Pune, Oct 11 (PTI) Questioning actor Anupam Kher’s appointment as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman, the students’ association at the institute today alleged that there was a “conflict of interest” as the actor ran his own acting school in Mumbai.

The FTII Students’ Association (FSA) also raised objections over the statements made by Kher during the debate over intolerance in the country and his attempts at “advertising certain ideas of the government”.

They, however, clarified that there was no issue as far as Kher’s credentials were concerned.

“As regards the credentials and experience of Kher, there is no issue. However, since he runs his own acting institute — Actor Prepares — in Mumbai and now that he has been given the task to head a government institute, there is surely a conflict of interest,” FSA president Robin Joy said.

“The question is how can a person, who heads a private enterprise, can be asked to head a government institute,” he added.

Asked if they would oppose Kher’s appointment the way their predecessors had done over Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment in 2015, Joy said the future course of action would be decided at the general body meeting of the FSA.

“A collective decision at the general body meeting will chalk out the future course of action. We cannot say anything right now,” he added.

FSA general secretary Rohit Kumar said, “Kher has credentials and we are not denying that, but look at the statements he had made in the last two-three years against the JNU, FTII, media and during the intolerance debate.” Another FSA member also said there was no question on Kher’s credentials, but the way the actor had tried to advertise certain ideas of the government was a matter of concern.

Kher was today appointed as the FTII chairman, succeeding Chauhan, who had a controversial tenure as the head of the institute. Chauhan’s term had ended in March.

Chauhan’s appointment in 2015 had sparked an outrage among the students of the premier film institute. The students were on a strike for over four months demanding his removal.

They had opposed Chauhan’s appointment, saying he lacked the “vision and artistic credentials” to merit the post at the prestigious institute.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.