'His words are vile, full of communal hatred': FTII students' association condemns Anurag Thakur's visit

The association planned to hold a 'peaceful demonstration' to coincide with the I&B minister's visit to campus today.

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The students' association of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India issued a statement condemning a visit to the campus today by information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur.

"...we cannot help but question what the presence of Mr Thakur means to this place, in addition to the glorified welcome extended to him by our administration," the statement said. "The impact of Mr Thakur's beliefs and proclamations of the recent past are nothing short of venomous and absolutely despicable."

Alleging that Thakur had "openly instigated communal riots after a hate speech in the capital", the statement said: "As if his words themselves weren't vile and full of communal hatred, the impact they have had on vulnerable communities in our country is painfully visible for all to see."

The statement is referring to Thakur shouting "desh ke gaddaron ko" (while a crowd responded "goli maaro saalon ko") prior to the Delhi riots in January 2020.

FTII operates under the ministry of information and broadcasting. The students said their "representation" in FTII's academic council had been "revoked", while campus security and the office of the proctor "are being given undue power".

"Any voice raised for our rights and beliefs are taken to be an offence against the administration's ideology and invite severe punishments that take back our scholarships with no room for redressal," the statement alleged. "Additionally, surveillance on students and their guests is increasing day by day..."

The statement also said FTII's fees were allegedly being increased by five percent every year, making the institute "inaccessible to many sections of our society instead of upholding our educational rights".

The students' association said it would be conducted a "peaceful demonstration" on campus to coincide with Thakur's arrival to "counter the welcome he has been extended".


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