While congratulating Anupam Kher for taking over as the chairperson of the Film & Television Institute Of India (FTII), Anupam’s predecessor warns of thorny days ahead. “Anupam has a long and tough job ahead. It won’t be easy simply because we are both seen as pro-government. I remember a lot of elements protesting against my appointment. Now it’s not hours since Anupam’s appointment was announced and there are already mummers of protest. But you tell me what is so unusual or unacceptable about the government appointing people who believe in its ideology? I’d advise Anupam to ignore the protests and concentrate on doing the job on hand.”
That, says Chauhan, won’t be easy. “Anupam Kher would have to do a lot of time management. When we are given a government job to do over and above the other responsibilities that we already have then the time we allot to this new responsibility is entirely up to us. Anupam has many responsibilities as a theatre and film actor, television interviewer and also the very important government position of film development in Jharkhand. He has his plate full. But he can’t afford to not give ample time to his duties at the FTII. How much time he gives is between Anupam and his conscience and sense of commitment.”
Chauhan feels he and Pahlaj Nihalani, the outgoing chairperson of the CBFC, were better able to allot time to their governmental posts as they were no stranger to holding organizational positions.
Chauhan also feels he has paved the way for a smooth journey for Anupam Kher at the FTII. “When I was appointed as the FTII chairperson the FTII was in a state of utter chaos. There was a whole lot of work pending at the FTII which I got down to doing, as soon as I was allowed to. No ‘society’ had been formed for a whole year. The audit report had not been tabled in parliament for a whole year. The housing and administrative wing have to be set in order. Retired personnel of the FTII had not received their pension for as far back as 1973 and 1982. I took care of all this, I also introduced a Master’s degree in place of a diploma at the FTII. All these changes are being handed over to Anupam. And I welcome him in a way that Anupam never welcomed me when I took over the job.”
Anupam Kher had scoffed at Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment arguing he knew nothing about world cinema.