Being specially attached to his alma mater, Shatrughan Sinha is very keenly watching what Anupam Kher will do as the new chairperson of the Film & Television Institute Of India (FTII).
Says Sinha, “Anupam is eminently qualified for the job. He knows cinema. He is a capable actor. But would he be able to devote enough time to the workings of the FTII? Let us not pretend otherwise: Anupam has inherited a very complicated job? The politics on the FTII campus is complex and sensitive. As someone who has been observing its workings very closely for years I can only say, let’s keep our finger crossed.”
Shatrughan Sinha has been offered the job of the FTII chairperson on at least two occasions. He concedes the honour, “Yes indeed I have been offered the job. But I was unable to take up the responsibility because I sincerely believe that looking after the FTII is a full-time job. In fact on one occasion when I was offered the job I recommended the late Vinod Khanna’s name. Today when Anupam has taken up the challenge I am happy to say I feel enthused and encouraged.”
For Sinha the FTII is like home. “It is where I learnt everything that I know about acting. I never lost touch with the FTII. Even after all these years whenever I am in Pune I have to visit the Institute. To not visit it would be like going to Patna and not visiting my ancestral home. Fellow alumni like Paintal who have gone back to lecture at the Institute have come back jolted by the experience. A revamp and a reform are very much in order at the FTII. It is up to Anupam to do what he wishes to do. He has my complete and unconditional support to bring back to the FTII the glory that was once part of its heritage.”