The Hunt For A New FTII Chairman Intensifies, As Anupam Kher Steps Down From The Top Spot

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In a surprising move, Anupam Kher resigned as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Wednesday. He also admitted (in an interview with a leading Mumbai based tabloid), that the governing council of the institute had not been given a heads up in the matter. Kher was sworn in to the top job in October last year, after the resignation of his predecessor Gajendra Chauhan amidst massive student-led protests and demonstrations.

In a statement that he released publicly on Twitter, Kher revealed that his busy schedule, comprising international assignments, will require him to be away a lot, prohibiting him from exercising and fulfilling his duties as the institute’s top official. Owing to the fervent lack of time that he can no longer devote to the institute, he finally decided to step down. He also revealed [to Mid-Day], that he had tried (unsuccessfully) to get FTII’s governing council together to intimate them about the situation before taking the drastic step.

Kher was responsible for putting together a stellar governing council, including the likes of Bollywood mega-director Rajkumar Hirani, and other industry stalwarts such as Satish Kaushik, Kangana Ranaut, Divya Dutta, and Arvind Swami, through personal requests. Most of his associates started calling him, asking him to reconsider the decision after they read about it on Twitter. He urged his colleagues to ‘continue the good work at FTII’ even after his exit.

“It has been an honour, a privilege & a great learning experience to be the Chairman of the prestigious @FTIIOfficial. But because of my international assignments I won’t have much time to devote at the institute. Hence decided to send my resignation. Thank you. @Ra_THORe,” the actor posted on Twitter, addressing Shri Rajyavardhan Rathore, India’s union minister for information and broadcasting.

 

Sources have revealed that the resignation letter has been accepted by Rajyavardhan Rathore, and that the hunt for a new FTII chairman is underway. Kher’s resignation letter mentioned that he has committed to shoot for an international TV show that requires him to be stationed in the US for “nearly nine months between 2018 and 2019 and then for a similar period for a minimum of three years more”. He went on to state that he does not consider it (his absence) fair to the students or to the management team, for him to hold the top office without active involvement in the institute’s operations.

In his interview, Kher noted that FTII is a brilliant institution that needs someone who can give it a little more time. “I was doing that, but now I need to find new horizons. I am thrilled that the series is doing well. This is my way to represent India”, he said.

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