SFI central executive committee stands in solidarity with the students of Film and Television Institute of India, FTII who are bravely protesting against the shameless attempts to saffronise one of the prime Institutes of the country. An indefinite hunger strike has been launched by the students against the Modi led NDA Government's appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the governing Council of FTII. Chauhan, whose only credential to head the internationally reputed Institute is that he played the role of Yudishtar in the Mahabharatha TV serial which was telecasted by Doordarshan during early 90's. He is a vocal supporter of BJP for last two decades and also a member since 2004. He was an active campaigner for Modi during the last general election. FTII which produced many finest talents of Indian cinema was headed in the past by stalwarts like Shyam Benagal, Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Girish karnad and so on. The appointment of Gajendra Chauhan is another attempt by Modi Government to bring the major research and cultural institutions of the country under the complete control of Sangh Parivar by filling them with their servile ideological henchmen.
For the past one year of Modi Government serious efforts are being made to saffronise the educational and cultural institutions. The appointment of Chauhan is not the first instance where Sangh Parivar's dangerous communal agenda has been pushed forward. Earlier Sudarsan Rao, a true Modi disciple and RSS sympathizer was appointed as the head of Indian Council for Historical Research, ICHR. Rao's qualification to hold this position was nothing but his ability to replace historical facts with Hindu mythologies. In another attempt historians like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib were thrown out from the ICHR advisory board by the government, replacing them with the sympathisers of Sangh's Hindutva ideology. Baldev Sharma who was the editor of Panchajanya, the mouth piece of RSS was appointed as the head of National Book Trust, NBT earlier this year.
These desperate attempts are only aimed to suppress all voices of dissent and to create a favorable social and cultural atmosphere for the terrorizing pursuit of neo liberal policies of Modi government. Along with the assaults on the Democratic and secular values of the Indian society, Sangh Parivar is trying to uproot the very core of rational thought and the objective historical consciousness. To implement this Janus faced policy paradigm of Hindutva a and neo liberalism, Sangh Parivar has chosen educational Institutes especially Universities and other research centers as the primary target. To resist this right wing Hindutva agenda, collective resistance by the progressive and secular forces has to be Organised on a mass scale. It is important to remember that only because of such a valiant resistance that the MHRD was forced to remove the ban on Ambedkar-Periyar study Circle in Madras IIT. SFI CEC gives a call to rise up in protest nation wide in solidarity with the fighting students of FTII and to resist the continuing undemocratic and anti student moves by Modi led right wing NDA Government.
Dr V Sivadasan, President
Ritabrata Banerjee, General Secretary