Addressing concerns of conflict of interest in his appointment as chairperson of FTII while also running an acting school, actor Anupam Kher today said that he had informed Union Minister Smriti Irani about the institute before taking up the new role.
The 62-year-old actor was appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on October 11, succeeding Gajendra Chauhan who had a controversial tenure as the head of the Pune-based institute.
Critics, however, pointed to a conflict of interest as Kher already runs his own acting school.
“I got a call from Smriti Irani where she told me you’ve to chair this. I thought there was no discussion. We all can run away from any situation but I thought if I can make a difference then why not.
“I told her that I travel a lot, I have my own acting school and these are the things I want to inform you. She said no problem, you do it,” said Kher at Aaj Tak Manthan here.
Kher also read out a mail by FTII students’ association saying that the students were supportive of the decision.
The actor said running his own school has in fact helped him a lot and he hopes to bring his experience to FTII as well.
“If I did not have my own school, maybe I wouldn’t have been qualified to be the chairman of this place. I am very proud of the fact that I’ve got my own school. Fourteen years ago I started that school with eight students.
“Today, every three months a batch of 120 students passes out. So if I can take that institute and bring it to this level, why can’t I make a contribution here?” Kher asked.