New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday stepped up his attack on the government on the FTII issue and led a delegation of party leaders to submit a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee.
The Congress has been backing the protests against Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment at the premier institution.
The memorandum, signed by Rahul Gandhi along with several other party leaders, called the situation at FTII “emblematic of a disturbing trend in institutional appointments”.
“In the last year, several appointments to institutes of higher education and culture have come under scrutiny and controversy because of individuals concerned were not selected for excellence in their respective fields, but because they were partisan to a particular world view,” the memorandum said.
Talking to reporters, Gandhi said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was “controlling the education system” in the country.
“(Congress leader) Mani Shankar Aiyar said the most powerful thing India has is its soft power and it is about creativity in institutions like Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and other institutions like the universities in Maharashtra and Delhi.
“This creativity is being crushed by the RSS’ desire to control the education system in this country,” Rahul Gandhi told the media after meeting President Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“They have already destroyed the education system in Madhya Pradesh with the Vyapam scam. We are not going to allow them to destroy these institutions,” the Congress leader said.
He, however, did not give details of the meeting with the president.
“The boys and girls of this institution (FTII) are fighting for the soul of this country. They have come to the institution based on their capabilities, but the people who are placed on top do not have the same capability,” Gandhi said.
“They do not have the merit to be placed on top of the students. The only merit they have is they have sung the praises of the prime minister, of the BJP and believed in the RSS ideology,” he said.
The students of FTII have been protesting for more than two months against the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman.