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Bollywood super star Salman Khan is the latest celebrity to offer his support for ongoing strike of students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), a premier institute of Film Education. The FTII students are on an indefinite strike since June 12 protesting against the appointment of actor turned politician Gajendra Chauhan as the Chairman of Institute. Gajendra Chauhan, known as Yudhishthira in popular Mahabharata TV series joined BJP in 2004 after his association of 20 years. His appointment as FTII chief on June 10 upset the film fraternity, with many viewing it a political move without considering the future of students and institute. FTII students are disappointed with the decision and have questioned Gajendra’s creative credentials. They are suspicious whether he has the vision in guiding the institute or not? Students are furious because the institute has been earlier controlled by internationally-renowned people like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Girish Karnad, U.R. Ananthamurthy, and Shyam Benegal, who have graced Indian theatre, cinema and literature. Many also view the appointment an attempt to promote right-wing agenda upon the institute by the current government. “There are so many eminent personalities who could have been chosen for the post. While we have nothing against any party, we cannot accept this appointment on creative grounds and have accordingly submitted our demands to our Director and are awaiting a response from I& B Ministry,” said Harishankar Nachimuthu, president, FTII Students’ Association. Apart from students, Well-known celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anupam Kher, filmmakers Kundan Shah, Aziz Mirza, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Kiran Rao, Rajkumar Rao, Sudhir Mishra, Sayeed Mirza, Resul Pookutty and Piyush Mishra have voiced their reservation. Cinematographer Santhosh Sivan, actress Pallavi Joshi and National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua resigned as members of the FTII Society in support of the striking students. Meanwhile, FTII authorities served an ultimatum to the agitating students asking them to call off their 34-day strike or face the risk of rustication. "You are ordered to terminate the strike with immediate effect and resume academic activities without any further delay, failing which the institution will be free to take strict administrative action," the notice ordered by Director D J Narian said. (Input from Agencies )