If you are not aware yet, March 3rd was the end of tenure for Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of FTII.
For those who do not know Gajendra Chauhan, he was the Yudhishtira in the TV serial Mahabharat. He was actually offered the role of Krishna but he spent sometime in New York after the decision and put on weight and was demoted to Yudhishtira in the series. He has not blamed it on fast foods. He is also considered as one of the greatest actor in Indian Cinema for his ‘MIND BAFFLING’ ‘ART ERAZING’ performances in internationally acclaimed movies such as Jungle Love, Khuli Khidki(1989), Jungle Ki Rani(1991), Vasna(1991), Jungle Ka Beta(1992), Jawani Janeman(1992), Yeh Hai Prem Janjaal(2000), Rupa Rani Ramkali(2001) among many others.
The guy is also a BJP worker but BJP has always said that this is not what influenced their unpopular decision to put him in the coveted post. The rumor goes that the BJP government and senior leaders were mind struck with Gajendra Chauhan’s stunning performance in ‘Hum Sab Chor Hain’ (English: We are all Thieves) a 1995 Hindi Action film produced by Hiren Bafna, Sangeeta Bafna on Shree Durga Laxmi Enterprises banner and directed by Ambrish Sanghal. It is said that the BJP folks found the movie to be extremely realistic from a BJP angle. In the movie he starred as a Police Commissioner. The rationale was that having Chauhan who acted in the (potentially) partyographical movie ‘Hum Sab Chor Hain’ as the Police Commissioner would do well for the Party and its image. It was ‘Hum Sab Chor Hein’ and not his BJP membership or his memorable Khuli Khidki role that landed him the position.
The decision of his appointment was supported by many people such as Mukesh Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Paresh Rawal and Hema Malini all have absolutely nothing to do with BJP but are all the only Patriots in the indian film and bollywood world. All anti-patriots in the film industry such as Ranbir Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Salman Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Resul Pookutty, Amol Palekar opposed his posting. You will notice that this was too much to take for the always patriot Anupam Kher who also opposed the move. Well who will not get angry if someone decides to shit in your plate of dal chaawal (rice meal) even if that person is a God. Yes Anupam realized that what made him famous is his profession and his commitment to it and not politics. It was art that made him and he has to stand by it. I applaud Anupam Kher for joining the anti-patriotic band wagon at least for once. You are a fine actor. “Jab apni thali pe chooa tho dard huwa na?” (English – You got hurt when someone touched your rice plate right?)
Chauhan has always been a great performer and looking back he has had no regrets and that is why when the world tried to belittle him on his Khuli Khidiki (open window) involvement, he closed them all up by defending the movie, He refused to reply to the question about his role in the film. He just called the film a “beautiful” and “entertaining” watch. That is the greatness of someone like Chauhan. You will be missed sir. Because the only thing people remember about your existence as the Chairman of the FTII was the protests people waged against your posting. Sir, that is the greatness of a person. When you adorn a post, people should not even know you are there. Beautifully played and silently served sir…
As a Malayali it is a pleasure to write about Mr. Chauhan because his fame was given by none other than a Malayali director, our very own Chandrakumar sir (P Chandrakumar) who has made masterpieces including his first film Adipapam (original Sin) which was planned as a Bibilical movie but ended up becoming a high grossing Softcore movie in malayalam that catapulted Chandrakumar Sir to fame and his name will be forever etched in Gold and for opening the window (Khuli Khidki) for our Gajendra Chauhan.
I dedicate the post to Chandrakumar Sir and BJP who made Gajendra Chauhan both a fame and name for our next generation.