By Sumit Kr
After the announcement of veteran actor Anupam Kher as the new head of FTII, Pune, there has been a vicious attempt by some sections of people to malign and discredit Anupam Kher. He has been accused of supporting the Narendra Modi government, which according to them discredits him from being appointed as the head of FTII. First of all, everyone in a democracy has a right to his view, no matter how much it concurs or differs with the prevailing view in the society and system. The right to express one’s political opinion on an issue by oral or written means does not rob anyone of his capability and credibility to get appointed at a post. He has acted in many movies, has won several awards, both at the national and international levels and has made India proud by working in international movies. The point that most of the protesters are making is that his support for a particular party robs him from the capacity to hold a post in FTII. This point has no legal or moral basis to resist the appointment of Anupam Kher as the chairperson of FTII, because everyone in India has a political view, a political opinion, which is even necessary for the existence of a democracy and therefore, decrying of appointment of a person only because he holds a political opinion which may run contrary to the beliefs of some people, is useless and uncalled for. It is unfortunate that many people who decry the falling levels of dissent in India are themselves trolling Anupam Kher only because his views and opinion dissents from there perspective.
If a person who has nothing to do with arts and television and cinema had been appointed as the FTII chief only because he supported a political party, then it would have been an open and shut case of nepotism. But since Anupam Kher has the requisite capability to hold unto that post, there is no sound basis for accusing Anupam Kher as being the recipient of political favoritism. Before looking at the political opinion he holds which is his sacrosanct right bestowed unto him by the Indian Constitution, one should look at the qualifications he possess for the post. If one looks at the latter, entire brouhaha over the matter will stand to be closed.