This is an urgent plea for help and support to save The Film and Television Institute of India.
Under the neo-liberal policies of the present government, the institute is in grave danger of being re-structured as a public private partnership. By trying to make FTII ‘self-reliant’ and even ‘profit-making’, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is going against the very grain with which the institute was founded under the Nehruvian idea of nation building. If FTII is run by private agencies they will transform the institute from an art school into an institution primarily aiming to churn out technicians for the industry. In the process the fees will also drastically increase. The cumulative result is that FTII will not only cease to be the free space of creative expression it was intended for, but also become unaffordable by a vast majority of the Indian population.
We feel that with these alarming policies the government is shirking one of their primary responsibilities to nurture learning, and make this learning is accessible to all sections of society. If anything the priority of these state institutions, we feel, should be to cater to those segments of society that do not have other options and cannot afford the fees in private institutions. The direction the government seems to be taking, however, seems to be exactly the reverse in effect – making it elitist and capitalist.
We are doing everything we can to generate public opinion, trying to raise awareness through the press, street plays and campaigns in film festivals, on-line petitions, letter writing campaigns, getting the support of eminent writers, academicians, artists, filmmakers, etc. We are also trying to join forces with other student-bodies around the country to raise the very important questions of whether government funded educational institutes should be handed over to private public partnerships, the absurdity of expecting government educational institutions to be profit generating, and how if the fees increases it denies a majority of the public the very possibility of having quality education.
We would be most grateful if join us in this struggle. It would be a great help if you could send us a letter expressing your support for this protest (you could do this by e-mail, addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org) as well to the Ministry (which you could send by the post, addressed to Ambika Soni, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shastri Bhavan, Delhi).
Please also add your signature to our on-line petition.
Do forward this message to everyone you know.
Thanking you very much for your
interest, concern and support!
The Students’ Body, FTII
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