Gajendra Chauhan Deserves An Opportunity
The Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune has earned the distinction of being the only institution in the country where the pupils possess the veto power to reject the appointment of the institute’s chief by the government. It also seems to be the unique educational institute where the result is declared even before a person has sat for the examination. This impression has surfaced following the turn of events in the institute after the appointment by government of Gajendra Chauhan as its head. Chauhan won laurels for his stellar role as Yudhishtira in the epic serial Mahabharata, which shares the honour with Ramayana of being the most popular prime time serial relayed by Doordarshan. Later, it was repeated in other private channels too.
Can —and should — people or students reject offhand an appointment without giving the person so selected a chance to prove his worth? If a person fails to come up to the expectations to deliver the goods, everyone has a right to demand of the government to show door to the person. It is one of the essential requirements of the process of natural justice that a show-cause notice shuld be issued to the person against whom action is intended to provide him an opportunity to present his side of the case. But how can this procedure be observed in the case of a person who has not been afforded even the opportunity to perform?
Needless to recount numerous instances in film industry where persons were first outrightly rejected and later won laurels. To quote only two instances, Akshay Kumar was a non -entity but once he was provided the opportunity he proved his salt. Today he is one of the super stars. Vidya Balan herself admitted that she was rejected by a number of film producers initially but she persevered to prove her detractors wrong. Today she is a leading film actress who has won national laurels. Many C grade film heroes and heroins made their mark when they got a chance to make it big.
We have been able to assess individual prime ministers who assumed office for the first time only after they did perform. Can anybody veto that the destiny of the nation should not be put in a person’s hands because he has no past record to claim the appointment?
More than anything else, Gajendra Chauhan is being targeted for the ideology he subscribes. In this country everyone has an inalienable right under the constitution to hold an opinion and subscribe to any ideology —right, left, centrist, Congress, an alien one and so on— as long as it does not militate against the interests of the nation. The present government has as much right to appoint a person subscribing to any ideology as had the past governments. The previous government had appointed a person to a prestigious committee of the erstwhile Planning Commission within ten days of his being released on bail from the Supreme Court following his being sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of treason by the high court.
Needless to recall that in 2004 the Congress-led UPA government had dismissed governors appointed by the previous NDA government on the plea that they did not fit in with the ideology of the new government which had not won a clear mandate of the people but had stitched a post-poll arrangement with parties against whom each had fought a bitter electoral battle against each other. The present government is fortunate to enjoy the full mandate of the people. Condemning an individual or a group for their opinion or adherence of any ideology is against the tenets of democracy and provisions of the Constitution. Selection
The students have every right to choose an institution have no right to pursue their career and future but no sit in the selection board of their teachers and principals. The consumer has every right to demand the best of goods and services. Similarly, workers have an unchallenged right to demand and get higher wages and best working conditions. Yet, none of them can have the arbiter to decide who should be the managing director and chief executive officer of the industrial house. Otherwise, democracy will be reduced to mobocracy which nobody in the country can cherish.
By Amba Charan Vashishth