Anupam Kher was appointed FTII Chairman in October 2017. He had replaced Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had triggered massive protests.

Anupam Kher steps down as FTII Chairman citing busy schedule PTI
news FTII Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 15:19

Bollywood veteran actor Anupam Kher stepped down as the Chairman of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Wednesday, citing a busy schedule. In a statement posted on Twitter, Kher stated that because of his international assignments, he will not have much time to devote to the institute.

“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 tweeted.

“Thank you staff, teachers & students of @FTIIOfficial for your support & appreciation during my tenure as chairman. As an individual you can always reach out to me. We have constituted a very learned & capable governing body & academic society who will guide you at their best,” he added in another tweet.

In his statement, Kher states that he had mentioned his upcoming assignments to former I&B Minister Smriti Irani when he was asked to take up the post of FTII Chairman.

“At the time when I was officially approached by the former I&B Minister Smt Smriti Irani to be appointed as Chairman, I did share with her that I was due to be stationed in the US for nearly 9 months between 2018 and 2019 and then for a similar period for a minimum of three years more. Given this assignment it would not be fair to me, the students and the management team, for me to hold a position of such responsibility and accountability without being actively involved in the operations,” Kher’s statement adds.

Kher was appointed as the Chairman of FTII in October 2017. His appointment came after his predecessor, Gajendra Chauhan, faced massive protests during his tenure. Chauhan, who had essayed the role of Yudhishthira in BR Chopra’s television series Mahabharata, was appointed FTII Chairman in June 2016. Students and alumni of the institute had staged protests claiming that Gajendra Chauhan, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had no connection with the institute and claimed his appointment was an attempt at ‘saffronisation’ of the institute. Following a 139-day strike by students opposing Chauhan’s appointment, the government gave in and made Anupam Kher the Chairman of FTII.