Kher welcomed with 'drum beats' at FTII

The meetings went off so well that he even had lunch with students in the canteen – all of it in a very informal manner that was great to see

Pune- Newly-appointed Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Chairperson Anupam Kher on Monday visited the campus of the iconic institution unannounced and promised the students that he is on their side.

The students had pointed to how "limitations have been brought into exercise norms as part of the new syllabus".

The veteran actor, who was a student at the FTII 40 years back in 1978, in a video uploaded on the micro-blogging site Twitter, revealed the reason of not informing anyone at the institute about his visit. He later accompanied students to the FTII mess and had lunch with them. The students were protesting against the administration's directive to shoot short films in two days against the earlier rule of completing it in three days.

Asked about his first "encounter" with the agitating students, Mr Kher said, "This is the best possible reception I could have got, where students were beating drums on my arrival". Following their decision to skip the production meeting planned for the exercise, they were sent letters by the administration, asking them to vacate their hostels after which they chose to boycott the class.

On Tuesday, Anupam Kher will also conduct an acting class with the students. After Kher's appointment as the FTII chairman was announced, students had written an open letter highlighting various issues being faced by them. On coming out of the auditorium, Kher declared that all the issues that the students had were addressed and that the banners they had put up in protest should be removed. "I want to start my term on an optimistic note and also on a note that I want to do things".

"I did my first acting class today, where I myself learnt acting. Hope we work out whatever we have spoken on", he said. "He is a good actor and he certainly acted well here", scoffed Rohit Kumar, general sectary of the FTII students union. "We had a meeting and the actor appeared to be positive about all the issues".

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