What could now be called the FTII row part 2, Former BJP MP and cricketer Chetan Chauhan has been appointed as the Chairman of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). The move is being questioned by political parties and fashion designers alike.
“I have been appointed (as the NIFT Chairman) by the Government of India and I will work to the best of my ability,” said Chauhan, who is also the vice president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Chetan Chauhan’s appointment comes after the FTII row wherein, the students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the country’s premier film education centre, had gone on a strike lasting 139 days, protesting the Information & Broadcast Ministry’s surprise appointment of television actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of the institute. His appointment as FTII chief sent ripples across the film fraternity, with many viewing it as an instance of political largesse.
Chauhan acknowledged that he was appointed partly because he was a BJP leader. “This is a Government of India appointment. The names (for the post of chairman) are sent by the Ministry of Textiles…preference is given to people in the party (BJP),” The Indian Express quoted him as saying after his appointment.
Giving a breakdown of his work schedule,he said: “I will spend 60 per cent of the time in DDCA, 20 per cent at NIFT and 20 per cent in my business.”
“Chauhan’s appointment is similar to the appointments to institutions like the FTII and CBFC. This is absurd. He (Chauhan) does not know ‘F’ about fashion and he is the same person who defended Jaitley. And his appointment has the blessings of Amit Shah and Modi,” AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha told reporters.
Separately, former India cricket captain Bishen Singh Bedi said the appointment “defies all logic”.
Also,when AAP mocked the decision by saying if this is possible then Chetan Bhagat can also become RBI Governor, pat came the author’s response.
“Just on this news. Neither am I interested, nor am in the running for the RBI guv job. Nor do I have a view on NIFT. I would request AAP to behave in a decent manner and not do mud-slinging PR like the news in the last tweet,” Bhagat said in a series of tweets.
However he added that if he had been appointed as the RBI chief, he would be able to do a better job than many others.
As per the NIFT Act 2006, the Chairperson of its Board of Governors shall be an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, who is to be nominated by the Visitor, in this case the President of India.