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

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New Delhi, Actor-politician Gajendra Chauhan on Tuesday extended congratulations to Cannes winner Payal Kapadia, saying he is proud of the filmmaker who studied at the institute when he served as its chairman.

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

Last week, Kapadia became the first Indian filmmaker to win the Grand Prix award, the second highest honour at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, for her Malayalam-Hindi feature film “All We Imagine As Light”.

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Back in 2015, Kapadia was one of the protesting students who went on strike to oppose Chauhan’s appointment as the chairperson of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India .

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

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

According to protesting students, Chauhan did not match the vision and stature of past chairmen of the FTII governing council, and his appointment appeared “politically coloured”.

During the 139-day strike, the students had also allegedly gheraoed and confined the then FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe in his office over some academic issues. This had led to the police entering the campus and arresting some of the protesters.

Chauhan, who served as the chairperson from January 7, 2016 to March 2, 2017, claimed the protest was not against 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 nominates the FTII chairperson. Currently, actor R Madhavan holds the post.

Chauhan said he was neither sacked from the job nor did he resign.

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

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

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

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

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

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