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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

This Silence Will Cost Us

The government (and its ideological partners) have been systematically imposing mediocre sycophants on institutions of excellence in art and culture

This Silence Will Cost Us
This Silence Will Cost Us
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

These students are vibrant; they are the symbol of a democracy that is still alive though tottering. On the other hand, the government’s response to the protest has been most inappropriate and childish. They could have handled it better but when the intention is to rule with absolute power with no space for dissent, then dissent will raise its head. Yes, it’s irritating to see people like Rahul Gandhi, Yogendra Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal trying to jump on the bandwagon to gain brownie points. And it’s painful to see the hapless students succumbing to their fake concern. But what is more hurtful is the response one gets from government officials, ministers, official spokespersons and supporters of the ruling system.

They harp on “taxpayers’ money being was­ted”. Seriously? Twe­lve lakh per student for approximately 200 students a year? Is art and culture really seen as a waste? Is cinema so inconsequential? When their taxpayer argument fails, they resorted to Congress-bashing. The Congress failed. You were voted into power to change things. Then why quote a precedent? That too in such a pat­h­­­etic manner given the quality of appointments to the FTII governing council (not to speak of bodies like CBFC, CFSI, ICHR etc).

Yes, the film institute has been plagued by administrative failure and infrastructural inade­q­u­acies. The debate should be about sca­ling up film studies and supporting more such centres of excellence. Sadly, the debate has regressed into rhetoric, name-calling and threats. There are solutions that could be in the interest of both the students and also face-saving for the government. Suspend new appointments, appoint an interim council and review the recruitment process while students continue their education. But does the government really want a way out of...

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