your own image than to try and reshape an old one that has developed set ways and attitudes. An atrophied limb cannot be made more flexible. You have to create a new limb. Just as a dog’s tail cannot be straightened by placing it in a tube, Congress-Left institutions cannot be reshaped to the BJP's way of thinking. The BJP's best bet is to let them starve for funds, and use the money saved to provide start-up capital for its own long-term institutions. Let Rahul Gandhi be free to clean up the mess at FTII. The BJP should focus on the next FTII. The writer is editor-in-chief, digital and publishing, Network18 Group.

    Read more at: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cu...e-new-one_2296481.html?utm_source=ref_article
     
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  3. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...rs-space-to-students/articleshow/48539009.cms


    NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented crackdown, police entered the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune late on Tuesday night with a list of names of 15 students and took five of them into custody around 1.15am on Wednesday on charges of rioting and unlawful assembly, among others.

    The list of 15 names in the FIR included three girls, who were not arrested.

    "FIRs have been filed against 15 students out of which five have been arrested," DCP T Tushar Doshi told PTI.

    The arrested students were taken to the Deccan Gymkhana police station in a police jeep. A large group of students and some faculty members also reached the police station soon after. When asked to explain the late night swoop, a police officer told the students that they had been " instructed" to make the arrests.

    The students have been charged under sections 147 (rioting), 143, 149 (unlawful assembly), 353 (obstructing public servant from discharging duty), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.

    The police action came following a complaint lodged by the institute's director, Prashant Pathrabe, who was gheraoed by the students for around six hours on Monday for his resolve to go ahead with the assessment of diploma films made by the 2008 batch students despite opposition from both students and faculty members.

    The students are also charged with vandalizing the director's office and damaging glass panes, computer and table.


    The arrests came hours after it was learnt that officials from the I&B ministry would visit the institute anytime this week to resolve the imbroglio between the students and the institute' s authorities.

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    Picture from Deccan gymkhana police station where 4 students of FTII have been arrested. (ANI Photo)

    Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday offered the agitating students "temporary space" in Delhi to run classes till their demands are met.

    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 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.


    Kejirwal said that "if finally, the central government doesn't agree, we'll convert this place into full fledged 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.
     

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