With the ongoing row between the students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and the administrators, the scene is getting uglier every passing day. The latest 'development' in this case is that, not only has the Pune police arrested five students from the FTII on Tuesday night, but also charged them with unlawful assembly, rioting and criminal intimidation. This has resulted in many FTII alumni and well-wishers come out to support the students. One of the well-wishers was the filmmaker Nikhil Advani who has come forward to bail out the students from the police custody. He also tweeted, "#FTII students mid-night arrest. SAD!!!"
Speaking exclusively at length to Bollywood Hungama, the modestly sounding Nikhil Advani said that "I am being given undue credit for what we have done as a group. It wasn't just me, but, there were lot many other people from the film fraternity who were there to support the students. They included people like Hansal Mehta, Resul Pookutty, Kiran Rao, Pallavi Joshi and many others whose names also I do not know. All of us were there for a cause of supporting the students as much as possible." When asked about when he got to know about the students' arrests, he said, "Around midnight, I read about the arrest of these students on Twitter. Not just my entire camera department, but most of my friends who are technicians are from FTII. And my knowledge of filmmaking has been developed over the conversations with the FTII people. My filmmaking would not have been possible had it not been for the friends from FTII. So, in that way, I have my own emotional reasons for me to support the FTII's cause. It is absolutely blasphemous that people are not allowed to protest in a democratic country which is the largest in the world."
On being asked about his take on the arrests, he said, "We all know that when things are politically motivated, all these things happen. There is also a video which shows that the students were peacefully sitting and joking around."
When asked for what he thought of as a solution for the ongoing row, Nikhil Advani said, "In my opinion, I feel that both the parties should sit for a dialogue. And while doing so, they should come with an open minded attitude, without any preconceived notions. I am no one to talk on anybody's behalf, but, I feel that the only way to resolve the issue is with complete understanding and that all the discussions should happen in the open. Else, the issue will only become uglier and uglier."
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